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18 mo tooth cleaning - help!

(11 Posts)
AlisonOrdnung Wed 17-Nov-10 16:01:45

My 18 mo DS still only has 4 teeth and we've always been laid back about his teeth cleaning (fools that we are). He chews his toothbrush twice a day. We've realised that we should probably teach him better hygiene as the rest of the teeth must be on the way soon. We've clearly left it too late since he won't let us near him. We brush our own teeth slowly along with him and try to show him how, but he looks and then shrugs and carries on chewing. I've also tried wrestling the toothbrush off him while singing a made up 'brush your teeth' song - but he won't let me get into his mouth. Any hot tips? This is a very strong willed and confident child - he does practically everything on his own. Please help before his four teeth fall out!

Berk Wed 17-Nov-10 16:08:31

Oh I need help here too, DD is 19 months and has almost the full set which are starting to yellow as she won't let us near them but sucks the brush and brushes her tongue, I'm worrying!

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 17-Nov-10 19:27:32

Sorry no real advice as DD is 14mo. She does cry when we get the toothbrush out but as she's a bit smaller than yours, we would hold her down and clean her teeth regardless of the fuss. Turns out she didn't like the minty toothpaste so we swapped it for berry flavour and now she struggles far less and actively opens her mouth. However at 14mo DD is a bit too little for any negotiation/explaining/bribery. I'm a bit of a stickler for teeth cleaning though, and see it as a necessity that I do for DD. I guess just like changing a dirty nappy; DD doesn't like it but we do it anyway.

Could you both hold the brush and do it together? I would probably be quite firm and insist despite protests. Maybe you'll have to build up the time until you're doing all the cleaning and leaving the DCs to have a go at the end.

Another thing I've done with older children when babysitting is to have a 'race' to see who can clean their teeth the best. Could your DC compete with DH/DP or older sibling?

Hopefully someone else will come along with some better advice. Good luck!

AlisonOrdnung Wed 17-Nov-10 19:41:13

Thanks Crazy Horse, I've tried holding the brush with him, but he's not up for that! I just found some brushes you can pop on the end of your finger on Amazon. I'm ordering a couple since he doesn't have a problem with me putting teething gel on his gums. I'll try demonstrating on Teddy first.
Any other ideas very welcome.

RunningOutOfIdeas Wed 17-Nov-10 19:52:39

I used to use a Brush Baby brush (from here) with my DD. The whole point of this brush is that the teeth are cleaned by chewing it.

I switched to an ordinary toothbrush when the nursery also started brushing DD's teeth. I wish I hadn't because I think her teeth were cleaned better with the Brush Baby and it was a lot less hassle.

AlisonOrdnung Wed 17-Nov-10 20:09:58

That looks amazing. I've ordered one. Thank you so much!

RunningOutOfIdeas Wed 17-Nov-10 20:22:09

Glad I could help. You can also put it in the fridge and use it as a teether.

Emjxxx Wed 17-Nov-10 21:03:39

I always thought the hanging them off your lap slightly upside down whilst squeezing their cheeks and trying to ram the toothbrush in their mouth was the way to go!! BUT I defo think one of those Brush Baby brushes is the way to go. Thanks ROOI, this should make things a lot easier grin

PrettyCandles Wed 17-Nov-10 21:10:03

There is absolutely no urgency. Back off and chill. Much better at this stage that he develops a good, happy, twice-daily toothbrush-chewing habit than that it become a battle of wills. Because a determined toddler will always win in a battle of wills!

Brush your own teeth with him, if you like, and maybe from time to time allow him to brush your teeth with one if those safety brushes that have a large disc around the bristle so he can't ram it down your throat.

In a few months it may change.

There are littl silicone toothbrushes that you slip over your finger and are very useful for rubbing teething gums - simultaneously brushing any existing teeth.

Just make sure he doesn't eat anything sticky, eg raisins, before napping or bedtime.

AlisonOrdnung Thu 18-Nov-10 14:53:32

Emjxxx LOL! You've obviously met my DS! I asked the dentist what I should do and she said the whole 'sit him on your lap, tilt his head back blah blah' She had her fingers in my mouth at the time and I nearly choked.

Thanks Pretty Candles, my life is easier since I chilled about practically everything else, I just got so worried about the teeth as his breath was a bit 'doggy' yesterday morning! I've ordered one of the finger toothbrushes and got a different flavour toothpaste, so I think I'm going to let him carry on with his toothbrush chewing (with the brush baby) and then after his last feed try going in there with my finger and some strawberry toothpaste - since both the brush and the paste are different he might see it as something distinct from toothbrushing and let me have a go - we can but hope! Thank you everyone!

PrettyCandles Thu 18-Nov-10 17:06:09

My dentist has kids. Young kids.

grin

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