Dental care for 2yr old(9 Posts)
Hi - my 2 yo dd isn't very good at cleaning her teeth yet (unsurprisingly). We've been doing 'first brushing' which dd gets to do herself, and then 'second brushing' which an adult does (me, dh, grandparent etc). She refuses to let the second brushing happen and her way of brushing is to suck the toothpaste off! We clean our teeth at the same time so she has someone modelling.
Questions: what else can we try? As with most toddler debates, she's fiercely independent and refuses the help she still needs. Any suggestions? Would an electric toothbrush be better than a manual? Are there any downsides to an electric toothbrush for a toddler? Thanks for your advice!
I do a mix of toothbrush videos (paused if not cooperating), hunt the animals (ooh there's a cheeky monkey at the back of your mouth, let's get it!) and holding her down.
I think you need to play the long game with tooth brushing.
You don't want this to become a power struggle for her to become averse.
As long as she is brushing in her own way twice a day I think that is sufficient at 2 years old.
Brush with her and make a game of it ...'bet you can't brush as fast as mummy!' and distraction etc. Use a decent toothpaste and fun toothbrush.
Work on it slowly, adding a bit more technique as she relaxes about it.
As long as she is not eating lots of sugar she should be ok. I am NOT a dentist and am happy to be told to STFU by one if they come along but I do work in child development with this age group. This is a prime age for developing very strong aversions to tastes, textures, activities if too much pressure is applied.
Toothbrushing has all that stuff involved.
I like the hunt the animals idea BellyBean, thank you. Namechange, thanks for the point about a power struggle, you're right that it could lead to bigger problems. She's allergic to dairy which luckily reduces the options for cake and chocolate, but fruit is her biggest source of sugar and I've heard that raisins etc can be problematic to teeth so I'll watch the snacking.
We get them to make funny noises as well to get their mouth in the right position. So to put their teeth together to clean the front ones they go "eee eee eee" and pretend to be robots. To open wide the roar like monsters or tigers depending on the child.
Mine just sucks the toothpaste too.
What worked for us was to do what you do but introduce a third brushing - DS gets a dab of toothpaste to brush/suck, then it is "mummy's turn" (no extra toothpaste as he just wants to suck it, but I give the teeth as good a going over as I can), then DS's turn (another dab of toothpaste to suck).
I keep the dabs of toothpaste really tiny as I know it is mostly getting swallowed!
He still protests a bit but likes the 'reward' of an extra turn for him.
Fancier toothbrushes worked a treat with my two then a timer when dd1 was a bit older. - she is now a strict 2 full minutes brushed but she's 7. Dd2 is 4 and we struggle often. Straight to bed with no story is a frequent threat!
Watching with interest, DD is two and hates toothbrushing. At the moment I pin her down, she ends up biting the toothbrush. It's so difficult to give them a proper good clean when she is squirming everywhere.
She is a bit behind development wise and doesn't have the understanding she should so letting her pick her own toothbrush and explaining things to her just doesn't work.
We have had some luck by turning it into a game. Our bathroom is downstairs, dd runs from the door to the hall mirror where I am waiting, toothbrush ready and then I get to brush. Then she runs back to her spot in the bathroom door. Then repeat. We shout "run, run, run" as she's coming then "brush, brush, brush" whilst we're scrubbing and lots of praise and raised arms and whooping for letting us really get a good brush. She gets to say ready, steady, go at the start of each run so she feels she's in control. It doesn't always work but yesterday dh turned the fail into 'catch and brush' which went down well!
Oddly she has started asking to brush her teeth during the day so I let her do that herself.
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