Tooth-brushing by brute force

(51 Posts)
mowmylawn Fri 07-Mar-14 21:12:11

Someone else please tell me they had to pin down their kid to brush their teeth and that their child did not wind up in therapy because of it. Our DD (22 months) clamps her mouth shut at brushing time, and if she so much as sees the toothbrush she starts crying (this was before we decided drastic action was needed).

We did the finger brushing when she was little, then moved to a chewable brush and all she did was suck the toothpaste off of it and hand it back to us. We've tried every trick in every post in every thread in every forum and nothing is working, so we're going to have to pin her down and force it on her. My dentist said this is what he does with his kids which made me feel slightly (?) better about it.

Anyone else been there/done that please tell me everything turned out OK with no dental phobias!

drspouse Sat 08-Mar-14 18:56:25

We usually do it while he's having his nappy changed/after that on the nappy mat after his bath. He has a bit more of his bedtime milk after his bath, while having his nappy changed. If he doesn't willingly open his mouth, he gets pinned down, basically. If he yells, so much easier to brush them.

Tickling also helps!

I generally think that given how quickly he goes from YOU'RE KILLING ME HOW CAN YOU DO THAT to WOW WHAT FUN WE ARE HAVING I'M LAUGHING MY HEAD OFF to MUMMY I LOVE YOU YOU'RE THE BEST PERSON IN THE WORLD TO GIVE ME CUDDLES I reckon I'm not actually torturing him.

willdoitinaminute that finger brush would just result in being bitten, here.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 09-Mar-14 08:20:13

It must be horrible to have your teeth brushed forcibly. I would hate it. It's an invasion.

I do think that tooth brushing needs to be done- but us parents need to find ways to get it done without force.

drspouse Sun 09-Mar-14 13:09:03

If you have any genuine suggestions that the rest of us haven't already tried, we're all ears. But I suspect that we have tried them already.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 09-Mar-14 17:15:52

I am not the mother of your child. All children are different- it's your job to work out what motivates your children, not mine.

Octopus37 Sun 09-Mar-14 17:30:24

To me force is the only way sometimes, it is one of those things that is non-negotiable. Surely a mouth full of rotten teeth, resulting in pain for your child, a bollocking from the dentist and judgement from lots of people is worse. By the way this hasn't to date happened to my children, still not their favourite thing but I did get through the forcing stage.

drspouse Sun 09-Mar-14 19:02:18

atthestroke No, you aren't the parent of my child. So I'm not quite sure why you are saying a) that I need to find a way to brush my child's teeth without force or b) how you know this is possible.

Thurlow Sun 09-Mar-14 19:09:13

Another vote for the Aquafresh app, it's free and it's.completely changed things for us. Really is worth a try.

elfycat Sun 09-Mar-14 19:11:15

I pinned 3.5yo DD2 today. I used a child electric toothbrush while chanting 'tickle monster is getting your teeth clean' as a mantra. When she clamped her teeth down on that brush grinning DH passed me a normal brush and I got the teeth on the other side.

Tickle monster likes to tickle the backs of teeth, at the back of the mouth and behind teeth. She mostly giggles. I stop when I can see her mood turn. Sometimes she'll do a thorough job by herself but she's going through a rebellious phase 6 months and counting.

hazeyjane Sun 09-Mar-14 20:04:13

AtTheStroke - The only way we have found to clean ds's teeth is to wrap him in a towel, and get in as quickly as possible, I use a Collis Curve brush which helps. It is something he hates and we are trying everything we can to make it better for him,but it has to be done.

He has no enamel on his back molars and reduced enamel on the others (he has a rare genetic condition), this combined with reflux and repeated courses of antibiotics has left him with awful teeth, and unfortunately he has to have his 4 back molars out under general anaesthetic next month. .

My eldest dd also had to have 2 baby teeth removed, she also had reflux, but the main cause of problems was that I thought she was brushing them properly, when she wasn't. Our dentist said that children needed there patents to actually get in to brush them until they were 7.

Dental pain, crumbling teeth and general anaesthetics are far more upsetting than a short moment of upset having your teeth brushed, followed by lots of cuddles.

hazeyjane Sun 09-Mar-14 20:05:25

Sorry, should have added- ds is 3.8.

Louisasb Sun 09-Mar-14 20:52:46

Aqua fresh app again. It has transformed teeth brushing and now ds 20 months runs to the sofa to have his teeth cleaned while watching the toothbrush man!! He loves to change his outift after. It's great!!

We have this every evening with 25mo dd2. She detests having her teeth brushed. DD1 has always done it happily. Am just downloading the app. We resort to force as well. I've got terrible teeth, I'm damned if my child will have too.

ghostinthecanvas Sun 09-Mar-14 22:18:57

Try letting the kids brush the adults teeth too. Its fun. Messy but fun.

Beastofburden Sun 09-Mar-14 22:26:40

We had no apps when mine were little but we did have strawberry flavoured toothpaste grin

With a very disabled DS who couldn't co-operate, by far the most important thing was prevention. So, until she is a good brusher, I would suggest no sweet fluids at all- no fruit juice, squash, fizzy drinks etc. no sugar in yoghurts or sweets either, ideally. It won't replace brushing but it will buy you some time.

Also, if she gags, get a smaller brush head. I use electric toothbrushes on DS2 as I don't get in there for long, it's more effective, I don't have to brush as such, just hold it in there, it has a smaller head and it makes a cool noise.

But, hey, you think you have problems. DS2 is almost 18 and is currently refusing to be shaved sad. Holding him down while I wave a blade at his carotid artery is a bit more of a problem....

drspouse Mon 10-Mar-14 09:18:09

Sorry to say that the app is not going to work as I cannot hold DS's mouth open at the same time as turning on/off the app so he gets the reward when he's actually having his teeth brushed, but not when he isn't. I need more hands. I'm going back to the forcible hugging approach.

Beastofburden Mon 10-Mar-14 10:23:20

I think the point of the app is that he holds his own mouth open smile - but I can remember the days of holding a child's nose so he was forced to open his mouth....

When DS was very small he wouldnt open his mouth for the dentist. The dentist held him upside down by his feet; the child's mouth dropped open in amazement, and the dentist got to have a good look. No longer works, as he is now six foot....

hazeyjane Mon 10-Mar-14 10:25:26

Beast, that is funny - ds sees a sn dentist, and the only way she could look in his mouth was for him to lie upside down on my lap, and she lay on the floor - it was a bizarre sight!

We often clean ds's teeth like this too, if dh is around - he holds him upside down, and I clean!

Beastofburden Mon 10-Mar-14 10:35:44

doesn't he choke when you hold him upside down to clean? I never quite fancied that- though if it worked, it could be good!

hazeyjane Mon 10-Mar-14 10:44:22

strangely, it is the only position he doesn't choke in! when we brush upright he struggles a lot more with the extra frothiness.

Thurlow Mon 10-Mar-14 10:47:09

Dr, have you tried the app? Not doubting anything about how you need to clean your DC's teeth, just wondered if you'd tried it at all - it just plays a video and we prop it on the back of the loo while sitting down with DD on our lap. So once it is started you still have two hands free to clean their teeth, you don't need to do anything with your hands.

circlebeginning Mon 10-Mar-14 10:50:01

The In the Night Garden Tombliboo toothbrushing song?

Beastofburden Mon 10-Mar-14 11:20:14

well FWIW DS2 now loves cleaning his teeth. The only problem is, he loves it too much. Long after he has been put to bed we hear stealthy feet sneaking downstairs to the bathroom for another go. Unfortunately he also takes and hides the toothpaste so only he gets to use it. Which means when we go to bed there is a tedious phase of wandering round the house in a towel trying to find the frigging colgate.

Sheneverdid Mon 10-Mar-14 11:41:16

Does she have other teeth about to come through? her gums may be feeling tender.

Dd hated having her teeth cleaned and I never resorted to forcing, she didn't eat much sugary food etc so I wasn't that fussed tbh. By the age of 3 she started brushing herself using this. A recent trip to the dentist showed that her rarely cleaning for 3 years wasn't an issue as her teeth are all perfect.

hazeyjane Mon 10-Mar-14 11:57:53

That is the same as the collis curve brush.

It is great that she has good teeth, our dentist recommends using disclosing tablets weekly, to ensure they are doing a good job if they are doing it themselves.

Unfortunately ds's teeth were knackered before he was 3.

drspouse Mon 10-Mar-14 14:11:26

Thurlow yes, I tried the app. I just said that I tried it. It is no good if he just watches the app with his teeth clamped firmly shut - they are no more brushed than they would be without it! So the app needs to be contingent on him actually having his teeth brushed, and I need to be able to turn it OFF if he stops having his teeth brushed. And I can't.

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