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Tooth-brushing by brute force

(51 Posts)
mowmylawn Fri 07-Mar-14 21:12:11

Someone else please tell me they had to pin down their kid to brush their teeth and that their child did not wind up in therapy because of it. Our DD (22 months) clamps her mouth shut at brushing time, and if she so much as sees the toothbrush she starts crying (this was before we decided drastic action was needed).

We did the finger brushing when she was little, then moved to a chewable brush and all she did was suck the toothpaste off of it and hand it back to us. We've tried every trick in every post in every thread in every forum and nothing is working, so we're going to have to pin her down and force it on her. My dentist said this is what he does with his kids which made me feel slightly (?) better about it.

Anyone else been there/done that please tell me everything turned out OK with no dental phobias!

Cies Fri 07-Mar-14 21:28:31

Yup, have done that on occasion. And ds is now 4 and happily brushes, although not well enough to leave him to his own devices.

stargirl1701 Fri 07-Mar-14 21:29:29

Yes. DD is 18 months and we do this when needed. Non- negotiable on this one!

ToddleWaddle Fri 07-Mar-14 21:33:31

Done with mine as well. Far worse to hold them down for a GA for tooth extractions.
Mine quite happily brush now.

Newsofaarrived Fri 07-Mar-14 21:36:23

We use the aqua fresh brush time app now and it's transformed ds teeth brushing.

olivo Fri 07-Mar-14 21:38:45

Have done the pinning down for both of mine, who now happily do their own and don't mind the dentist. I recommend the brush time app though, a. Great distraction!

WoweeZowee Fri 07-Mar-14 21:41:51

Yep. Have to do it sometimes due to total non-compliance but don't really like to! Three things that have reduced the frequency of doing it like that with DS (24mo) are - using a (battery operated) child's electric toothbrush. It's got Spiderman on it and it's far more exciting to use (and quicker). This has made it much less like wrestlemania all round. Also, brushing well before bed: With us the clamping often goes hand in hand with tiredness. And distraction - tooth brushing while he's engrossed in something else sometimes works (if he stands still long enough). Good luck!

glub Fri 07-Mar-14 21:58:02

we did this too. dd and ds got to learn that tooth brushing could happen the easy way or the hard way, but that it was always going to happen!
if it had to be the hard way i'd usually ask half way through brushing if they wanted to switch to the easy way, i.e. with them standing still and co-operating.
one is now very good at tooth brushing and will even remember when i forget, the other is ok but is easily distracted. dentist not a problem for either.

Jaffakake Fri 07-Mar-14 22:11:03

Yep, I've done it too. He even bit his lip once & bled. I hated it every time. We've tried everything & tbh no story & straight to bed instead had the most impact. I don't like ending the day like that, but it did work.

TwelveLeggedWalk Fri 07-Mar-14 22:15:22

We did, briefly, but only had to do it for a tiny bit. We started doing teeth in the bath, which they love, and if they didn't comply they got unceremoniously hoiked out of hte bath, wrapped restrained in a towel, teeth brushed.
Pretty quickly they became happy to have us help them brush their teeth in the bath. Then we bought a step-seat thing so they can do teeth up at the sink like mummy and daddy, some character toothbrushes, and they are mostly happy to let us do it, then finish off themselves now. Definitely worth the fight in my book.

atthestrokeoftwelve Fri 07-Mar-14 22:19:22

No and I have had a refuser. We just need to be a bit more creative in our approach. I do agree that toothbrushing is essential but I wouln't do it be force.

McPheezingMyButtOff Fri 07-Mar-14 22:21:17

A friend did this with her daughter whilst I was there. She got so upset, she went blue and floppy. Never been so scared sad

sparkle101 Fri 07-Mar-14 22:29:59

We had to do this with dd and then one day she just decided to help. A couple of ideas from the ladies on here were; to get them to do a big cheesy grin to show their teeth and be so impressed and feign blinding from the brightness! Also let them brush your teeth before you do theirs. To have a "cheese off" who can do the biggest cheesiest grin.

It does get better, I don't know what changed but it did and she's a dream to do her teeth now.

LongTailedTit Fri 07-Mar-14 22:31:49

Bedtime tooth brushing is done by 'force', ie DS on my lap, head held, then I brush his teeth with varying degrees of cooperation. Sometimes it's a battle, sometimes he's happy to gape, sometimes he brushes them himself and I do a once over after. The last month it's mainly been a battle.

Morning brushings I still see as optional (nearly 3) and are at his request, so he'll sometimes join me and do his himself while I do mine. He loves to stand on the step and 'spit' into the sink after, but I have no idea why he's resistant in the evenings. We need to change up his routine and see if that helps.

mowmylawn Fri 07-Mar-14 22:36:52

I am clearly reading the wrong threads, as I have never heard of a brush time app before - must check this out. Jaffa she made her lip bleed tonight and I felt dreadful, but then I think about how much worse it would be if she was in the dentist's chair getting work done.

You know the Friends episode where Chandler can't smile - where he sees a camera and his face goes all absurd? That's what it's like when DD sees a toothbrush - she can be happy as Larry and as soon as she sees that brush it's like her face starts to melt.

minibmw2010 Sat 08-Mar-14 08:11:56

We have had to do this, I hate it as he gets so distressed but if it has to happen then it does. I just downloaded that app, it looks like there should be sound but mine is quiet? Any ideas ??

olivo Sat 08-Mar-14 08:37:54

Ours sometimes goes quiet, just come out of it and go back in. You'll soon be wishing it was silent again.....wink

Willdoitinaminute Sat 08-Mar-14 14:01:49

You can get a toothbrush that fits on your finger like a finer puppet. Much easier to use on a refuser than toothbrush and brilliant with babies.

Willdoitinaminute Sat 08-Mar-14 14:02:03


Nordicmom Sat 08-Mar-14 14:08:20

I've done this with both kids ds9 y and dd 22m when they were little . Now both have now problem ! Don't worry . Washing teeth is something they'll have to do its very mportant and the sooner you get used to it the better . They won't be traumatised smile.

Nordicmom Sat 08-Mar-14 14:12:52

I've also resorted into having dd lie down on the changing table and tickled her and then gotten there quickly with the brush but not done it for too long and then given her the brush . She likes to do it herself but I say I need to first to do it properly .then lots of praise . I tried not to make it a big issue but something we never the less do twice a day whether she's in the mood or not . Now she asks for it smile

indigenoustothesofa Sat 08-Mar-14 18:31:21

Yep! Definitely done this a couple of times. One such time was during an overnight stay at the PILs' house, and the consequent crying and screeching from ds resulted in MIL running in screaming at us to "Stop torturing him!!!" because he was going to end up "mentally scarred!!!" I told her pretty sharply to never accuse me of torturing my child again. And thus began the deterioration of our relationship.

Anyway, my point is, it's better than your dc ending up unhappy with their teeth due to their parents failing to enforce proper dental care as is the case with my DH.

ghostinthecanvas Sat 08-Mar-14 18:35:57

Browse amazon. They have loads of different timers and devices to encourage toothbrushing.

ghostinthecanvas Sat 08-Mar-14 18:37:57

Mcpheezing I used to babysit a child that would hold his breath when tantrumming. It is scary.

indigenoustothesofa Sat 08-Mar-14 18:40:43

Have to say, though, that if ds had actually sounded as though he was being 'tortured' then I would have stopped... before anyone gets the wrong idea!

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