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How do you brush a 1-year-old's teeth?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I guess the title kinda says it all, but I will add that I really think I need to be brushing them because the little guy, bless his heart, has bad breath. But how do I get him to cooperate? I have those fancy toothbrushes that vibrate and have lights and whatnot, but that still doesn't necessarily cause him to sit still and say "aaaaaahhhhhhh..."
post #2 of 27
I'd also love to hear some suggestions on this topic! My little guy was doing great with letting us brush his teeth until recently when he started getting 3 pre-molars at once! His poor little gums are sore swollen, I don't blame him for not wanting us messing around in his mouth.
post #3 of 27
Micah actually likes brushing his teeth. Whenever we go to the bathroom he points at the brush and says "Uh! Uh!", until I get it for him. I don't really make a big deal out of doing it perfectly. I just brush back and forth until he closes his mouth down (anywhere from 2-15 passes depending on the day), and then say "Okay! Now the bottom!". He opens again and I do the same. Then, I hand him the brush and let him go to town! Even if he just sits there and chews on the brush, I figure that something is being cleaned.
post #4 of 27
Originally Posted by Sparks* View Post
I'd also love to hear some suggestions on this topic! My little guy was doing great with letting us brush his teeth until recently when he started getting 3 pre-molars at once! His poor little gums are sore swollen, I don't blame him for not wanting us messing around in his mouth.
Maybe letting him have the toothbrush would help? With him in control, it may make his gums feel better and have the side effect of getting a *little* bit clean!

ETA: Micah is more vigorous in his chewing when he is teething!
post #5 of 27
We give ds a turn then we have a turn. When it's our turn he has a choice of sitting, laying down or laying between our legs (in a V) Sometimes he doesn't want us to have our turn and he wants to be all done, but this isn't a choice. He has had to have dental surgery to repair extensive decay and we will not allow his teeth to get bad again.
We try to make it as much of a game/fun as possible, but sometimes there's a battle and on those days I just try to get them clean and finish so we can get back to other things.
post #6 of 27
DS was pretty good about brushing for quite a while. He would let me sit him on my lap and brush away in there. Lately, he hates it, but I really don't want it be negotiable.

I have tried laying him down between my legs, and that did help for a week or so, but he is back to screaming and really not liking it in any way. I think I may get a vibrating toothbrush and some yummy toddler toothpaste to dab on to see if that helps. I did put just a touch of my all natural gel on there the other day, and he thought it was very intersting.
post #7 of 27
Maddie doesn't always like it, but as others have said, it's a nonnegotiable issue at our house. Here's what helps make it easier - I give her a toothbrush and I have one, and she brushes my teeth while I brush hers. It doesn't always work, but most of the time it makes it easier.
post #8 of 27
I just took my DD to the dentist for her first check up and basically it comes down to it has to be done whether they are screaming, happy or just don't care. My DD can be any of the above, she can be a wailing mess one night, the next fine, the next trying to grab my face and rip it off. I don't care if she doesn't like it, it has to be done, I don't want her teeth rotting out of her head, that would be worse than 2 minutes of screaming and kicking, IMO. The dentist said they may not like it, but that we had done a good job with brushing and to continue, so that's how it is. I ALWAYS am the bad guy though, DH rarely brushes DD's teeth and so she gets all mad at momma: and Daddy is the king. Oh well he puts her to bed now every night so I guess my 5 minutes of DD are alright, ugh I just wish it was easier, and Ive tried all the tricks, they just don't work with her.
post #9 of 27
We use this: http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Buddy-Bab.../dp/B000GKU7C0
I've found that it, combined with watching Signing Time (I only turn it on when it's time to brush her teeth) has really helped. I also have a more traditional baby tooth brush that I will give her beforehand and let her brush her teeth with it while I brush mine. Another thing I have found that helps is that because my child has ECC, I brush her teeth frequently during the day (somewhere between half a dozen and a dozen times!) so if one brushing is super short, I can make it up in the next one; if she doesn't want to brush her teeth right now, I wait five minutes and try again. I also make funny noises while I brush her teeth, which sometimes helps.
post #10 of 27
We sing a song while we brush and started brushing her teeth around 6 months or so. We didn't start every day and it certainly wasn't a good job, but she is used to us putting the brush in, brushing around, etc. We try to be quick with it. In the beginning we bought a second toothbrush that she was allowed to carry around the house and essentially use as a teething toy. She chewed on it and occassionally took a few scrubs here and there.

Oh, and we also brush her teeth when we're in the shower or right after. It's part of our routine and she just expects that it will be done. We've never really had an issue with it.
post #11 of 27
Great post!!!
I am interested in reading all of the replies and then some. I have huge issues with trying to brush my DD's teeth. She is 18 months and has never let me or my husband brush her teeth. the ONLY way we can even TRY to brush them is by holding her down and even then she grips her mouth shut and it ends up being a huge meltdown battle and we don't like or want that so we just stopped doing it! So, what she does instead is "plays" with teh toothbrush, she likes to imitate me when I brush my teeth- and she signs for her toothrbush as well - which is great! But, she then proceeds to "brush" her teeth too and by that I mean she ends up patting her tongue and gets no real brushing done! I have tried everything, and I am so worried she is going to get cavities, but at the same time I don't want it to be a battle. I hope I get some other good ideas from this post in others answers and feedback! thanks1
post #12 of 27
With a wash cloth and warm water in the bath. It works just as well as a toothbrush if you're thorough. DS won't let me anywhere near his mouth with a toothbrush.
post #13 of 27
i have a vibrating toothbrush that dd has always admired even b4 she had teeth. most of the time i try to make the noise my brush makes while doing hers (actually i make a zzzz noise) she laughs and thinks its funny which distracts her long enough for me to get a few swipes in, then she clamps down again! sometimes i tickle her a little so she laughs and then her mouth opens and i can get it back in. i try not to give her the brush, cuz at 17 mos she wants to run around the house with it and that isnt safe and then i end up having to take it from her and then that causes a big fit...and i dont want that association. i think the key here is speed!! the faster you can do what you need to do while also pulling out any stops you can to get them to unclamp their jaw - thats my method. atleast til dd is a little older and i can explain to her why it has to be done and that its not really an option!
post #14 of 27
Not brushing is not an option in our house. I try to sing and make it fun, if that doesn't work which is most of time then I flip DD2 over and brush them. She protests less if she is upside down. DD1 has had 10 cavities and 2 teeth extracted, I am going to do anything I can to so we don't have to go through that again.
post #15 of 27
I set DS on the (closed) toilet and give him his little toothbrush. While he works on that, His sister (if she is here) and I brush our teeth. Then I go over his with a finger brush.
post #16 of 27
At that age, we took turns. Now (at 21 months) DD is a bit older and refuses to let me in her mouth all together. Oh well, as long asthe toothbrush is in there adn I encourage her to touch all her teeth, I feel like something is getting accomplished.

She loves to brush her teeth, though.
post #17 of 27
My daughter is 15 mos. I asked my ped about this a few days ago; he suggested an electronic toothbrush, and it has been working really well. I found a crayola brush that has only a 1/2" round tip (so it's easy to get in her mouth *and* it doesn't have neon Bratz all over it ) She will let me brush for maybe 10-15 seconds, and she "brushes," too-- she seems to do tolerably well by herself on the bottom teeth. I try to do this periodically throughout the day, because I honestly cannot imagine her letting me brush for a whole two minutes at a time.
I am curious-- what causes so many cavities for some children and none for others? Does anyone know? I suspect that there's not much soda and candy sucking on this board... I know that my mom and dad were not super vigilant about brushing when we were very young, but we had no problems with our baby teeth.
post #18 of 27
I think it's genetic, ds has a genetically weak enamel. Certain foods make it worse, raisins, rice cakes to name a few that stick.
And while I don't believe night nursing is the cause of decay, I now believe it doesn't help once decay has started. But that also ties in with his enamel being weak. I also think some people need flouride. Not everyone does, but some people need that extra help.
post #19 of 27
Where did you find the Crayola battery operated brush (qu)
post #20 of 27
Before we read books at night I stick a toothbrush in his mouth and brush his teeth. Sometimes I'll need to hold his face still, and sometimes he doesn't open his mouth all the way, but we just do our best.
If he cooperates he gets to "brush" his own teeth for a little while.
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