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AIBU to feel incredibly guilty and evil for brushing my child's teeth?

(52 Posts)
missuspritch Wed 17-Aug-16 19:44:08

So I'm not 100% up on all the acronyms you all use on here so please bare with me...

My daughter is 13months she has 7 teeth, I brush them twice a day as you do, but to be honest it's becoming quite a task, I have to pin her, her arms and legs down to brush her teeth, with her kicking and screaming and totally freaking out about it, and half the time I end up brushing her tounge that she pokes in the way. Basically i feel like it's quite a traumatic (overkill?) experience for her because of how upset she is getting? I literally hate doing it and feel guilty and awful afterwards while she hyperventilates trying to calm down.

Please forgive me she is my 1st and only child...

Even if you think I'm being silly, any advice or tips on how to brush her teeth in a more peaceful way would be great xx

pegomassive1 Wed 17-Aug-16 19:46:37

My dd is the same and she is 7mo she has 2 bottom teeth
I just do it let her scream it's more abusive IMHO to let her have rotten teeth! Afterwards offer lots of cuddles and distraction and she is over it in about 1 minute.
Have you tried brushing your teeth in front of her and then doing hers? So she can see its a normal thing? And then you can help her to do her own after you've gave them a once over?

Muskateersmummy Wed 17-Aug-16 19:47:31

I hated doing my dd's teeth and refused to pin her down and upset her. So we made it a game. I would play hunt the animals in her mouth, they are tricky blighters and run all over her mouth to get away. Good luck. It gets easier!

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 17-Aug-16 19:48:18

You're normal.

DS didn't have a bath for about a year because I couldn't handle the screaming.

Can you give her the toothbrush to 'play' with? Show her the quirky old AquaFresh advert. Stuff like that. Treat it as a game.

duskonthelawn Wed 17-Aug-16 19:48:45

My DD is 13mo, I started "teeth cleaning" before her first one came out but all I did was give her the brush to hold with toothpaste on. Once the first one came in I just said "let Mummy help you" and gave it a quick brush, then let her carry on sucking on it. Now she lets me clean all four of her teeth and isn't too fussed.

Nottalotta Wed 17-Aug-16 19:49:11

I posted a few weeks ago asking for tips on teeth brushing. I was told by most posters that I had to force the issue.

I haven't forced the issue, I've done some singing, and some laughing and some brushing my own teeth and ds (1) is noticeably better in a couple of weeks. I will carry on this way and hopefully he will carry on improving.

Iambubbles86 Wed 17-Aug-16 19:50:46

Dont worry. Most of us have been there. My boys are 6 and 3 and its not caused any long term problems holding them to do it, better that than the poor boy in ds1s class who had to have 5 teeth removed due to rotting (although I think fizzy drinks and sweets played a large part in that to). Eventually they relaxed and started letting us do it properly. Basically I'd explain whilst I was doing it that "I'm sorry but mummy's having to do it the mean way because you are struggling" eventually they got it

Fitzsimmons Wed 17-Aug-16 19:51:05

No advice as such but we went through the same thing with our son, had to hold him down to brush his teeth. It took a few months but he eventually got over it and one day just stopped fussing and let us get on with it.

HippyChickMama Wed 17-Aug-16 19:51:50

Show her clips on youtube of the Tombliboos from In The Night Garden cleaning their teeth and do the song with her while you brush hers? It worked with ds as a toddler.

Gatehouse77 Wed 17-Aug-16 19:54:11

All of mine had this phase. I persevered as, for me, teeth brushing was non negotiable. I would give them the toothbrush first with a smattering of toothpaste to 'play' with and then do it myself.

Also, mine had a treasure basket with a toothbrush in so it wasn't a specific activity.

SpinnakerInTheEther Wed 17-Aug-16 19:54:30

I absolutely understand. So many parents have to do this. We found a combination of lightly pinning and making our DC laugh worked. Some talk about wrapping, as in swaddling in towels. If there is a hilarious thing, singing or tickling utilise it!

Ffion3107 Wed 17-Aug-16 19:55:27

Our daughter, now 2 and a half used to be like this. It would sound like she was being abused to the next door neighbours I'm sure!!
Now I brush my teeth and let her do hers herself and go over them afterwards. She loves squeezing the toothpaste on the brush too. We brush our teeth straight after getting dressed every day, and once she gets in the bath every night. We sing a toothbrushing song before going too!
So, independency, routine and fun is what I suggest!

ElspethFlashman Wed 17-Aug-16 19:56:17

I kinda disagree with this, sorry. Firstly I don't think it's a particularly big deal till they're over 18 months/heading into 2. It's not as if their new teeth are going to fall out overnight.

Secondly all you're doing is creating conflict and upset. I mean, you're making her so distressed she's hyperventilating!

Leave it a few weeks or even months and then when she's entering the "monkey see, monkey do" phase in earnest as she becomes a toddler, start pretending to brush your teeth in front of her. And let her get interested. And maybe she can play with a toothbrush whilst you o it. And after a few days she might play with it in her mouth. Lots of praise! And gradually work up to brushing your teeth together as a game.

I really think that with kids that young, creating hugely negative associations is not wise at all.

TheReferoo Wed 17-Aug-16 19:56:38

To be honest it may be a case of nothing you can do but this. DS1 loved having his teeth brushed, would flap his arms in excitement to do it, whereas I had to take your approach with DS2 for TWO YEARS! Believe me there was nothing I didn't try but he hated it. I basically headlocked him to do it. Then one day he stopped being a pain about it - literally just like that and now is fine. Sadly you can't not brush their teeth!

SpinnakerInTheEther Wed 17-Aug-16 19:57:42

No negate associations if they are laughing! You have to find something that makes them laugh though!

Tralala33 Wed 17-Aug-16 20:00:37

There are loads of "brush your teeth songs" on YouTube, some are quite strange and wonderful. I put one on and my DS become transfixed long enough for me to brush his teeth.

SpinnakerInTheEther Wed 17-Aug-16 20:00:57

^negative. Typo.

ReallyTired Wed 17-Aug-16 20:01:24

Teeth brushing is essential unless you want your child to end up at the dental hospital having a tooth extraction. By all means try and make it game, but if brute force is the only to get teeth brushing done the so be it. Tickling a small child is one way to get them to open their mouth.

Baby teeth do matter because good baby teeth set your child up for a lifetime of good dental health.

missuspritch Wed 17-Aug-16 20:01:37

Thank you all xxx im gunna try some of these ideas to make it easier and in glad it gets easier as she gets older. It's one of those cruel to be kind and I guess I've been spoilt in the fact that she seems pretty easy going with everything else.

I'm loving the toothbrush in a teasure basket idea too, she had a treasure basket with other things in like sunglasses (because she's constantly taking mine off my face!!!) think I'll add one in there too smile so glad it's not just me though grin xx

Crunchymum Wed 17-Aug-16 20:03:38

To me it's a necessary evil.

We've tried everything with DC2 to no avail so brute force it is (well pinning her arms down and going for it. Not roughing her up!!)

crayfish Wed 17-Aug-16 20:04:22

I'm totally in the same boat, DS is also 13 months and acts like I am trying to torture him every time I brush his teeth! Me and DH even alternate who does it so that he hates us both equally. He screams his head off for the whole time and clamps his mouth shut, so I basically have to pin his arms down and use the brush to prise open his mouth. It's awful.

I can only hope he grows out of it. I've got good teeth (36 and never had a filling) and I really want him to be the same so I figure we just have to persevere.

amysmummy12345 Wed 17-Aug-16 20:05:01

We listenened to a lot of Elmo singing with Bruno mars lolol we also count teeth as we're brushing to make sure they're all still there,my DD brushes mine sometimes them we swap smile

crayfish Wed 17-Aug-16 20:05:09

Oh and DS now starts screaming as soon as we go in the bathroom!

TheReferoo Wed 17-Aug-16 20:05:24

As bad as this sounds, sometimes it's easier if they cry because at least they open their mouths!

FrancesHaHa Wed 17-Aug-16 20:05:50

We tried our best with games/distraction/cleaning teddys teeth/ cleaning teeth together etc, and throughout getting to the back teeth was a nightmare. At her first dentist apt she had to have a filling, and we were told had a couple of other potential fillings to come.

To clarify, at that age she would very rarely drink juice, or have sweets, and had never tried fizzy drinks etc. however, she did eat lots of fruit, dried fruit and fruit roll ups.

She's now older and better with it, so those potential fillings have never emerged.
I would really keep at it, and if you aren't managing to get to all the teeth look at anything in her diet which might affect her teeth (we seriously cut back on the dried fruit and fruit roll ups after first dentist trip)

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