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Does anyone have any top tips for getting dd to brush her teeth without having hysterics?

(24 Posts)
headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 14:22:51

She's 2.8 and has always hated doing her teeth so I don't think it's teething related. We've tried every different kind of toothpaste and tooth brush on the market to no avail. Currently we're at the stage where I pin her down and do them for her. Reward charts don't work. I've offered her new toys and treats in return, still no joy. Our dentist has said to persist in the pinning down and brushing method as its preferable to pinning her down for fillings but it's so distressing for us both.

There's got to be something better. I've tried brushing my teeth at the same time, ds has tried showing her but she just screams and runs away. Her breath stinks some days and I'm so worried about her teeth.

TheMightyMojoceratops Thu 18-Oct-12 14:26:39

We had this book which sometimes helped. Getting DS to do his biggest roar while we brush his teeth sometimes works... or manic humming of the Tombliboo's teeth-brushing music while brushing DD's teeth. Do you let her brush your teeth? Taking turns to brush each other's teeth also sometimes worked.

ArtyJennie Thu 18-Oct-12 14:41:17

My dd was like this- I ended up googling pictures of people with rotten teeth and showed them to her and said "this is what will happen if you don't wash your teeth- they will rot and you will be in pain!!" this might sound harsh but it worked. I still remind her (a year later) of rotting black teeth every now and then when she fusses and it still works!

I think my dd was a little older than yours though- probably about 3.4yrs. Do you think your dd would understand? Tis worth a try!

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 20:16:00

Arty I could try it, but I'm not sure she's old enough yet to understand the concept that could happen to her. I've said to her she wouldn't be able to eat lots of nice things if she doesn't brush her teeth because her teeth will rot, but I'm not sure it actually reaches her iywsim.

Thanks for the book recommendation TheMightyMojo, I hadn't thought of getting her to brush my teeth. I have tried tickling her to make her laugh and then jumping in with a toothbrush but as soon as the toothbrush makes an appearance she clamps her mouth shut.

hazeyjane Thu 18-Oct-12 20:16:38

I would just carry on with the pinning down.

I wrap ds up in a big towel and lie him across my lap or on the bed and brush. My dd1 (6) has reflux and I got slack about her brushing her teeth and she now has 2 cavities and toothache whilst waiting for them to be filled, I really don't want the same to happen to ds (also has refux).

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 20:23:02

I do wrap her up in a towel Hazeyjane but she kicks like crazy. Sometimes I have to use my knees to hold her down and my hands to stop her thrashing under the towel. It's horrible for her sad

Scootergrrrl Thu 18-Oct-12 20:26:00

I have to let DS, who is the same age, have my toothbrush to brush my teeth while I do his. The combination of distraction and mirroring behaviour works wonders. If he tried to do his own, I tell him only he can brush mummy's teeth properly. The occasional brush up the nose is a small price to pay grin

WitchOfEndor Thu 18-Oct-12 20:28:37

Do you have an iPhone or similar you could distract her with? We use a mixture of threats ( you'll go straight to bed without any milk) and distraction ( we pretend we can see everything he has eaten that day and then throw in some strange ones like hippo or elephant) and it working so far (he is 2.5)

NatashaBee Thu 18-Oct-12 20:35:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FiveFlowers Thu 18-Oct-12 20:58:09

What about one of these

Or this grin

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:01:38

Natasha I've lost track of how much I've spent on toothbrushes for her. Flashing ones, ones you cover in stickers, today I spent a tenner on one that plays music while you brush and some Peppa Pig toothpaste. God knows if it'll work.

Witch I've tried distracting her, not with the iphone though. I usually attempt to do teeth in the bath, or bathroom so I don't normally have my phone on me to avoid nasty water iphone collision!

I'm going to try getting her to brush my teeth tomorrow so will report back on that one.

Would it be cruel of me to dangle a Ben and Holly necklace that I've bought and I know she'd love in front of her to induce her to do her teeth?

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:04:47

FiveFlowers that's exactly what I bought today!

geewaf Thu 18-Oct-12 21:10:33

this little you tube video really worked for my dd: (sorry don't know how to post the link but its called:

kids tv 123, brush your teeth i think

its a little song about brushing teeth and my dd loves it, no complaints at teeth brushing time!

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:18:52

I can't seem to find that video on You Tube.... it just gave me an error message about trained monkeys trying to fix the problem grin

Mumofjz Thu 18-Oct-12 22:13:37

My DD was a bugger for brushing, so one morning when she was adament that she wasn't going to do it (she was about 2.6) i said fine, took her brush of her, took hold of her hand (without saying a word) and went downstairs and got a plastic carrier bag out of the cupboard, by this point she was asking what we were doing so i told her "as you wont brush your teeth, you can no longer have any crisp/toffees/sweets etc" - (all the things she likes) I asked her to hold out the bag and i proceeded to fill it with all the goodies, she went hysterical, crying, trying to stop me, i explained AGAIN that as she wont brush, she can't have them....i then tied the bag up (securely) and got her to put it in the BIG BIN Outside for the dustbin men - this was when it hit home that they were really all going in the bin and she was crying and said that she would brush her teeth. We took them out of the bin and moved the carrier bag into the kitchen, where i told her "once she has cleaned her teeth, we would then put everything back".

It did the trick, sometimes i had to remind her that they would go in the bin, i only had to say when she questioned it, "what happenen last time, did mummy go through with it?" and as her answer would be yes, she knew

My DH asked what would i have done had she not had a change of heart after throwing them away.......i said that was why they were so well wrapped up, i would always have taken them back out of the bin but i did believed she wouldn't have let them be thrown.

I have a DS now (7) who knows this story and as DD has said mum means it, we've never had a problem! smile

If only ALL things in life was this simple smile

headfairy Thu 18-Oct-12 22:17:41

MumofJz I'd like to give that a try, but I'll have to pick my mornings because I've usually got either the school run to do or work to get to so I'm not sure I'll have time. Perhaps I could try in the evening, but she's usually quite tired by then and not usually open to persuation of any sort. She's really not much of a sweetie lover, but she does love chocolate biscuits. Perhaps that's what I threaten to remove.

griphook Thu 18-Oct-12 22:24:04

My ds is really bad aswell, will often put all his fingers in his mouth, but sometimes he will pretend to be a crocodile and I tell him there. Are monkeys in his teeth that I need to get. He thinks it funny. If that doesn't work I make him

Mumofjz Thu 18-Oct-12 22:31:10

try at the weekend and put in EVERYTHING, whether she likes it or not, the more the bag fills, the more impact.

Cereal (if of the chocolate/sugar coated sort) all biscuits, crisp, ice-cream/lollies, cake mixes, jellie mixes/pots, nutella, jam, cordial etc - anything that remotely has sugar in it or is sweet and as you put it in the bag, in a calm voice just say what a shame she can't eat/drink this but it has sugar in it which isn't kind to teeth that don't get brushed clean

Good luck and hope it works (let me know) smile

timothyclaypole Thu 18-Oct-12 22:42:30

DS was like this for a long time and we had to hold him down. We now do "counting tens", where he does a big "hippo mouth" and we count to ten as we clean each side and up and down, and then we do his "smile". He always wants to do it himself first but he doesn't do it properly yet so then we take over.

Doing the counting has turned it into a game that he likes so he is usually fine about it these days. He's just turned 3, btw.

Mumofjz Thu 18-Oct-12 22:58:05

timothy counting is a good idea, that way they are control of it for a while and you could stretch out the counting upto 10 (i count to 10 when getting my DS to get something from upstairs and i must count a second every 5 seconds lol) but you must stop when you get to 10 otherwise she'll loose faith in the promise from you

Ameybee Thu 18-Oct-12 23:40:04

There's an episode of wooley and tig on iplayer or you tube where she goes to the dentist - I use this for my almost 3 year old and I told her one day after I'd been to dentist that the dentist said she MUST let mummy do her teeth, she's been much better since! Good luck! X

geewaf Fri 19-Oct-12 17:10:32

hope this link works, this is the kids tv 123 video, it's really effective

headfairy Fri 19-Oct-12 22:04:11

Ooh some good things to try over the weekend. Thanks! I tried the musical toothbrush today and she loves it - who knew she was a Bruno Mars fan? grin but she absolutely refused the Peppa Pig toothpaste. I think her biggest problem is with toothpaste. She just doesn't like it. But she did do some brushing today so thats something!

IsawtheGruffalo Fri 19-Oct-12 23:14:33

When my DD's were at the age where they didn't like tooth brushing time, I let them brush their own teeth first and then I brushed them afterwards. I explained that there were sugar monsters that jumped off their food and wanted to live on their teeth, but if they lived there my DD's would get sore gums and teeth. So they had to chase away the sugar monsters first, brushing at all the teeth, then mummy has a look inside to see if she can see any sugar monsters hiding (I always found some of the little blighters... wink ) I told them that if they spat out lots of bubbles then that was the sugar monsters falling out of their mouths.
DD's are now 6 and 4, they still ask me to check for sugar monsters once they have finished, and DD1 knows that sugar monsters real name is plaque. The dentist thinks my approach was quite fun and effective. But DD3 who has just turned 1 isn't quite old enough to get the story yet, so it's wrestling for the time being with her until she can understand about the naughty sugar monsters that want to live on her teeth....
Glad the musical toothbrush is working, fingers crossed she starts enjoying tooth time now smile

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