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2 year old refusing to let us brush his teeth

(24 Posts)
Ardiente Mon 28-Apr-14 09:13:06

Our DS is a spirited child and likes to do things his way. Unfirtunately that includes brushing his teeth. He loves chomping on his toothbrush but will scream his head off if I try to help him (and do it properly). His dentist has told me off a few times. Any tips to encourage him to let it go?

gamerchick Mon 28-Apr-14 09:17:13

Sit down and stand him between your knees for pinage back to tummy. Put one elbow across his chest and pincer his chin with your hand. Tense and do goldfish with his mouth holding his head against your chest. Brush.

They give in eventually as they get used, as tooth brushing is a necessary evil.

heather1 Mon 28-Apr-14 09:18:53

Hmm it's tricky. Mine hated having their teeth brushed at that age. I'm afraid I resorted to pinning their arms to their side with my knees and having a quick brush. Better than going back to the dentist and needing fillings.

HandragsNGladbags Mon 28-Apr-14 09:22:19

I used to sit on DD1and pin her down and when she yelled put the brush in! DD2 will brush hers for hours while gazing adoringly at herself in the mirror.

As it's got to be done then it is the only thing I have used brute force for and karate chopping them into car seats

StainlessSteelCat Mon 28-Apr-14 09:22:48

Try taking it in turns, or letting him help you - my 2 year old likes feeling in control of it, and will let me brush if he puts his hand on to "help ". Brush yours at same time, so you let him do whatever, then ask if you can finish off his. Maybe return the favour, more turn taking ans brushing each others teeth. explain if you don't get to brush them then he won't get sweets, pudding, more Easter egg ... whatever works on him! Chewing the brush is trickier, I tried buying a plain (and cheap) toothbrush, then promising the one she really wanted if she didn't chew that one. Some sparkly kids toothpaste as well.

Basically try a mixture of every bribe and coercion you can think of grin and if that doesn't work make his diet as tooth friendly as possible, to limit the damage and reinforce the message. an endless supply if time and patience will also be invaluable, but I'm all out of suggestions on where to find that! good luck, persevere!

googietheegg Mon 28-Apr-14 09:25:56

Dd was the same until I took her to choose her own toothbrush, which she loves. Can still be a bit of a struggle, but I've found if I can give her something interesting in her hand to distract her (I keep a little bag of new things by the sink) I can give her teeth a good clean.

Ardiente Mon 28-Apr-14 10:15:46

Oh dear, I was hoping I wouldn't have to force him. I have tried bribes but that doesn't work :-( ah well, thanks Ladies. I will try your suggestions.

Meglet Mon 28-Apr-14 10:21:52

Pinning them down was the only way to do it here. Although I found that once their head was in place it was easier to do a gentle brush because they didn't wriggle so much. Teeth brushing and seat belts are the only rules I've managed to enforce really hmm.

lemonfolly Mon 28-Apr-14 10:27:08

I feel your pain! I load 2 toothbrushes with toothpaste, let her chose which one she wants, then we take it in turns, she's sucks and chews and I occasionally get a good brush in. Failing that I lay her on the floor and pin her down, generally the screaming means the mouth is open. I feel terrible doing it but its the only way sometimes. I'm going to start a sticker reward I think to see if that works too

Fckthis Mon 28-Apr-14 14:41:48

I am going to go against the pinning thing. DS went from loving his toothbrush as a small toddler to hating it around age 2. I just let it be, maybe five days went by without brushing, then went back to it with new toothbrush and letting him do it himself (he just would chew on the brush), then I asked him to brush mine and bit by bit (maybe six months) we are now back to him letting me do it. We were very disciplined regarding food though, no juices, no sweets, etc. and still are (sort of).

firstpost Mon 28-Apr-14 14:49:37

Not my idea but pinched from a recent thread on MN smile

Cavity dragons. They come in and try to make holes in your teeth. I can see them flying around the bathroom, your 2 year old probably can too smile

Literally solved our toothbrush issues overnight.

unintentionalthreadkiller Mon 28-Apr-14 15:37:36

We've got the aquafresh app, its incredibly annoying but has worked for us.

Mybellyisaneasteregg Wed 30-Apr-14 06:56:45

Have you looked on youtube for a toothbrushing song to distract him on your phone with?

Thurlow Wed 30-Apr-14 12:10:33

Another vote for the Aquafresh app. Thankfully after using it for about 4 months and driving ourself around the bend with the world's most annoying yet somehow catchiest song, she has worked out that it just needs to be done.

Now her language skills are a bit better we've gone down the "if you don't let us brush your teeth, you'll go to bed without a story" route. Most of the time she gives in, but once she didn't and got plonked into bed and the lights off with no cuddles and no story and screamed her head off. I went straight back in and asked if she was ready to have her teeth cleaned and unsurprisingly she was.

shellsocks Wed 30-Apr-14 16:07:38

We had this and did a sticker chart...unless he brushed his teeth properly he didn't get a sticker. It really worked and after a couple of weeks we don't need the chart anymore and he brushes really well smile

Our dentist said not to worry tho, didn't tell us off at all, she said as long as the brush is going in with the paste for a few seconds at this stage that is fine? It's a bit unrealistic of your dentist I think!

SueDNim Wed 30-Apr-14 16:11:42

Pin him down and do it. We had to do this with DD for a while, she is fine now.

mumteedum Wed 30-Apr-14 16:37:07

Ds is 2.5 and sometimes it's tricky. Stuff that helps.. Making up daft teeth brushing songs, letting him look in mirror, me brushing mine at same time, nice tasting toothpaste (don't like fluoride -hippy parents). But I am sometimes just no nonsense. Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Not easy I agree.

Jaffakake Wed 30-Apr-14 22:12:50

We found giving ds control by picking one of two toothbrushes and one of two types of toothpaste works well. It gives him enough feeling of control at the beginning of the process to be able to concede a little and let us brush at the end.

We also make it a non negotiable & have taken away story time or threatened no chocolate which has also helped make the point.

justabigdisco Wed 30-Apr-14 22:16:54

I have held my 2 year old down, once or twice. Now I say 'do you want to open, or shall mummy hold you down'. That normally does the job blush

ShoeWhore Wed 30-Apr-14 22:21:37

With one of them letting him have a go at brushing mine helped.

With the second singing "this is the way we brush our teeth" (to the tune of Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush) seemed to help too.

With the youngest pinning down worked grin

ThisFenceIsComfy Wed 30-Apr-14 22:23:45

Do you have a iPhone or android or tablet or something?

Put on a youtube clip of curious george/octonauts/whatever, distract them with that. I also use an electric toothbrush on my DS and that helped a lot.

Obviously it's not the most award winning parenting strategy but DS doesn't need the iPhone now, he will just stay still. It was just a crutch to get me through a phase

MrsKCastle Wed 30-Apr-14 22:24:18

A trick that really worked with both my two: being 'silly mummy'.


"Right, then it's nearly bedtime, time to brush your nose" (Get out toothbrush, aim for nose)
"What's that? Not your nose? Oh you're right, it's mummy's nose that needs brushing..."
(Pretend to do so with child's toothbrush)
"Hmmm... Still not right? No, we brush your knees, don'twe, let's get all that lovely toothpaste over your knees..."

Takes a lot of patience, especially at first, but would eventually end up with my reluctant- tooth-brusher stood in front of me, mouth open pointing to the bits that needed brushing!

If you can get it to work, it's a much more pleasant end to the day.

Bragadocia Wed 30-Apr-14 22:26:15

Have you tried with an electric? It made such a difference to DS when we tried DH's in desperation.

EugenesAxe Wed 30-Apr-14 22:28:35

I had one of these, now age 4 he's tolerant. You could get a chewing toothbrush up to age 3, otherwise I'd say don't fret too much about it. I did and it was shit... I had to clamp his head in my knees and hold his arms down to manage it.

We have some good flashy toothbrushes for the DCs now these ones - reasonably cheap. Some have blue flash and some red; it's like police tooth cleaning.

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