How on earth do you brush a toddlers teeth!?

(70 Posts)
milkyman Wed 23-Jul-14 16:20:28

My 21mth will not let me brush his teeth sad He just grabs it and throws it. He has a chewable brush which he will happily use - not sure if this ok. I have noticed his teeth at the bottom are a bit brown. I took him to the dentist and she said nothing to worry about - it's just plaque.

He only drinks milk and water from a beaker. No unnecesary sugar, no chocolate but loads of fruit. Please tell me I'm not alone!

MysteryCat Wed 23-Jul-14 16:29:43

You're not alone. My 18mth old won't let me brush her teeth either. The compromise I've found is to give her the toothbrush whilst she's in the bath and she'll happily move it around her mouth for for a few minutes. Not sure it's doing a thorough job but at least it's something and good for the routine of brushing everyday. (Sometimes she will let me take hold of the end and wiggle it against her teeth - especially if I make funny noises at the same time to make it seem like a game).

She enjoys watching me brush my teeth and if I pretend to brush mine with my finger whilst she has her own toothbrush she'll copy my actions. You could try that, if you haven't already.

JewelFairies Wed 23-Jul-14 17:20:10

Absolutely no negotiation in our house. I have variously pinned mine down, held their heads/arms, and gently pressed their cheeks in for them to open their mouths. Sounds brutal but teeth brushing is one thing I will not compromise on. They soon learnt that I meant it and teeth brushing is no issue at all now. We also have a rule that mine are allowed to brush on their own in the morning and I brush at night.

Notso Wed 23-Jul-14 17:28:46

I do it by pinning down too. It seems harsh but DS3 was in hospital recently and there was a ward full of kids who had their teeth out under GA, two of them had 13 out, it was horrible to see.

Beachfarmandzootoo Wed 23-Jul-14 17:30:04

We do the same as jewelfairies - but she has her own toothbrush and has first go, we then have mummy/daddy's turn. It has always been non-negotiable - if you can stand them in front of you and hold the head it helps too

slightlyinsane Wed 23-Jul-14 17:49:36

With my 3 I have always done the same, they brush mine and I brush theirs, usually done in the bath. Imo at this age it's important to get the routine of brushing daily in place and effective brushing can come once that battle has been won.

toomuchtooold Wed 23-Jul-14 20:13:18

I'm a pinner-down too (two year old twins). They're resisting less as the months go on. I find that making faces and brushing my own teeth and stuff sometimes help. But sometimes not.

TalcumPowder Wed 23-Jul-14 20:38:59

No negotiation in this house either. My two year old brushes with me in the morning (he gets about thirty or forty seconds to brush himself, then I take over to make sure it's done properly, with him sitting on my knee) and with husband dad in the bath at night. We have in the past resorted to pinning down, swaddling in a bath towel etc etc, but he's now resigned to the fact that even if the sky falls in, toothbrushing is never skipped...

I'm making a big deal of his first visit to the dentist, when the dentist will sit him in a special chair, say now nice and white his teeth are, and give him a sticker.

dashoflime Wed 23-Jul-14 20:41:37

I let mine piss about with the sink taps. Thats distracting enough to allow me to get in at his teeth

Parietal Wed 23-Jul-14 20:43:31

Pirate game - say ooh - I brush back teeth. Then say mateyyyy- I brush fr

PiratePanda Wed 23-Jul-14 20:43:44

Use an electric toothbrush for starters - it's much quicker and more efficient. And we offer DS a choice - either he does it himself while Mummy watches, or Mummy does it, which may involve forcing.

This one's a non-negotiable.

Parietal Wed 23-Jul-14 20:44:08

Front teeth. Also iPhone pirate teeth app plays silly music at the same time.

mrscog Wed 23-Jul-14 20:45:39

Just pin them down - sit on the floor, clamp their body and arms between your legs and hold their head still with one free hand, brush with the other. Teeth are non negotiable, and they won't do a good enough job on their own, even if they're not having treats.

Softlysoftlycatchymonkey Wed 23-Jul-14 20:48:38

At what age do you pin down ? My 14 month old would spontaneously combust! I don't want her to get scared.

She will have a chew on it but no real brushing.

SlicedAndDiced Wed 23-Jul-14 20:48:39

I've been doing it since she was six months old.

Thank god she took to it and now has a go herself after I've done them properly. Dd is 1.6 months.

But I think it does depend on the child, apparently my mum did the same and I HATED brushing my teeth. Still have to force myself ha ha.

fhdl34 Wed 23-Jul-14 20:51:49

We made up a teeth brushing song, I have added verses as she got more teeth so we can get up to the 2 minutes. Sometimes though if she is majorly objecting (usually when teething and mouth is sore) I do a shorter version but she never gets out of it, it's a non-negotiable here

HeyMicky Wed 23-Jul-14 20:52:12

We have a three-pronged approach. DD can chew her brush in the bath. Then mummy has a go with the electric brush where ideally DD sits nicely - we sing scales to distract and keep her mouth open. But any mucking about and I just pin her down and do them

headoverheels Wed 23-Jul-14 20:54:26

My DS2 went through a phase of clamping his mouth shut. It lasted a few months. Dentist says no harm done.

hazeyjane Wed 23-Jul-14 20:59:32

wrap in a towel, and get on with it.

We use one of these toothbrushes with ds, to make the time we are in there more effective.

when they are older use disclosing tablets, so that they can see what they have to brush off.

plaque build up will lead to cavities, so it is important to keep brushing.

Jeggie Wed 23-Jul-14 21:00:40

There's a ginger tom app on the iPhone or iPad that my lo loved at that age (also other fun stuff on you tube) and now it's a habit she doesn't resist much and we just try different games like counting to 5 while I brush, big roars, pretending I can see her breakfast, trying to keep it fun. if on the odd night it's too much with tiredness or general mood we don't bother. I don't want to force. so far we are doing ok and her teeth are in good nick. Fingers crossed ok. For real refusers who are older I understand you can get xylitol sweets etc that are v effective but I don't know much about it as haven't needs it.

capsium Wed 23-Jul-14 21:02:00

I used to make mine laugh and get the toothbrush in there quickly grin

didiimaginethis Wed 23-Jul-14 21:03:21

I have a tooth brushing song, sometimes this works, sometimes not.
Or I sing a really silly song so that DS laughs and I xan get the brush around, this is working.....so far.
If all else fails I pin him down and get it over with quick, it's a non-negotiable for me (DS is 2.7).

thisvelvetglove Wed 23-Jul-14 21:06:48

Sing 'this is the way we brush your teeth' or other random song. We recently adapted the hokey cokey to 'oh brushy brushy brushy' blush

Pretend to find bits of whatever they've eaten.

Brush teeth of multiple dolls/cuddly toys/trains/cars first.

Listen to the Tombliboos brushing their teeth song a lot. Every day.

If all above fails, pin em down and brush quick!

mrscog Wed 23-Jul-14 22:19:51

I pinned DS from about 12 months, he did cry and scream a lot, but to be honest that makes it much easier to brush than when he clamps down! This is the only thing I'm tough with, I'm normally a very soft Mummy.

17leftfeet Wed 23-Jul-14 22:26:14

I used to shout

Oh no there's an ostrich in your mouth, let me brush it out

Occasionally there would be a hippo or an elephant in there too

The pesky things used to run all over their mouths until I saw them off with the tooth brush!

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