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Start Brushing - And Make it Fun!

Poll Results: Brush first or floss first?

  • 40% (28)
    brush then floss
  • 50% (35)
    floss then brush
  • 10% (7)
    depends on my mood (or what I ate, or whatever...)
70 Total Votes  
post #1 of 119
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there have any suggestions for brushing their babies teeth? My 11 mo daughter does not let a tooth brush enter her mouth, and if I try the finger tooth brush, she bites me! : She has 14 teeth including four of her molars, which are really difficult to clean. Any other ideas?
post #2 of 119
After two trips to the dentist and three fillings on his front teeth -- I adopted a method that I'm not so proud of, but it worked.
I just held ds (then 18 mo. ) tightly and said, "I'm doing this bc I love you and have to get all the germies off your teeth so they will be healthy." and quickly brushed.
After a few times, he relaxed and now we brush teeth 3-5 times a day and he's ok with it.
post #3 of 119
Now DS loves brushing his teeth but didn't always. Here are some things we tried and heard of:

Giving him our electric toothbrush to play with (much more fun than a regular brush)
Letting him brush our teeth and eventually he opened up (watch your eyes don't get poked out)
Giving them lots of fun looking brushes to play with at non-brushing times to get them used to brushes
One parent holding him upside down with arms pinned and the other brushing (I hated this but after 2-3 weeks of no brushing something had to be done)
Fun teeth brushing songs

On the old board there were some great one. Hopefully someone will remember more.
post #4 of 119

Brush first or floss first?

This has been an issue of debate in our household lately as our longtime friend, babysitter, and "auntie" to our children questioned our habit of brushing our kids' teeth before flossing (we use fluoride rinse as the finale). Seems her dentist recommends flossing first, as you would then brush away whatever you flossed out. Wouldn't fluoride rinse wash it away as well?

Yes, I'm the one whose ds had seven fillings at age 5, so you can see why this is so important to us...

Smilemomma, what's your expert opinion?

OPEN BIG! ----""
post #5 of 119

Where is the straightjacket for brushing her teeth?

Ok seriously, my dd is 14 months and loves to brush her own teeth. That silly Raffi song makes it fun, so every morning while I brush my pearlies, she chews on her brush that is VERY lightly smeared with toothpaste.

Well dental hygiene is one of those things for me. I am really obsessive about my teeth so it is only natural that I am loosing sleep over hers.

I noticed the other day that she has tartar build up around the gum line. YUCK!!! Well I can try to scrape but that is really NOT affective.

How do I get her teeth REALLY clean? She flips when I try to brush her teeth for her. I really feel like I would need a straight jacket.

Smilemomma, how do you reccomend I do this?
Mammas, please shed the light of your wisdom here.
post #6 of 119
my ds was like that too, and it was often a very unpleasant battle with me laying him on his back on the washer (in the bathroom) and forcibly brushing his teeth. Then one day I tried doing it with him standing on a stool in front of me while I said "lets count your teeth!" Then I brushed them as quickly as possible while counting out loud. That worked for a while, then it was back to the unpleasantness. What seems to work for now is that first I brush my teeth, then I say it's Barney's turn and we "brush" his stuffed animals teeth, then I say now it's your turn and lets me brush them. So far so good...
post #7 of 119
We love the water pick thing, if you don't mind the spray everywhere, also the new vibrating toothbrushes seem to keep the kids brushing longer. We have tried some tandem spitting which my dd thinks is hysterical, also I brush hers then she brushes mine, & using a sandtimer for her to watch as I brush her teeth or brushing to music on the portable kiddiecassette player. I have also let them brush Grandmas old dentures with paste that foams alot for fun. Good Luck!!
post #8 of 119
What we do is play "Dentist chair". Half of their bodies are laying flat on the toilet, the upper half is in my lap. They tilt their heads back and open up. I brush their teeth for them, then I let them brush.

Of course, this works well with Ethan because he is 3.5 and Rhys wants to do whatever Ethan does...so it works for me.

Unfortunately, I used to put on knee on each side of Ethan's head and brush his teeth...that was a long time ago.
post #9 of 119

How to brush?

My ds has two bottom teeth and four just coming in on top. I know I should be brushing, and I do try to, but to be honest I have no idea what is "good enough"! How long should I brush? Just the teeth or the whole mouth (gums and all)? He likes his toothbrush, so that isn't a problem. But how do you do it?

post #10 of 119
I always brush first to get out most of the big stuff, floss, and then brush again.
post #11 of 119

brushing little teeth

When do you recommend starting teeth brushing? My dd 10 mos old has 6 teeth.
post #12 of 119
I started cleaning my dd's first tooth (cut at 3 mos) with water and a piece of cloth. Did this until she had about 6, I guess, then started brushing with a very small, soft brush and Weleda children's toothpaste (no fluoride). Now we brush together every night with the Tom's Silly Strawberry I bought when I was back in the States.
post #13 of 119
As soon as they have teeth, it is time to start brushing them. You can use a wash cloth, finger brush or soft tooth brush. I'm not sure when you should start using tooth paste. My 22 month ds sucks the toothpaste off, so I doubt it is doing anything useful.
post #14 of 119
dd, 19 mo, and I stuggled for a while with this too. All of a sudden it became a power issue, I believe. Well, I lose sleep if she doesn't brush so I sort of forced her to do it, all the while thinking how I was going to traumatize her for life. I didn't hit her or anything but I pretty much forced the brush in there, which was the hard part. Once in she would relax, but still cry. Well, one day she just started to open her mouth when I showed her the brush and allowed me to brush. It's been like that for a week now, and I hope it continues.
post #15 of 119
This happened in our house as well. There was much 'unpleasantness' until this phase was over. But this idea may help, it got us over that 'bump' or maybe he was just ready to have his teeth brushed without the battle.

I posted a childrens calendar in the bathroom and let him put a stamp (ink pad and stamp) on the date if he let me clean his teeth without the crying and fuss. He also got a stamp on his hand to show his daddy. He got very proud of wearing those stamps and eventually we didn't need the calendar or stamps for that reason any more.

Good luck to you.
post #16 of 119
That's such a cool idea! But I'm not sure my 19 mo would understand the whole concept. How old was your son?
post #17 of 119
When DD#1 was 2, we used to play alot of "you the dendist". At first DW and I did it together, but DD wanted in. So we let her choose a tooth brush or 5 (later an electric) and we all did each other.

Great fun!

post #18 of 119

I think he may have been closer to 2 years. I must warn you though, cooperation didn't happen overnight. It was more like two baby steps forward and four big steps back. It also helps to use stamps, stickers and even the calendar in a theme that your child likes/interested in. For us it was frogs at that point.

You can always give it a try and if it's not working, abandon the idea for a while and try again at a later date.

Hope this is helpful.
post #19 of 119
My sister is Lavender - seeing your user name makes me smile.
Violet Pearl
post #20 of 119


I guess I need to get busy!! dd is ten months old and I don't clean her teeth....

Smilemomma.....dd HAS to nurse to sleep or all hell breaks lose should I wipe her teeth BEFORE she nurses to slpeep or AFTER she is asleep???

This is a habit that is too exhausting to break at the moment...
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