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Toddler battle with teeth brushing - please help!

(12 Posts)
whatalongday Tue 20-Oct-09 20:24:40

We have a 20 mo daughter who is generally quite well behaved but she will not brush her teeth and will not allow either me or husband too do it either. It has become the one thing we battle about and we have forcibly done it (with her crying) but that is clearly not a long term solution and I want to take a different approach. Can people please give some ideas/advice?

notnowbernard Tue 20-Oct-09 20:26:57

You're right, it's not a long-term solution

But it won't need to be a long-term solution... she'll grow out of it, trust me! Is just a phase

Believe me, I have been there and worn the t-shirt grin

Whoooooooseyfruit Tue 20-Oct-09 20:27:38

we use one of these
works really well.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 20-Oct-09 20:28:21

Oh, I had a great idea given to me by another mumsnetter, and it works a treat.

We go searching for 'animals' in her mouth, and work to clean them out. So, we will start at the back and try to get the snakes out, and then the tigers and then other animals at the front. As she became able to do this herself, we would let her try a little, and now aged 3 she spends about 2 mins getting them herself, and then I get the really tough animals for her!

Also, she likes to watch herself and me cleaning her teeth in the mirror, to see what she is doing.

Make it a game, i think that is key.

SCARYspicemonster Tue 20-Oct-09 20:29:30

Mine was like this and then suddenly he was fine with it. I didn't even bother every night - the battle when we were both tired was too much. It will get better is my advice - try not to get too stressed about it.

I stand behind my DS (he is on a little step thing) and cup his chin lightly while I get him to roar like a lion. Then scrub away. But like I said, he is 25m and it's very recent that he's let me do it - before he used to just clamp his jaw tightly shut

notnowbernard Tue 20-Oct-09 20:31:42

DD2 didn't respond to ANY suggestions, ever

So if your dd is of the same PITA willful disposition, don't fret about the control and restraint. It will pass wink

nigglewiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 20:34:11

I try distraction - singing songs and pretending to be an electric toothbrush blush helps. She looks at me like I'm bonkers (obviously) but meanwhile I get a good bit of brushing done. I carry on until she starts screaming and then give her lots of praise if she's put up with it for a bit.

I have noticed her watching intently as I brush her 3.8 year old sister's teeth and this seems to encourage her. If you don't have an older sibling then I have heard of some people who let their toddler brush the parent's teeth at the same time.

My older DD went through this and now loves brushing her teeth, so as bernard says - it won't last forever. smile

fifitot Tue 20-Oct-09 20:35:19

I let her brush mine, then I do hers! It works for us.

sazlocks Tue 20-Oct-09 20:43:53

My DS is 21 months and we have the same issue. Tooth brushing is about the only must do in our house !
I try distraction too - second nigglewiggle on the pretending to be an electric tooth brush which makes him laugh and gets the job done. I have also bought a couple of brushes which I put paste on and let him chew and play with. I also let him brush my teeth and we brush his toys (pretend!) teeth as well.

whatalongday Tue 20-Oct-09 20:57:56

Thanks for the quick responses! The only reason we have forced is because the baby books say it is so important for toddlers to get their teeth cleaned and I did work on the theory of try it 20 times and she would get fed up and comply - how wrong I was!

TabithaTwitchet Tue 20-Oct-09 21:03:13

DD is 22 months and we had the same trouble. What works best for us is we first allow DD to chew her toothbrush brush her teeth herself whilst one of us sits with her demonstrating brushing our own teeth - if we don't do this first she tends to not let us near her because she wants to do it herself.

After she has finished chewing her toothbrush bristles to oblivion, she will generally allow us to brush her teeth, whilst talking about getting rid of all the food she has eaten that day - "ooh, I can see some peas at the back, let's brush them away etc"

EachPeachPearMum Tue 20-Oct-09 21:30:26

I did what tabitha did- dd seems to still think I can see all the food she has eaten each day hmm also- give her a mirror to hold and look into- that really helped on the days she was screaming more resistant.

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