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Toddler won't brush teeth(8 Posts)
I'm at the end of my tether with teeth brushing and I just don't know what to do next!
DD is 20 months old and has refused teeth brushing since she was little... we have tried everything including holding her down, brushing with us and even watching her favourite characters brush theirs. Nothing works... she clamps her mouth shut and screams! Trying to hold her down seemed to make her worse and as she is a breath holder so I'm always concearned in case she passes out.
Please help, I'm in despair and don't know what to do next
My 20 mo will allow us to do it only while she is sitting in the bath just before bedtime and too tired to resist. In the morning she wants to do her own. In reality she just chews the brush and screams if we try to interfere.
Well, you have two choices - brush them or let them rot (she will like the second option less than the first when she needs fillings and extractions). It sounds like a control thing tbh.
If all 'nice' means have failed (have you tried getting her to brush your teeth?), I suggest you hold her down and get on with it (if you hold her nose she'll have to open her mouth). Holding her breath til she faints won't harm her and she'll likely stop doing it once she sees it doesn't work.
If all that sounds unsympathetic, I have been there, only in our case it was over taking medicine twice a day. As our choice was 'he takes the medicine or risks kidney damage' it wasn't really difficult to make the decision what to do but it took 2 of us and lots of screaming for weeks - after which he just came to accept it.
Tooth brushing is non-negotiable; if you've exhausted all the gentle, playful methods of persuasion then just wrap her up in a big bath towel and get on with it. She won't like it but she'll get used to it.
Incidentally, if she passes out after a breath holding attack all that will happen is that she will start breathing again and wake up almost immediately, she won't come to any harm.
Have you tried something like this? I know that's an American website, but I live in the UK and it works fine for us (both the app and finding the brushes).
My DS used it for a long time (and still does sometimes) and it was quite effective, but do keep in mind, you have to have the app (so you always have to have a phone or tablet when brushing), you have to buy the special Oral-B toothbrush and if your child gets used to it, they might not want to brush without it (which can be annoying when your phone is dead or you're traveling). But it is definitely motivating for small children (and my DH kind of likes it as well, hah).
I struggle with this with my toddler, but we use the aquafresh app on our phones which has a dancing character and they win points for brushing their teeth. We also play the what have you got in your mouth game, e.g. "have you got any pink sparkly teeth today" "are there any horses in your mouth, lets give him a tickle" etc.
Interestingly my husband does the teeth at bath time and is much more successful, I wonder if it is the routine, always after bath and before pj's so it's just something that happens. I do the morning which can be a bit more variable depending on the day.
Hope that helps.
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