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Brushing Toddlers Teeth

(29 Posts)
Cbell Wed 24-Oct-12 06:14:07

So erm....how do you do it?

My DD is 22 months. I've always tried to 'brush' her teeth twice a day but this mostly consists of popping the tooth brush in for a couple of seconds. More a quick florid application.

I don't want it to become a battle group. I've seen youtube videos that basically suggest you put your child in a head lock! This was suggested my a dentist. I've also read that you should be flossing your children's teeth. ARGH HOW?

I'm trying to sing a song, we have three cheers for teeth cleaning, pictures of other children cleaning there teeth, watching and helping mummy clean her teeth and getting favorite toys to help. I'm trying all but the headlock!

What works for you? When can they 'clean' there teeth independently?

corblimeymadam Wed 24-Oct-12 06:39:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 24-Oct-12 06:45:55

you could try a kids electric toothbrush. The novelty might let you get the brush in

Cbell Wed 24-Oct-12 08:01:47

HA! I have shown her my electric tooth brush. She thought it was interesting viewed from the other side of the room! There is no way I could get it near her mouth.

I just feel there is either a conspiracy that everyone is failing to brush there children's teeth properly or that there is some secret skill to getting it done that hasn't be shared.

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 24-Oct-12 08:05:00

get a girly character one - might not frighten her so much. I'd just let her have a good chew on the brush she has - she will get there in the end

IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 24-Oct-12 08:09:22

This is unhelpful but having the same problem here with DS (21mo). Out of desperation, one night last week, DH held DS's arms down by his side in the bath and I cradled his head (not in a lock!). Since then he wants to be held like this to have his teeth done?!
I said the following night "if you dont have your teeth brushed then Daddy will hold your arms down again" and DS shouted "yeah!!!" really excitedly and proffered himself to DH.

lizardqueenie Wed 24-Oct-12 08:14:29

Fingers crossed this might work for you I don't proffer it as the answer to everything but dd was exactly the same, now about to turn 2 next week. We bought a cheap sticker chart ( or you can make your own) and everyone she let me brush her teeth she got a sticker. Then a big cheer after & we talked about who she was going to show her clean shiny teeth too (more distraction than anything). We made a big deal of it, went Ott at offset just so she would get it but we've not had to be quite so theatrical recently. It took about 2/3 goes & then she got it & wanted the sticker.

EagleRiderDirk Wed 24-Oct-12 08:17:10

Same problem here. Dd lobes to chew her brush, eat toothpaste and suck water off the toothbrush and sometimes let's us properly brush her teeth. I don't want to make it a battle either. Dh finds it easier than me to hold her a bit. joseph this happens with dd too "do you want daddy to make you do it?" "yeah" flings herself at dh...

HorridHeffalumpsWickedWoozles Wed 24-Oct-12 08:17:41

OP I also think there must be some big secret I've not been let in on, DD is now 24 months and since she got her first teeth we have pretty much just let her chew on the brush, basically just eating the toothpaste & hoping some goes on her actual teeth. Now she's a little older we have made a bit of a game of saying "aaah" so I can get in there super quick and scrub them but its usually only 10 secs or so before she wants the brush back.

I think they should invent dentistix for toddlers.

EMS23 Wed 24-Oct-12 08:19:03

I'm afraid we use the headlock. I can't handle doing it everyday though so probably about 3 times a week. The rest of the time DD has a good chew on her toothbrush and I'm hoping that's good enough for now!

BigusBumus Wed 24-Oct-12 08:20:02

My DS2 was terrible as a toddler as well and I never did the headlock. Other people seemed to be brushing their children's teeth twice a day with no problems. We used to do all the tricks too (except the headlock) and managed to give them a good brushing about 4 times a week out of 14. The rest of the time was a quick bite on the brush.

I do wish I HAD done the headlock though. DS2 now has 4 little holes in his molars that the dentist regularly fills with white filling stuff. The fillings fall out all the time. He is only 5 years old and I am ashamed of myself that I didn't force him much earlier sad. (Never had any probs with DS1 incidentally, he liked it)

squishysquashy Wed 24-Oct-12 08:26:52

I spotted a baby lion living in DD's mouth she has to chase it round with a toothbrush so it gets exercise otherwise it would be sad. She is very attached to her lion! Doesn't always work though if she really doesn't want to clean i don't force her though I suppose I probably should.

squishysquashy Wed 24-Oct-12 08:27:49

I spotted a baby lion living in DD's mouth she has to chase it round with a toothbrush so it gets exercise otherwise it would be sad. She is very attached to her lion! Doesn't always work though if she really doesn't want to clean i don't force her though I suppose I probably should.

MooseLooseaBOOtThisSpookyHouse Wed 24-Oct-12 08:35:06

My dd has never really let me do it properly (she is 2.5) At the best of times all we manage is to get the toothbrush in and wriggle it around a bit. Often it is just toothpaste snack time.

I spoke to my dentist about it and he said that the most important thing is avoiding sugary stuff and getting the fluoride into them, so really what was happening was not ideal but okay. He warned me to never force it because thats when they can build up a fear of it, it is very frustrating though.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 24-Oct-12 10:44:41

We used to brush our teeth together so DD (3 next month but this has been doing on since she was about 20 months) could see what I was doing and copy. Sometimes we would brush each other's teeth, which resulted in me gagging quite a bit but gave me a chance to do hers properly. Now she does her own for a bit and then I take over for a quick go at each of the surfaces (sometimes I get to do that, sometimes I don't). The dentist seems to think it is ok for her to do her own thing provided I get in there once a day.

"Show Daddy/Nana/Dolly how well you brush your teeth" works well sometimes too, with lots of ooh-ing and aah-ing from the lucky audience.

We have been going to the dentist since she was 2 (so twice so far) and she has reinforced that the most important thing at this stage is to cut out sugary drinks and snacks between meals (not even raisins which were always my go to healthy snack) in favour of water only and sticks of carrot/cucumber. I have to say we are not great with that - DD is a lover of all things biscuity - and I am going to have to start getting stricter.

Mamf74 Wed 24-Oct-12 14:55:47

DD (3 next week) has been letting me do it for a while, we sit facing each other then I clean them - we have a bus (?) and have to clean the upstairs, the downstairs and the headlights. Once I've done them to "my" standard I let her have a go. I do mine at the same time and we have a competition to see who can have the bubbliest mouth!

She much prefers to eat the brush and the toothpaste, we probably need a new brush every 3/4 weeks, but I have a HUGE fear of the dentist so think a new brush is better than having to have teeth filled later on. Mind you, DD LOVES the dentist so finger's crossed.....

DD is also a biscuit & cake fan so I do need to be way stricter on the food side of things (for me too!).

Pascha Wed 24-Oct-12 15:05:48

DS 2.1 has the toothbrush to chew while I brush mine then I chase him into our bedroom and catch him on the bed and tickle him. He usually lobs the toothbrush away at this time. I sit him on my lap and wrap one arm around his arms and body while I get the brush in his mouth, usually singing nursery rhymes. He is good in that he lets me get in his mouth and says aaahhh and has gradually got to understand that one rhyme = one side of his mouth. he knows it goes right, left, top, bottom so thats 3 long rhymes or 4 short ones, then he's off like a shot to the bathroom shouting cupcupcup for the water to rinse his mouth.

YBR Wed 24-Oct-12 15:54:35

I saw my dentist this morning and happened to take DD(11mo) with me.
He said it's more important to avoid sweet stuff, and does not encourage forcing LOs to brush their teeth.
We let DD chew the toothbrush, and sometimes it works, sometimes she enjoys it and won't give the brush back, sometimes she refuses alltogether, sometimes she'll only chew the wrong end! Dentist said this was fine and make sure it's fluoride toothpaste (we live in a low Fluoride area).
Hope that helps.

Pyrrah Wed 24-Oct-12 17:45:02

Electric toothbrush (a decent one not a £5 kids one - she and I share and have separate heads, hers with Snow White on).

She's still not that great with it, but it cleans them better than a normal one would with her doing it.

Once a week I tip her upside down and have a go myself - with accompanying shrieks.

I'm obssessive about her teeth (mine are dreadful) and so take her to the dentist every 3 months.

MamaBear17 Wed 24-Oct-12 20:21:39

Get her to brush your teeth for you, show her how first and then let her take over. When your teeth are clean, swap!

Cbell Thu 25-Oct-12 06:44:21

Right I've got a good bunch ideas. Liking chasing the little lion and I may have to hang her upside down.

It's interesting because my father in law is a actually a dentist but he has no clever ideas. The best advice he can give is to exclude sugar which I largely do.

I think she is staring to sense that this is an area she has a lot of power over and is exerting her will.

diyqueen Thu 25-Oct-12 20:30:51

We have 2 toothbrushes for dd (19mo) - one for her to hold and have a go with and one for me to sneak into her mouth at the same time and clean her teeth properly. After trying lots of things this is the one that works at the moment.

Meglet Thu 25-Oct-12 20:37:09

Head lock / wrestling hold. I still have to do it occasionally for 4yo DD. If she screams she screams, better to have 2 mins of whinging than fiddling about for 10 mins.

I have zero tolerance for messing about with teeth brushing as my parents were really strict with me and I grew up with no fillings. Teeth are expensive too, I don't want my kids teeth mucked up.

MamaChocoholic Thu 25-Oct-12 20:54:32

Sometimes we take turns. I brush their teeth briefly, then they brush mine (with my toothbrush, not theirs). At 2 they're old enough to understand turn taking and young enough to live brushing my teeth. Worth a try?

PixieHot Thu 25-Oct-12 20:59:55

I show DS videos of him at the park etc on my iPhone grin. It works a treat.

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