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Getting a toddler to brush/let their teeth be brushed

(75 Posts)
Poppyred85 Mon 20-Jul-15 19:35:48

Looking for advice or tips please! Ds is 2.5 and has been pretty good at letting me brush his teeth but over the last couple of months or so has become increasingly difficult. We have always let him brush his teeth (he chews on the toothbrush) and then we brush them but now he will say "William brush his teeth" but when he is given the toothbrush might chew on it for a second and then throw it on the floor/in the sink/use it as a drumstick. If me or dh then try to do it he refuses to open his mouth, blows raspberries, makes bubbles/spits the toothpaste, throws his head around, tries to grab the brush...essentially anything to avoid having his teeth brushed. We have tried singing a song (this is the way we brush our teeth...), doing it on his beloved dumper truck first, brushing our teeth with him and trying an electronic toothbrush. None of it has helped! We normally take away toys/don't let him watch Peppa Pig if he's naughty but I don't think this will work if I do it before bed.
Any suggestions please?!

nottheOP Mon 20-Jul-15 19:39:01

Lay him down, use your knees to hold his arms to the side, put your finger between his teeth and inner cheek and brush.

They hate it but it gets the job done until they've passed the stage.

TickledOnion Mon 20-Jul-15 19:39:36

I was evil. I pinned mine down between my legs, they cried, I brushed their teeth. Eventually they realised that if they co-operated I woudn't have to pin them down.
Good luck.

gamerchick Mon 20-Jul-15 19:44:25

You have to pin them. None of this gentle approach crap which means teeth decaying out of their heads and having them pulled because parents don't want to upset their little darlings.

Pin and eventually they resign themselves to it.. It's non negotiable.

timeforacheckup Mon 20-Jul-15 19:46:32

I let mine shout ahhhhhh as loud as they like whilst I'm brushing - they love it, it keeps their mouth open and it's stopped tooth brushing tantrums!!

DeffoJeffo Mon 20-Jul-15 19:52:01

There is an Elmo teeth brushing song on youtube that I only let my DS watch if he let's me brush his teeth for the duration. It works pretty well as I ramp it up a bit beforehand. Mind you he's only 18 months so might not work for a 2.5 year old!

username911 Tue 21-Jul-15 15:10:22

An electric toothbrush saved the day for us after we tried everything else to no avail.

HeyDuggee Tue 21-Jul-15 15:18:38

Mine hated it until I saw a friend's video on FB. Aqua fresh brush time app.

It is lifesaving. And free. You get to dress a character, after earning coins by brushing, and there's a catchy 2 min animated song about brushing. Oh and voiceover instructions are by the boy who does Charlie's voice (of Charlie and Lola)

SnozzberryPie Tue 21-Jul-15 15:30:33

The aquafresh app worked for us for several months till dd got bored of it, now we are working our way through the various toothbrushing songs on youtube. Hopefully there are enough to keep us going till dd reaches a more rational age. If it came to it I would pin her down but this way is more pleasant for everyone.

Oh and she gets to brush her own at the end, and only if she has cooperated.

FreeButtonBee Tue 21-Jul-15 15:32:13

a genius tricjk someone on MN recommended is asking them who is in their mouth that needs to be cleaned. At the moment, we have "Daddy's car" "my tractor and sheep" and various other animals and vehicles. then we have a nice chat about getting them all clean and "oh, just a little bit more" then we do "ahhh" and "eeeee" noises to open up the last bits etc. So simple but total genius.

mrsspooky Tue 21-Jul-15 15:35:00

The episode of ITNG where the tombliboos do their teeth for like the whole episode and theres a song with it has helped my ds. He was fine with it until I started worrying about it and forcing it and is now much harder but tombliboos definitely helped.

scarletforya Tue 21-Jul-15 15:36:23

I'm pinning.

Nothing has worked for longer than a day.
Apps= fail
Electric Spider-Man toothbrush= fail
Elmo song= fail
Kitty brush= fail
Lightning McQueen paste & brush= fail

Mouth closed sad NOTHING WORKS!

tiredtothebone Tue 21-Jul-15 16:18:33

Have you tried the Brush Baby? It works for us - DD loves chewing on it and it gets her teeth sparkling. Just smear with toothpaste and it's ready.

dontthinktwiceitsalright Tue 21-Jul-15 16:42:21

I am so very please other people pin down their toddlers to do this grin

MewlingQuim Tue 21-Jul-15 16:43:46

Normally I let DD do it herself as she is an independent little madam and will often do anything herself if I threaten to do it for her otherwise. But if she isn't doing it or is only chewing the brush a bit I will do it for her. So far I have not needed to pin her <touches wood>

Things which have worked are:

Doing mine at the same time. She likes to copy me and will pretend to be a grown up.

Making silly noises 'aaaaahhhhhh' for the back ones and 'eeeeeeeee' for the front and sides. The louder the better. Trying to sing a song is good and funny.

We let her choose her own toothbrush and change it quite often so it doesn't get boring. She chews them so they don't last long anyway.

Bribery/threats. No sweets/chocolate/juice EVER AGAIN if she won't brush every day. She has a book about a toothless crocodile and we say his teeth fell out because he didn't brush them enough.

Let her do it but then she has to open her mouth and show me. Then I say oh you missed a bit there and clean that bit. I do a different bit each time so I know they all get a proper clean at some point.

I try not to make too big a deal about it, as long as she makes an effort morning and evening. She doesn't get a lot of sweet stuff and at the moment I am just concentrating on teaching a good habit of cleaning them regularly. IME making teeth brushing a horrible chore to be endured just makes children less likely to do it when they are older and they are eating sweets etc.

If all else fails I tell DD she will end up with teeth like granny if she doesn't brush. DMs teeth are fucking awful grin

GetTheFudgeOutOfRodge Tue 21-Jul-15 17:00:53

19 mo DD has suddenly stopped letting us do it. For those that pin their toddlers, does that make them cooperate? I can see DD just thrashing her head and becoming even less helpful sad

nottheOP Tue 21-Jul-15 18:25:58

You have to pin their arms to their sides and kind of fish hook their mouths.

Hopelass Tue 21-Jul-15 18:30:47

I'm so glad I read this thread. I thought I was evil for pinning down my toddler for tooth brushing! I try and tickle him too so he's laughing rather than screaming!

xxxbingbunnyxxx Tue 21-Jul-15 21:12:35

I have a very strong willed 23 month old, nearly impossible to pin down, switching brushes worked for us

IntellectualLlama Tue 21-Jul-15 21:25:04

It is a two person job in this house. One parent pinning, the other parent brushing. Sometimes DD finds it funny, but mainly she screams and shouts 'me do it' until we let her have the brush.

purplemurple1 Tue 21-Jul-15 21:45:55

I cant pin and brush and oh is looking after equally fiesty dd. So after a little forcing the brush in I let him do it provided he goes to all corners of his mouth I'm gradually building it up to real brushing.
Tbh I don't really care so much about milk teeth.

meglet Tue 21-Jul-15 21:50:45

pin and brush is better than manky teeth.

Poppyred85 Wed 22-Jul-15 00:03:08

Thanks so much for the replies. I have tried a sort of pinning technique but the boy seems to have more arms than an octopus! We are going on holiday with some friends tomorrow so hoping the influence of their daughters (4 and 5) might help. If not then it's bribery/star chart with Peppa Pig stickers (he is obsessed with that pig) and failing then straight jacket time!

RaspberryBeret34 Wed 22-Jul-15 11:59:41

I told him about sugar bugs that eat teeth and we have to brush them away blush. I know it is a bit mean and scare mongering but it is sort of true (although he once asked if they had claws!) and ever since, I just have to remind him of sugar bugs eating his teeth and we need to brush them all away. He also looked at the back of my tube of colgate which has a picture/diagram of "sugar bugs".

Gottagetmoving Wed 22-Jul-15 12:42:47

Tbh I don't really care so much about milk teeth

WHY?? purplemurple1 Its really important to get them cleaned properly. Decay can be really painful and worse they can get abscesses not to mention bacteria getting into the bloodstream.
Just because children lose milk teeth doesn't mean its ok to let them rot.

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