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Any tips for toddler tooth brushing please - at my wits end.

(29 Posts)
BambinoBoo Thu 16-Jun-11 08:30:23

This has probably been done to death, sorry! How do you get a 2.5 year old to brush their teeth or let you brush them? DS clamps down on the toothbrush as soon as you put it near him so I can barely get a go on the front teeth, never mind the back.

We've tried all brushing together so he can copy (he just brushes his lips), light up brushes, electric cartoony ones, him holding a brush whilst I brush his teeth, strawberry toothpaste, games and songs, brushing in the bath, brushing in front of favourite TV programme (recommended by dentist as last resort). We end up having to hold his hands so he can't push the brush away which makes him squeal but at least we can get the brush in - obviously, we hate doing this. I don't want him to see this as something to fear, but equally, I am worried that his teeth will be ruined if he will never let us get to them.

Any advice gratefully received. Many thanks.

FrumpyPumpy Thu 16-Jun-11 08:32:45

Ds brushes my teeth and I do his, and also ask him to roar like a lion while I do it. Not foolproof but getting better...

Good luck

RickGhastley Thu 16-Jun-11 08:33:06

We got DS a toothbrush from Tesco that lights up for a minute and told him we have to brush for that minute. He seemed to accept that!

Also did him a sticker chart, he got a sticker each time his teeth were brushed and after x number of stikers he could chose a present (we had a few bits wrapped up in a bag).

BambinoBoo Thu 16-Jun-11 08:47:21

Tricky meant to add that we've also tried the roar. grin I will try again though and let DS brush my teeth as that sounds fun.

Rick I will also try the sticker chart. This sounds awful, but DS is starting to get the whole bribing bargaining thing so he might quite enjoy that.

BambinoBoo Thu 16-Jun-11 08:47:44

Many thanks both!!! Sorry, forgot to say.

beanandspud Thu 16-Jun-11 22:14:05

We found a few story books with pictures of people with bad teeth - there is an Usborne version of the "Old Woman who lived in a Shoe" with a giant in it that worked well.

At story time we talked about the giant with bad teeth and how he couldn't have been cleaning them properly. Funnily enough it worked and he started letting us clean his teeth so that he didn't look like the giant. "Topsy and Tim go to the dentist" was another good one for talking about teeth and cleaning etc.

Other nights we count teeth as we brush or try to brush things off each tooth ("... Now let's brush off the pasta... And the weetabix...")

AlsoAvailableSober Thu 16-Jun-11 22:16:26

Topsy and Tim is quite good, but I always think WTF about the pink disclosing tablets grin

I threaten DD2 that mummy will clean her teeth if she doesn't. It's not pretty, but is now enough of a threat that she always does her own

Meglet Thu 16-Jun-11 22:17:43

Pin them down, then do it quickly and gently. Nothing else worked for mine. 4yo DS is better now buy 2yo DD has to be held pretty tight for teeth brushing.

I don't have any fillings so I'm a tab obsessive about dental hygiene. They even ask to have their teeth flossed blush.

FairyArmadillo Thu 16-Jun-11 22:19:20

Bribery. Brush his teeth when he has his bath. If he co-operates we get to blow bubbles.

Meglet Thu 16-Jun-11 22:19:20

oooo, I forgot I bought disclosing tablets last month (the dc's haven't used them yet). They are blue these days sad. They were pink when I was little.

notnowbernard Thu 16-Jun-11 22:19:37

it was often a 2-person job with dd2

we had to restrain her most of the time (nothing, i mean nothing) worked

you have to pick your battles but this was one we had to win

alphamummy Thu 16-Jun-11 22:20:02

We do sharks in this house. As in "come on now shark show me your big scary teeth." then prentending to be very afraid. smile

Do you have regular dentist check ups?

My local surestart has some tooth info, with a big set of fake teeth to clean and free tooth brushes, worth a try to contact them?

koekje Fri 17-Jun-11 21:06:12

I tell DD some terrifying stories about how all her teeth will fall out and then she won't be able to eat chips (or whatever the current fave food is) EVER again. And worse, she would have to sit there and watch Mummy and Daddy eat it all in front of her.

She gets to watch Mickey Mouse on the iPhone during teeth-brushing and as soon as the brushing noise slows, my hand goes in front of the screen. I usually have to finish off for her though.

bessie26 Sun 19-Jun-11 02:52:17

DD1 went through s stage of not letting us brush her teeth, but we discovered that her favourite teddy was allowed to brush them!

These days she brushes them & I "finish them off"

Trouble100 Tue 21-Jun-11 01:57:30

With DS (slightly younger at 17 months) I make the toothbrush 'talk' ie silly voice saying 'I want to brush your teeth'. Usually makes him giggle and he lets me do it. Then lots of praise. If this fails....I pin him down and do it anyway.

The resistance has lessened a lot over time (he got teeth v. young so we have been brushing for a while) as he realises it gets done either way but there's a nice and a nasty way to do it.

mssjk Tue 21-Jun-11 09:32:24

we always brush after dinner (haven't introduced morning tooth-brushing yet, is that bad? blush) and I tell DS to open his mouth really wide so I can see what he's had for dinner, then rhyme off what he ate saying I can see it going down into his tummy. Weird, but true!!!

EightiesChick Tue 21-Jun-11 09:38:00

We do dinosaur roars for the opening mouth here. DS is also mad about pirates so I keep saying that to be a pirate you need to have nice clean teeth to eat all the ship's biscuits [Pinocchio nose emoticon]

kw13 Wed 22-Jun-11 12:21:57

I took my DS to the dentist so that the dentist could impress him with how important it was and how to do it. DS very impressed with a professional!

MamaLaMoo Wed 22-Jun-11 12:34:37

We visit the mummy (or daddy) dentist which involves adopting a serious dentist voice, lying toddler back on a lap like being in a dentist chair (not all the way back mind) and asking questions about whether she has eaten anything with sugar in or brushed her teeth, then have a quick check of the teeth with much hmmming and hawing and then doing the brushing. She gets to spit in a special cup. The dentist always finds she has very strong and clean teeth at the end. She has actually been to the dentist once as her teeth all came in v early.

Also found doing spit races works, one of us brushes teeth at the same time and the first to get a mouth full of foamy bubbles and spit them out wins. One day she saw some food come out in the spit and finds this fascinating so sometimes we spit and look for little bits of food.

Just like a lot of others mention here, playing a game, lion teeth or whatever, or doing some daft role play gets it done. If all else fails the dire consequences of letting bits of food go mouldy in between your teeth is spelled out.

notasausage Wed 22-Jun-11 20:05:43

A sticker chart had the best effect for us and we didn't ever get to a present - DD just liked getting a sticker! Also had some success with a teddy of her choice doing the brushing. Now use bribery and counting to 5 - usually works but have had to follow through on it a few times and then it works better the next time. We did pinning her down but I refused to put 2 adults against 1 toddler as it didn't seem right and she got too strong for me to hold without feeling like I would hurt her.

BitzerMaloneNotSkinnyOrBoney Wed 22-Jun-11 20:38:19

Dd likes it if I make a big deal of brushing off all the food that she's had in the day e.g 'oh goodness- is that a bit of chicken there? ... I think I can see some yoghurt hiding at the back' etc.

KorrallKrabba Wed 22-Jun-11 20:48:20

This is a bit bonkers, but really works with my 3yo DD, who has always been uncooperative on teeth cleaning.

We split the mouth up into six zones - upper/lower, front and molars and they are each a separate 'family' of teeth, so we have the 'Pearlies', who live above the 'Whites', the 'Sharps', the 'Fangs' etc and each one gets a good clean, we can't leave anyone out, if necessary using a little back story about mummy and daddy Fang. DD now gets very excited at teeth-cleaning time. I never thought it would happen.

doozle Wed 22-Jun-11 20:51:21

We had the Dora book about the dentist and that helped a lot.

kalo12 Wed 22-Jun-11 20:53:46

head lock

BitzerMaloneNotSkinnyOrBoney Wed 22-Jun-11 21:23:07

I like the tooth familly idea- may have to borrow that one if current strategy begin to wane!

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