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15 month DS won't let us brush his teeth - tips please!

(20 Posts)
gobblygook Wed 14-Mar-12 20:14:04

He quite likes holding the toothbrush himself but obviously he's not going to do a very thorough job of brushing! He's only just got a lot of his upper teeth, but I still want to brush them well. Any tips? He clamps his mouth shut, moves his head away - totally resists!

oldmum42 Wed 14-Mar-12 20:23:51

I have a 16mo, I lay him on his changing table, with toothbrush ready, then open my mouth really wide..... it seems to make him open his! It's easier to see and brush the teeth while they are lying flat and they can't move their head back either.

blackoutthesun Wed 14-Mar-12 20:24:55

let him hold one brush, you use another? works with my dd

thing1andthing2 Wed 14-Mar-12 20:27:31

We started using DH's electric toothbrush with a (spare) soft head. DD thought it was so exciting she got really into having her teeth brushed. Although on bad days I just resorted to a headlock, and waiting for her to scream, then I'd pop the toothbrush in grin

FoxyRevenger Wed 14-Mar-12 20:39:33

Brute force, nothing else works!!!

BobbieSox Wed 14-Mar-12 20:40:30

Cant remember when we started this but on advice from another thread we would say, "look, there's a carrot! and a rice cake!(whatever had been eaten that day). Lets get it!" Making it into a game was the only way to get cooperation.

Your DS may not get this yet...but he might, worth a go!

ahhhhhpushit Wed 14-Mar-12 20:54:57

Ashamed to say we simply have to pin him down and do it quickly. He gets very distressed but he'd be more distressed having a tooth extracted.

We tried all sorts but nothing worked, he'd just run away, clamp his mouth shut, cover his teeth with his tongue, scream etc. So for now, it's a matter of getting it over with as quickly as possible. Quick scrub of the top, quick scrub of the bottom, dummy straight in to placate.

I have just bought a book and a dvd about tooth brushing for him though so might introduce these soon.

He is 16m and has 11 teeth so far.

gobblygook Wed 14-Mar-12 21:03:16

I have tried to be forceful but DH is adamant that isn't the way to go - that DS will have bad associations with brushing etc. I'm not sure I agree, but hey ho. I do worry that we won't get to brush them properly and the fall out will be worse. Thanks, will try other suggestions first.

Yogurtmonster Wed 14-Mar-12 21:13:55

Try finding animals or favourite things in his teeth. I know it sounds odd but it was a tip I got on here and it works brilliantly. Look really puzzled and then say 'oh look! There's a lion in your teeth! We've got to chase him out!' and start roaring. We find diggers in his teeth sometimes, or a lorry, or sometimes a giraffe! grin

headfairy Wed 14-Mar-12 21:18:45

I've had to use quite a bit of brute force with dd, and at 2.2 she's just starting to get in to doing them herself without a fight, so no lasting damage here...

One thing that's currently working for us is to get her to copy me. We both have a toothbrush and sit opposite each other, and quite slowly I get her to copy my every move. It's a bit like a game of Simon says.

PieMistress Wed 14-Mar-12 21:45:17

DS is 2.3 and we still have problems. Tickling him sort of works but can't get to the back of his teeth. What sort of works is having him clean his toy's teeth then he (if i'm lucky) lets me brush his! I tried the electric toothbrush (Spiderman) but he just burst into tears when I turned it on! Now trying the double toothbrush approach, he chews on one whilst I try and navigate the other one in!

Some great suggestions here though, going to try the looking for things in his teeth!!

ahhhhh what was the book you bought?

ahhhhhpushit Wed 14-Mar-12 22:48:09

I think it is called "Max and Millie Brush Their Teeth"

Something like that!

Sparklyboots Wed 14-Mar-12 23:05:02

We are trying to do the peaceful route with 14mo DS. He has a whole gobful of teeth; just 4 molars to go! <weeps> We don't brush in a wholly conventional sense, but he's happy to let me smear toothpaste on his teeth with my finger. Sometimes I have to wave the finger with toothpaste on it a few times before we get a green light - I sort of suggest it by showing him the finger (ahahaha) and he invariably shakes his head the first time, so I just go back to cleaning my own teeth (every toothcleaning sesh is started by me starting my teeth) and every so often show him the finger and he eventually lets me pop it in. Then I offer him his toothbrush, though more often than not he takes mine off me. He has a go at his, and I 'ask' by waving whichever toothbrush I have at his mouth, he usually relents and lets me do a bit of brushing. I also do a thing of 'asking' him to do mine, by opening my mouth hopefully when he's got my toothbrush, and putting my mouth where the toothbrush. He especially likes this, and will usually let me do his a bit while he jabs his toothbrush round my mouth. If DP is around, it's a three way game, and of course we are all especially pleased to have a go of each others'.

The whole thing is purposely relaxed, and I feign indifference when he shakes his head with whatever stage we are at and just go back to cleaning my own teeth and intermittently trying to have a go at his. This feigning, by the way, takes every once of will I have as am obvs extremely concerned about his teeth. I try to handle it in the same way that you might handle a fussy eater, hoping that he'll just take his lead from us - he does open his mouth speculatively for a turn when he sees me floss, which I am v. pleased about. It does seem to be working but in the beginning there were days where a toothbrush didn't really get near his teeth. I figured we had a bit of leeway before the rot set in <hopeful emoticon> and wanted him to feel like cleaning his teeth was something he wanted to do as part of being a big boy, the way he wants to feed himself and put his own clothes on. My teeth are dreadful and some of my earliest memories are of 'rebelling' by pretending to have cleaned my teeth when I hadn't, so I didn't want to set up cleaning his teeth as a chore which I make him do and a matter of obeying or disobeying me, IYSWIM.

Sparklyboots Wed 14-Mar-12 23:06:24

Forgot to say, we do ours in the bath.

matana Thu 15-Mar-12 11:48:51

I feel your pain OP. Currently DS seems to have a mouthful of teeth coming through all at once so getting anywhere near his mouth is impossible a challenge. You would think i was murdering him.

I now go on the theory that providing his teeth meet with some toothpaste once a day then that's good enough. When he's had all his teeth through i'll persevere more, but i can't stand making him so wound up just before bed.

XxCHARLEYxX Mon 04-Mar-13 11:05:52

my son hated having his teeth brushed and there was nothing i thought i could do untill he got over his fear untill his nan bought an electric toothbrush from the pound shop for 5 year olds. i first thought "oh he cant use that" but as soon as i turned it on he took it off me and brushed his teeth as he likes the buzzing. now its a fight to get it off him smile

hazeyjane Mon 04-Mar-13 13:16:35

With ds I wrap him in a towel and get on with it. For a long time I thought dd1(6) was doing hers well, but it turns out she has reflux, and it has caused decay in 2 of her teeth, which now have to be taken out under general anaesthetic. At the moment she is using disclosing tablets, so that we can check she is doing them properly. Honestly I think just making sure they are brushed properly is the most important thing.

Littleorangetree Thu 07-Mar-13 13:12:05

My DS used to be like this too. In the end I really just had to do what hazeyjane did and wrap him in a towel, ignore the screaming and just do it! We worked on the principle that as long as he had one decent scrub a day then it was ok.

He's 4 now and doesn't mind brushing his teeth, so he's not ended up having any negative issues with teeth brushing. He has an electric toothbrush now which he uses first then I give his teeth a going over when he's done 'just to check'.

This too shall pass and all that grin

smearedinfood Thu 07-Mar-13 13:17:28

We used to brush teddies teeth before that and DS would say "no, my toothbrush" grab it and brush his own teeth furiously. It worked for a while.

Now we put on his favourite cbeebies program on iplayer and then we turn it off and say "brush your teeth if you want to watch the rest of it" - it's the only way.

There's also a book called 'The boy who hated toothbrushes' which improves things for a couple of days.

Anothercuppatea Thu 07-Mar-13 13:17:49

We use this, which they love. Put a bit of toothpaste on and they pretty much do it themselves. You can also have a go with normal toothbrush, so they get the hang of it. But using this aswell reassures you that their teeth will get a pretty good clean. My 2 both chewed on it for a few minutes at nightime.

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