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Brushing teeth of 18 month old. Advice needed plz

(19 Posts)
mum24uk Sun 02-Aug-09 20:46:12

can anyone give me advice on how to best brush teeth of an 18 month old? I give her a toothbrush with toothpaste on and she's happy to nore on it with her front teeth, but when i try to do her back moulers i have to hold her down to do it, which ends in a crying match. Any advice?

suzieavery Sun 02-Aug-09 20:51:36

i have a 20 month old son and we go through pretty much the same situation. i let him brush my teeth and sometimes he will allow me to brush his... but generally i end up wrapping him in a towel so his arms are down and then i brush his teeth, which does result in screams.
afterwards i quickly think of something to distract him so the tears stop.
it is a tricky one... good luck.

Paolosgirl Sun 02-Aug-09 20:55:09

Wish I could help, but my 2.5 year old is the same. Every morning and night is a battle, while I pin him down and try to get him to open his mouth. I've tried letting him 'clean' his own teeth, and have tried giving him a brush while I go at him with another brush, but it's still a no-go. Good luck - maybe someone else will have the answer.

spula Sun 02-Aug-09 20:56:48

Always a battle but getting them to do 'aahhhh' and 'eeeeeeeee' sounds (you have to do it and look stupid too!) really helps and my 3 year old still does it to perfection! Bit worried about her first sleepover though...grin

norktasticninja Sun 02-Aug-09 20:57:23

I never had any luck with DD and her teeth, DP took it over and has got her totally sorted. I'll ask him to tell you what he did, here he is...

I had the same. Then did a swapping trick for a while, where I would start brushing my teeth as well and then she was allowed to brush my teeth if I was allowed to do hers. Then reduced the time that we were doing that slowly: first week we only did that, second week first by herslef than together, after that only a very short time, and now not at all. Meanwhile she diddn't do her teeth properly, only front teeth as well. But after she wassn't allowed anymore to do mine she seemed bored and started doing it very enthousisticly, with spastic head movevemet etc ;). Since then I only have to turn the brus the correct way and point to the cheek she has to brus.

DD is 20 months now but she was 18 months when DS was born and DP started doing her bedtimes.

HensMum Sun 02-Aug-09 20:59:38

A tip I picked up from someone on here was pretend to see people/things in your DC's mouth. It's working with DS at the moment if I use the trains from Thomas.
"oooh, is that Percy right at the back there? Open up wide so I can tickle Percy with the brush!" Then I ask him who's on the other side and he'll tell me another engine and I'll "tickle" them.

New toothbrushes generally mean a renewed interest in toothbrushing too so we get through quite a lot!

norktasticninja Sun 02-Aug-09 21:01:13

Sorry, meant to say that I think that if brushing her teeth ends up being something she enjoys doing and has a good feeling about then the occasional bad brushing doesn't matter too much (until shes got her adult teeth).

norktasticninja Sun 02-Aug-09 21:04:43

Oh, and I should have mentioned that English isn't DPs first language or proof read his post hence strange style. Apologies.

bethdivine Sun 02-Aug-09 21:18:40

We've had the same with DS (2.5). DH had more success than me but we've tried loads of different things you've probably been through:

take them shopping to choose their own toothbrush (boots had some with a head that clips over the brush when finished - pink cat or yellow elephant I think - DS had both at one point!) and make it clear that you're buying one brush for them and the other brush for yourself to clean their teeth with (make sure the toothbrush you are going to use is really boring looking so they don't want to swipe that one too!). (Can do the same with toothpaste, luckily DS likes the mint so we've never had to go down the strawberry flavoured route as I know we'd have struggled to get him back to mint, but we did get an igglepiggle toothpaste in boots, which has helped).

most of the kiddies programmes have one episode on cleaning teeth at some stage - we've got them recorded - balamory do a song about cleaning teeth, teletubbies have one, Charlie and Lola, so these are the episodes we watch more often... also, DS doesn't like characters like Spud in Bob the Builder, the goblins in Noddy, Swiper in Dora, even the goat in Postman Pat who bit off a teddy's ear - so DH started telling him if he didn't clean his teeth Spud would come and live in the dirt in his mouth! - somehow that one worked.

Also, I have one of his toy phones in the bathroom and say I'll have to ring the tooth doctor if he doesn't clean them properly. (Don't say dentist as don't want to put him off that one!)

Another good one, is get a mirror at their height so that they can look at themselves cleaning their teeth.

A friend said she used to tell her DS that the monsters would be coming to pinch his teeth if he didn't clean them.

Also second the suggestion of letting them clean your teeth, I would let hold the brush so he could feel how I was brushing then he would have a go (ahh, my poor gums!), and I often try to clean my teeth at the same time as him even if I've already done them.

Elliemama Sun 02-Aug-09 21:19:26

I used to work with adults with learning disabilities and was told by a dental hygienist to stand behind them to brush their teeth - I've tried this with my ds and actually it is easier and therefore quicker and also for some reason he relaxes more and doesn't put up such a fight.... Maybe worth a try?!?!

mum24uk Sun 02-Aug-09 21:20:20

good adive HensMum and norktasticninja! Thank You.

bethdivine Sun 02-Aug-09 21:20:47

ooh, yes elliemama, should have said that one, that's how we do it when we have a go on DS's teeth, stand behind, then they relax into you and are less likely to move their head (esp, if your hand is under their chin).

mum24uk Sun 02-Aug-09 21:22:51

...and bethdivine and Ellimama

Paolosgirl Sun 02-Aug-09 21:24:04

That doesn't work for DS unfortunately sad. He's got a real thing about having his teeth brushed (ie he hates it!)

BettySwollux Sun 02-Aug-09 21:28:33

I got DS2 a toothtunes brush and that helped a bit.

Cataline Sun 02-Aug-09 21:33:12

Thanks for all the good advice on this thread! grin.
Ds (2) hates having his teeth brushed too but after being regaled with horror stories from a dentist friend about 2, 3 and 4 year olds having tooth extractions/rotten teeth etc, we have been pinning him down to ensure they're brushed properly every time blush

sunshiney Sun 02-Aug-09 21:37:19

i alternate between getting dd to open her mouth and sing and shout and when she does quickly nip in there and brush.

another goodie is telling her with great enthusiasm and interest that i can see various bits of food in her teeth and we should brush it out quickly so open wide....

Satsuma1 Mon 03-Aug-09 15:26:53

Our dentist told us to get DS to lie on the floor with his head in our lap (or between our legs) and brush his teeth that way. It seems to work OK (for about 30 seconds!) and somehow makes it easier to access his teeth.

patsnowy Fri 16-Sep-11 20:39:51

My 20 month year old who was quite happy to brush teeth up to now has started clamping her mouth shut and twisting away. It's impossible. I've barely done it for a couple of weeks now and don't know what to try. I spoke to my dentist though and he said it's not the end of the world but I'm not happy about it. Also because she still has a bottle at night (refuses beaker for milk though can deal with even a wine glass for water during the day!) that makes it worse apparently...

Does the tune toothbrush thing really work then?

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