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Cleaning 18 Month olds teeth- no one told me this would be so hard!

(15 Posts)
dickiedoodah Wed 19-Feb-14 17:31:10

Hello! I can't believe how much of a battle it is and am desperate for tips/ways to make it fun?! Just using basic kids toothbrush and baby toothpaste. When DH is at home we can do it as a team but alone it's impossible. Wondering if electric toothbrush is the way to go since she sees us using them and appears to be more fun. I normally try and sing a song while I'm doing it or distract her by looking at things out the window. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me?

clangermum Wed 19-Feb-14 17:37:49

chewy toothbrush? Amazon sells them, worked for us

muppetthecow Wed 19-Feb-14 17:41:33

DS1 was like that - we gave him a toothbrush to play with and he gradually came to see it as less threatening, more fun.

He'd brush his teeth six times a day now if we let him! It will get better smile

dickiedoodah Wed 19-Feb-14 17:52:20

Ok, thanks for the replies. Will give the chewy toothbrush a try. I suppose she might just be going through a phase of hating having her teeth brush, at least that's what I'm going to tell myself!!

heather1 Wed 19-Feb-14 17:56:08

I agree it's awful. In the end I used to pin Ds between my legs, or hold him with arms restrained and get on with it as quick as possible. Then let them have a go after with the brush.

MoreSnowPlease Wed 19-Feb-14 17:56:21

Ds hates us doing it but will do it himself, I just let him do that, they don't get done properly but i think its more about the routine at this age...or at least that's what the dentist told me....I do a good brush every 2 or 3 days but no way I'm going through the fight twice a day!

HearMyRoar Wed 19-Feb-14 20:03:18

Yes, it is really hard. We find counting really helps. We do 20 animals of her choice. We can slow it down or speed it up depending on her mood. I think the counting works well as it gives her something to focus on and an indication of when it will be finished. I also think counting has a nice rhythm to it, it has always been good for calming her.

Auntierosemary Wed 19-Feb-14 20:20:27

I actually had a breakthrough with this very problem tonight with my 15-month-old. She has totally refused to have her teeth brushed up until today, we have tried everything - chewy toothbrush, letting her chew her brush herself, light-up brush, strawberry flavoured toothpaste, toothpaste on finger, rubber thimble toothbrush etc etc

Finally, tonight I gave her my toothbrush and let her brush my teeth while I brushed hers. She co operated for probably ooh 30 seconds. Most chuffed, though there's no saying what will happen tomorrow...

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 19-Feb-14 20:25:29

Straddle him and pin his arms to his side with knees. Fish-hook him and quickly do a thorough job once a day. He does it the other time.

He's getting better now.

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Wed 19-Feb-14 21:23:45

DD would let us brush her teeth in the bath in the evenings, mornings was always more of a clamp her between my knees and struggle. Eventually she just seemed to submit to the idea that it was gonna happen no matter what and she stopped putting up such a fight! So like everything with time it does get easier grin In moments of desperation I used to put toothpaste on my finger and get it in her mouth and round her teeth as best I could, probably a waste of time but made me feel better!

MrsKCastle Wed 19-Feb-14 21:32:46

Silliness worked with my DD.

<Mock stern voice>
Right then, DD, stop crying so that I can brush your nose.
<Pretend to do so>
Hang on, that's not right... No, I need to brush your toes let me see them.
No? Oh ok, where do I brush? Hmm, must be your forehead...
<Continue until child stops crying to laugh at silly Mummy>

I also had some success with pretending to put different things on her toothbrush- custard, ketchup, gravy etc. Eventually she'd be shouting at me to put toothpaste on.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 19-Feb-14 21:34:16

My just turned 2yo actually pretends to be asleep to avoid bedtime tooth brushing hmm

SearchingforSleep Wed 19-Feb-14 21:47:39

A tip from a friend - we go through the last meal/ snacks eaten while brushing. "Let's get all those peas out of your teeth! What's this? Looks like there are some fish fingers hiding at the back! Ooh, I've just found some yoghurt!" etc etc My daughter inspects the toothbrush at intervals during the brushing and is totally triumphant if she finds a morsel of food on the brush. grin
She is 28 months now and it does get so much easier as time goes on...

dickiedoodah Thu 20-Feb-14 01:37:32

Some excellent tips here, am going to let her do mine while I do hers! I think I just need to try and lighten up a bit when I'm doing it, it's just become such a chore! Counting is a good idea also.

Deliaskis Thu 20-Feb-14 11:32:06

As per MrsCastle and Searching , anything that would make her laugh, so making a game out of it, in fact both the games they have described!

Also, ask her to lie on the floor somewhere not usually linked with teeth cleaning, then go behind her head and look at her upside down, pull funny face until she laughs, then clean teeth while continuing funny faces.

She's just 3 now and I would say for the last year it's just been routine, no resistance really, but 12-24 months required effort and manic entertainment.


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