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Help! My 19mo won't let me brush her teeth

(36 Posts)
Queazy Wed 22-Apr-15 20:18:34

It's driving me nuts. I've tried brushing 'with' her, all sorts of brushes, being calm and literally struggling with her. Nothing works. I'm worried her teeth are going to rot hmm Sorry, I know people have bigger stuff going on in this forum, but any advice or things that have worked for you would be gratefully received.

Thanks again

hazeyjane Wed 22-Apr-15 20:21:49

With ds we ended up wrapping him in a towel and just getting in and brushing. It just has to be done, and none of the other tricks and methods worked.

Variousrandomthings Wed 22-Apr-15 20:25:23

Pretend he's a dog at a grooming parlour. Make it fun

Queazy Wed 22-Apr-15 20:26:11

Towel is a good idea. I just can't beat the thought of it twice a day. You're right tho - it does need to just be done. I'm ashamed to say I've given in a number of times recently. I'd never leave the house without brushing my teeth - why should she?! confused Thank you!

Queazy Wed 22-Apr-15 20:27:02

I've honestly tried 'fun' but dd has almighty tantrums. Feel at a loss.

Variousrandomthings Wed 22-Apr-15 20:29:31

Do it just before something nice then? 'Yes teeth first, cebeebies/story after'

Variousrandomthings Wed 22-Apr-15 20:30:16

Don't you think forcing her will make the situation escalate?

IBelieveInPink Wed 22-Apr-15 20:31:40

My dd is also like this. We just get on with it. Make it quick, no messing around, then lots of praise etc etc.
She is slowly coming round, as she knows it will be over quickly so doesn't fuss as much, but that has taken time.
DH sometimes has success holding her up to the mirror so she can see herself, but I can't do this (7months preg) so just pin her to my lap!

victoire1208 Wed 22-Apr-15 20:32:44

It's infuriating. I swear i could hear the acid eating her enamel in the night. 9/10 I find it ties in with teething. Aren't canines due about now? I'm too much of a sap to do the towel thing but found she'd chomp on one of those rubber toothbrush things and reasoned it had to be better than nothing. A smear of colgate total on my finger is all we've managed on particularly bad nights though.

Bobian123 Wed 22-Apr-15 20:34:43

DS is the same-I dread teeth brushing time! Something that works (occasionally!!) is brushing his teeth on his changing mat instead of on my lap in the bathroom. No idea why-perhaps it's a change of scenery?!

Psipsina Wed 22-Apr-15 20:37:49

Hi there, been there and done that iykwim smile

I've finally learned with my third that when I am confident and try and make him laugh, he submits - though it is not always easy. Try and talk in a soothing voice, be as quick as possible, try a different toothpaste like strawberry or orange, use a very small amount of toothpaste as often they hate the mintyness of it - and be gentle around their new teeth, my 2.4yo is sore where his last molars are coming in so we leave those bits till last and I am gentle with them.

Do wrap their arms and hold tight but if they are really frightened, don't persevere - let them have their brush and hold it and try and do it themselves. Wait a week or a month maybe, and try again. Very gently.

Sympathy - I did find my son hated it a lot till he was 2-ish. Now we manage it nearly every night so hopefully not too much harm done. My advice is not to panic, but just keep trying and don't give up - they will submit one day.

newtonupontheheath Wed 22-Apr-15 20:38:02

Brushtime app has been successful here, although my two have gone off it lately.

Also we had a new mirror in the bathroom and they love standing on a step to look into it and makes lots of "soap"

I've also held them down. No biggie, it's over quick and it needs doing smile

Psipsina Wed 22-Apr-15 20:39:32

Oh also - more than having their teeth done, they seem to loathe their arms and legs being restrained but tbh this is the only way sometimes with ds3.

The dentist said to just put a bit of paste on your finger and get it in there somehow, if all else fails. Make sure it contains fluoride.

Psipsina Wed 22-Apr-15 20:41:33

sorry for another post but ds1 was really, really upset by it - so I stopped trying for a bit but the orange toothpaste worked for him. The dental nurse said don't force him. He ended up with a tiny bit of decay on about two teeth that burned itself out.

PannaDoll Wed 22-Apr-15 20:54:05

What works for me in the end was to declare 'time for Octonauts and tooth brushing' then sit her on my lap and clean her teeth while she was engrossed.

I used to wrestle with prior to that.

I only clean them of an evening though. Will progress to mornings as well now she's two.

gamerchick Wed 22-Apr-15 20:56:23

Brushing teeth is a must do job. They don't have a choice in the matter and nor should they be offered one!

Sit down with them in between your knees back facing you. One arm around and over chest holding the chin and the other holding the toothbrush. Pin, make goldfish face and brush. It's over and forgotten about quickly and pretty soon they realise they have no choice and cooperate.

I struggle to read there are parents who will let their kids teeth decay because they can't coax them into brushing.

Variousrandomthings Wed 22-Apr-15 21:04:23

I struggle with the parents who use force when there are so many other more nicer ways to get the job done

Queazy Wed 22-Apr-15 21:12:39

I've honestly tried so, so many nice routes but she went to bed 30min late where I tried everything I could think of. Now I feel guilty as I'd never hurt her, but she's asleep with dirty teeth. I'm going to buy another chewable toothbrush I think.

Thanks all - it's so useful to hear others experiences. I saw friends with kids similar age the other day, but was too embarrassed to ask in case people think I don't encourage brushing.

willbillycome Wed 22-Apr-15 21:22:13

We always have two toothbrushes, she has no choice in them being brushed or not but giving her control over what brush is used makes it easier.

Also she brushes them first, then I 'make sure' she didn't miss any. As I brush I keep up a dialogue of checking if she 'got that one'

Queazy Wed 22-Apr-15 21:36:02

I think at 18mo she's just too young to properly reason with or to brush them herself. I'm going to try bribing her with Peppa Pig in the morning.

StepfauxWife Wed 22-Apr-15 21:53:45

There's a good video on YouTube of Elmo brushing his teeth. We watch that while I wrap DD in a towel and get brushing. Then she rinses her brush under the tap and has a go herself while I go completely over the top showering her with praise.

Has taken a while to get to this stage, mind. We had to hold her down for a while before she relented. Good luck!

Kel2013 Wed 22-Apr-15 22:21:48

We went through this at 18 months also. DS is now 22 months and is getting better. Most nights we had to pin him down (sounds harsh..I know)but we knew he wasn't in pain so just got on with it. Now he is that bit older and communicates that little bit better we let him think he's in control by picking what toothbrush he wants to use (he has 3 to pick from) and where he wants to sit and get them done and we let him hold the toothpaste while brushing etc. It will get better, good luck!

hazeyjane Wed 22-Apr-15 22:23:48

Various if the 'nicer' ways don't work, then the teeth just have to be cleaned. I use the method shown to me by ds's dentist, he is nearly 5 now, and much happier to have his teeth cleaned.

Believe me, wrapping in a towel and brushing even if they don't want to, is far preferable to crumbling teeth, pain, general anaesthetic and dental surgery.

Highlove Wed 22-Apr-15 22:29:50

Oh I was going to come to ask this question exactly. Mine is a bit younger - 13mths - and already fighting morning and night. Any tips on dealing with a younger one? I try to let her have a go afterwards (I.e chew the brush a bit) but tonight she was so cross she threw the brush across the room little madam I've tried the chewable toothbrush but she insisted on chewing only the handle.confused

Queazy Thu 23-Apr-15 06:41:28

Thanks so much everyone - I'm so glad I asked, such useful ideas

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