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Seriously. HOW do you get your toddler's teeth clean enough?(43 Posts)
This is the part of parenting I hate most, the only thing I get stressed about really DD is 16months and I can't get her teeth clean with a toothbrush. She flails madly, kicks, screams, gets really upset. Me and Dp always do our teeth at the same time as we're getting her to hers, but she just turns the toothbrush the other way round and sucks on the handle. We do hold her down eventually but I hate doing it - and there's no way that us aiming scrubs at her teeth is actually getting them clean.
My current tactic is to clean them with a damp muslin - she hates this too but I feel like I can actually clean them this way - and then let her piss about with the toothbrush afterwards. I know she's probably picking up on my anxiety, but how do you actually get those little teeth <clean> ?
My son asks to brush his teeth and he wants to do it so that's where the problem really is because he doesn't brush he chews on the toothbrush.
I was fine with that when his teeth first came out as I wanted him to get used to the toothbrush, but now I wont allow him to chew on it and insist that I brush them which he doesn't like it and makes it really difficult . The only way he will let me brush them is if he is distracted by something else. I usually just let him sit on my lap while he watches Thomas on the computer that will give me a few seconds of a good brush before he starts turning his head again. And I understand what you mean because this issue stresses me too knowing his teeth are so beautiful and white , I literally used to dream about his teeth that's how obsessed I was with cleaning them but I just decided not to worry and just do what I can for now.
DD would seriously freak if I swaddled, she goes insane when her arms are trapped because she sucks her finger and panics if she can't get to it! Some improvement to report, I've done the whole 'there are frogs in your teeth we have to brush them out' random blathering, and it seems to intrigue her. She's also just got loads of teeth so maybe sore gums were part of the problem. I still do worry that even if she lets me it's still technically difficult to get the teeth clean enough! So I do use the muslin approach still, before the toothbrush comes out.
I swaddle DS (2) in a big towel so he can't move!
Does anyone know how long you need to clean their teeth for? 16mo lets me do it and I can actually brush them, but like someone else says it is for about 30 seconds. Anything longer would probably require pinning down! (Though I do agree it's a battle that needs to be fought)
Shamelessly marking place as dd (1) is getting worse and worse at this.
I've tried all sorts, she just wants to lick off the toothpaste then there's not a hope in hell of getting in her gob
Of all the things she will chew on, brush baby remains dry and gathering dust in the corner. Not interested.
Spiderman electric toothbrush and lots of talk of baby lions needing to have shiny clean sharp teeth to scare off hyenas.
I do Eeeeeee (big grin) for the front teeth and ahhhhhhh (big wide mouth) for the back ones. DS2 has had his cleaned this way for years and he is 3. But he always did like having his teeth cleaned.
I make silly noises for my toddler eg squeaky noises, donkey noises, motorbikes etc as the brush goes back and forth. I say 'I wonder what noise your teeth make today? ' then act all surprised at the silly noises!
After reading this I went to you tube and searched for toddler brushing. There is a video of a mum singing 'gotta brush gotta brush your teeth' song. DS got completed sucked into it and day 3 today that we have properly scrubbed his teeth on demand twice a day!
Thank you all for your ideas!
Just wanted to say that I have a 2.9 DS who has had to be pinned down screaming morning and night for toothbrushing for a good year or so. I used the brushing animals from his teeth trick that a few people have mentioned and its a revelation! Honestly not only has he let me brush them but was asking for more, amazing! Thank you so much mumsnet ladies!
We get by with a 30 second scrub in the evenings after DS's bath (he's 19 months) and then he always grabs the brush afterwards and wants to chew on it. I let him because I delude myself into thinking that it might do him some good. It's better than nothing!
This evening I enlisted the help of Mr Turtle, his bath toy, to show how we could brush the turtle's teeth as well as my DS's. He liked that. In general though I make sure he has as little sugar as possible in his diet and hope that that will stave off problems until he's old enough to brush properly.
I am still struggling with DS who is nearly 3. He hates it. Songs, actions, peppa, nice brushes. Nothing. Each day, twice - we have a tantrum. and this has been going on since the past 2 years now..
i take comfort in the fact that these are milk teeth..which is not a good way of looking at it.
Now I play the brush your teeth song on YouTube if she's resistant.
Dd used a brush baby gummy toothbrush until she was 2.4. It's a bit like a teething toy you put toothpaste on.
Dentist said her teeth were perfect.
DS is quite good at letting us brush his teeth (teeth is one of his limited number of words) but I find it hard to get the angle of the brush right so that I am actually brushing, rather than just rubbing the brush around his mouth!
DS was a nightmare and wouldn't go anywhere near a toothbrush until he was three. I'm afraid his teeth are not the best but not as bad as they were. Luckily, the dentist doesn't seem concerned (felt really guilty for ages). What eventually worked was letting him look at a mirror when we brushed his teeth and using the battery powered toothbrush. TBH, he still does not enjoy the experience.
With DS1 I used to make an animal noise and say there was an [insert animal] in his mouth and we had to brush it away.
DS2 has been more of a challenge. He just said "No aminals" when I tried the animal trick I've progressed from no brushing to about a minute of brushing using a mirror, a timer and counting his teeth slowly.
Excellent thread, I've been wondering about this myself as I do brush my 22mo DD's teeth but probably only for 30 seconds. She doesn't struggle or fight, but she's not terribly co-operative in terms of being able to make her mouth into helpful shapes.
At the moment I think anything's better than nothing, so although it's not as thorough a job as I'd like, as she gets bigger we can work on it.
Self cleaning teeth, really??? Dentist told us to start brushing as soon as a tooth appeared. Pinning down as a toddler works best, no traumatised children here
it was a nightmare for ages but now at 2.5 she happily lets us do them. What seemed to work for us was going through everything she'd eaten that day and saying we could see some on each tooth. ie "there's the beans and toast from lunch, let me get that off. oh & i can see some yogurt too"
I made up a daft tooth brushing song, they love it now and sing along. I find singing calms lots of situations, distracts children and saves me getting cross.
Thanks a million all. Yes I agree that this is one thing worth being mean/strict about. It feels horrible being so physical with a tiny tot but I'm not prepared to be lax about teeth. The baby brush thing sounds like It's worth a go for sure. Going to buy a book with pictures too.
Great tips. Brushing a toddler's teeth is a nightmare! <resolves to develop a heart of stone and a range of crocodile/ peppa pig games>
DD is 2.5 and we have used a mixture of pinning her down and more recently bribery. She only gets to play with certain toys before bed if she has brushed her teeth nicely. That wouldn't have worked a while ago. I have a heart of stone when it comes to brushing teeth. If she cried it made it easier to get the brush in. She doesn't seem permanently traumatised by that approach.
We do 'Tickle Monster' with DDs (4 and 2.5). I catch them, carefully trip them over, lie over them pinning legs, use one arm to pin their arms down and then TICKLE.
I find rubbing a bit of toothpaste on their nose and chin in addition to the mouth makes tham laugh more
thereby opening thier mouths and it'll all need a wipe down. This is mainly DD2 now as DD1 is beginning to open her mouth while I do the 4 corners and then front and backs of the front teeth.
DD2 has been role playing with a bunny. A washable bunny that mainly smells of mint.
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