Start Brushing - And Make it Fun! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Brush first or floss first?
brush then floss 28 41.18%
floss then brush 33 48.53%
depends on my mood (or what I ate, or whatever...) 7 10.29%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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#61 of 119 Old 05-19-2002, 08:53 AM
 
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Thanks!

We aren't going to give up...for now we just try to get through the yelling and hope that in time he'll relax a bit.

Peace!

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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#62 of 119 Old 05-24-2002, 03:31 PM
 
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gret, we struggle daily with this, too. my dd is 15mo old and very much a do it herself-er when it comes to her mouth -- food and tooth brushing both. nothing works great for us, but some things work sometimes. here's what we've tried with some occasional degrees of success...hold her up so she can see herself brush just like mama's brushing, watch tv while brushing (the animal planet is a big fave), brush outside, mama brushes DD while DD brushes daddy, and the latest one that's working the best for the moment is brush while watching the computer do a slide show of pictures of family and friends. i have friends who have had toddler teeth woes so i'm pretty paranoid about it, but most of the time i don't feel like i've gotten 'em as good as i'd like to. i'm just hoping she got her dad's strong enamel.

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#63 of 119 Old 05-24-2002, 03:58 PM
 
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This helped with my ds: I would pretend that characters from a book or video were in his mouth. Example: "ooh, I see Thomas the Tank engine way back there! He looks so dirty; let's scrub him off! Oh, and there's Toby! And who do I see up there... it's Edward!" etc. Often he suggests other possibilities. For whatever reason, this worked for us, though he was never as reluctant as your ds. Good luck!
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#64 of 119 Old 05-25-2002, 03:28 AM
 
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We use a toothbrushing chart.You put stickers 2x a day.We make a big deal of it,and they put the stickers on themselves.We also let them pick the stickers out at the dollar store.They are 19months,but we have been doing it since they were 15months.
You can get the chart from...

preschoolprintables on the web(sorry i lost the link when my comp went nuts,just do a goggle search)
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#65 of 119 Old 05-26-2002, 01:07 AM
 
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Thanks for the great suggestions!

We have had a good week- we are doing something similar to beccaboo's suggestion. I'l say, "Is that a bumble bee on your tooth??" and then as I buzz in my silliest possible buzz, I get at a few teeth- tonight he asked for a dragonfly (I barked), and last night I found a cat, a snake, an airplane and a tractor in his mouth. Let's hope it continues to work!

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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#66 of 119 Old 05-28-2002, 02:35 AM
 
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Just wanted to add that there is hope! For us, from 8 months to about 18 months was a huge struggle -- I tried everything and it always ended up with dd crying angrily. I basically just had to use the technique of putting her between my legs so that I could hold her arms down with my legs and keep her head from moving by keeping it between my legs. But dd has had teeth since she was 3 months old and has always been a frequent night nurser, so I felt strongly that the tooth brushing had to happen no matter what. Starting around 18 months, dd started to get more cooperative -- she's now 21 months and I never have to hold her down anymore -- she'll lie down in my lap and even open her mouth for me pretty willingly. One thing I had to realize was that she can't hold her mouth open for too long, as it seems to get tired -- I have her open her mouth, brush for a few seconds, then take the brush out when she closes her mouth, ask her to open her mouth again, brush a bit more, etc., until I think I 've cleaned everything thoroughly. I tell her to make a "big mouth" and then sing, "I'm gonna wash those germs right off of your teeth" (to the tune of "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair") and tell her that I'm sweeping the cavity germs off her teeth (she loves to sweep). My dd has always had a mind of her own, and it was dead set against me brushing her teeth, so I never would have believed she'd come around, but she did!
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#67 of 119 Old 06-25-2002, 03:46 PM
 
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I do the same as Corriander! Then top it off w/ an herbal mouthwash.
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#68 of 119 Old 07-05-2002, 11:39 AM
 
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So my daughter just turned a year old, and has eight teeth. We have been brushing with a very soft, small toothbrush, with just water on it. Is this enough? How often should I do this? Should I use a toothpaste of some sort? What kind? How much? Thanks! She breastfeeds and eats a variety of solid foods, including a lot of fruit, but she doesn't drink any juice.
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#69 of 119 Old 07-05-2002, 02:31 PM
 
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Katrina;

It sounds like you are well informed about taking care of your child's teeth! So many people don't even brush teeth at a year!

One little thing I messed up on with my second child was the softness of the toothbrush. You could try a test. Feed her something that is hard to brush off like pasta with pesto or blueberries, then brush with your toothbrush. Now make sure to look behind the front four teeth up by the gum line to make sure the bristles are soft enough to bend before they hurt your child's gums. The brush I was using was soft to me but too hard for my child. Consequently, I learned to brush softly enough that her gums would not bleed but that didn't remove enough dirt. I've had really good luck with the Braun electric toothbrush with the kids brush attachments.

Rachael
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#70 of 119 Old 07-06-2002, 01:02 PM
 
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Toms of Maine makes a childrens toothpaste.

Also, get the safety toothbrushes that have a round end. Dd slipped and almost shoved it down her mouth once!
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#71 of 119 Old 07-20-2002, 11:11 PM
 
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Wow--it never even occurred to me there could be differences in this! I use a rinse first, then floss, then brush. Man, does my mouth feel clean afterward!

Good for you for paying such close attention to your kids' dental health.

Mama to four great girls: 14 , 12 , 7 and 4
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#72 of 119 Old 07-23-2002, 03:06 PM
 
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I think if they have teeth, they need to be brushed!

Don't use anthing with fluoride, though until he is a reliable 'spitter.' My daughter did not reach this stage until 4!
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#73 of 119 Old 07-23-2002, 04:15 PM
 
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I remember reading in Sears book that it's a good idea to wipe baby gums before actual teeth appear. I think he said to use a gauze of sorts, but I can't remember if you use anything else besides plain water.

My ds is 6 mo with no teeth yet. At what age is it appropriate to start?

Thanks
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#74 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 01:17 PM
 
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I am really struggling with this one. My 2 yo daughter HATES to have her teeth brushed. I feel like we have tried everything: letting her do it herself (she just chews on the brush and you can SEE the plaque afterwards, also, sucks on toothbrush and swallows toothpaste) brushing with her to demo, singing songs, holding her down and forcing her (our current method, at least once a day) making her cry and cry and struggle. We also have a chart: for a cooperative brushing, she gets 2 stars, if no cooperation, but as a consolation, I guess, she gets one, even if there is a huge fight. For every ten stars on the chart, she gets to have ice cream (Dr. Sear's suggestion, I think.)

I am so depressed, because I feel like it's so violent and out of sync with how I parent her otherwise. And she gets so angry about it and that often is a terrible way to start the day with her just mad as hell, and having an unbelievable fit and throwing things, and this continues into the rest of our day.

My attitude about it is it has to get done, just like changing diapers, but it doesn't seem to make any difference what I am putting out to her. BTW, sometimes she is GREAT! She will lay down on her changing table and let me brush and brush. But this seems to just come completely from her, and has nothing to do with my approach.

I just really need some support. I hate to force anything on her with her screaming "No!" over and over because I think it teaches her that her words don't matter and it's OK for people bigger than you to force you to do things. As a formerly sexually abused child, I REALLLY don't want to teach this lesson.

Help!

Edie
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#75 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 01:40 PM
 
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I am having the SAME PROBLEM!!!! You would think I was tourturing my son by how he reacts when I try and brush his teeth - and I have tried all the method you have too - only to be forced to do it kicking and screaming. He too will have good moments and brush away - but overall is terrible about it. Looking for some suggestions too!

Grace - photographer, wife and mom to 4 great kids (Ethan 5.00, Ainsley 4.02, Owen 12.04, and Ellis Ann 10.07) :
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#76 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 01:53 PM
 
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First, both my kids went through this phase, and eventually outgrew it. So take heart, it may last a long time, but not forever.
Somethings to try:

1) We say "No treats. Not juice. No candy. No sweets tomorrow if you don't brush your teeth tonight.

2) We say "First your turn, then my turn." Then we don't hand the toothbrush over until he agrees in advance that I will get a turn too.

3) We say "Daddy do it or Mommy do it?" If he has power over that choice, sometimes he gives up the struggle over actually getting it done. And if he says "Mommy" and then fights me over it, then I say "Guess Daddy will have to do it!" And he will say "NO! Okay. You do it." And generally lets me.

4) When we have to resort to holding him down, we lay him on his back in the hallway (carpeted) straddle his belly on our knees, and then tickle him. When he giggles, his mouth pops open, we stick the toothbrush in real quick and say "I got it!" I guess we figure that if we have to play keep away with him, then we might as well make it a real game, with laughter and stuff. If we act silly, he has a hard time getting angry or sad.

5) We have the little medicine cups that come with cough syrup laying around -- we save them. Then after they let us brush their teeth they get to drink water out of those little bitty cups, which they think is fabulous. Weirdos. The only times they are allowed to do that is after medicine or after tooth brushing, so for some odd reason they think it is realy special!

Good luck. It does get better. My 6 year old doesn't give us any trouble at all!
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#77 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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a few more ideas to add to mamaduck's

Let her brush yours when you are brushing hers.

Brush somewhere else-- the bathtub or highchair.

Give her a little mirror to hold so she can make sure they all get brushed.

Let her get the toothpaste out of the cabinet and put it on herself (then just wash a little off when you get the toothbrush wet).

Only worry about it once a day or do it 12 times a day so that however many teeth you get clean is good enough, next time you'll get the top right.
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#78 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 04:43 PM
 
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I have this exact same problem! I like the tickling idea, since he usually hollers, and I hurry and get the job done.
I did buy some special 'toddler toothpaste', that is OK if they swallow it. Now I don't feel bad when he brushes by himself and has a good time with the toothpaste!
Look in the grocery store toothbrush aisle, or try some natural toothpaste. This stuff has the advantage of being packaged with toddlers in mind, and the taste is good. It is colorless, which is a disadvantage because he doesn't 'see' it as readily.
Not perfect, but better!
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#79 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 05:58 PM
 
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There's a thread on the "Real Life with a Toddler" board that is discussing this, too:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=23577

There's some great ideas here, especially the brushing each other's teeth. One of the main things I have figured out is to never falter -- it's something that has to be done, and the amount of protest won't affect whether it is done. I agree that it's weird AP-wise, but once I took that attitude and dd realized that it was going to happen no matter what, she really calmed down about it, and welcomes the more fun aspects.

For example, in the other thread you'll see that a lot of us use a song that was in Babybug:

We brush, brush, brush our teeth
We brush them left to right
We brush them up and down
To keep them clean and white!

She loves it!

First and foremost, though, you're RIGHT that it has to be done, and good for you for looking for WAYS to do it rather than just not doing it.
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#80 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 06:37 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone. I am going to try letting her brush my teeth while I brush hers, first. Also, take her to the drugstore and buy herself a new toothbrush, perhaps an electric one. Both DP and I use Sonicare - does anyone know if el cheapo electric ones are OK to use? Smilemomma?

Edie
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#81 of 119 Old 09-12-2002, 07:08 PM
 
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I had the same problem with my son. Now he usually, 95% of the time, cooperates. We do all the things that have been mention above (have our own song, which he sings after brushing the ducks teeth). The big break through however came when he watched me get my teeth cleaned at the dentist and the dentist explained what she was doing etc. He got a new cool toothbrush and has cooperated ever since. He also brushed the teeth of his bear all the way home.


Good Luck, keep trying, eventually it will happen.
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#82 of 119 Old 09-13-2002, 02:52 AM
 
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I bought on of those batter operated toothbrushes, but I wondered if it was as good as my Sonicare brush. It is! My little guy is now the proud owner of a race car toothbrush, and is makes a big difference.
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#83 of 119 Old 09-13-2002, 11:47 PM
 
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I think your daughter will get less resistant as she realizes that this is something that isn't going to be an option. Part of the problem may just be her age.

My DD gets to choose between two different toothbrushes and two different toddler-safe toothpastes. I let her brush while I'm brushing my teeth, and then I "check" to see how she's done.

We play a game where we pretend different animals are hiding in her mouth and have to be brushed out of there. Making a game of it keeps her interested and entertained long enough for me to get the job done. We've been doing this since she was about two, and now, at almost age 3, when I say, "Let Mommy see how you did," she'll tell me which animals are hiding. Occasionally, we'll sing a song instead.

Have you thought about how your hands taste? I know you probably don't smoke (my mom did when we were little and her hands tasted AWFUL and it burned when she would help us with our teeth), but other things--onions, peppers, cleaning products, hand lotions, soaps, etc.--can linger and your daughter might also be resistant to the taste of your hands.

Good luck.

Stephanie
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#84 of 119 Old 09-14-2002, 04:10 AM
 
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Hi, we've been there. We tried EVERYTHING to make it fun, but dd wasn't going to fall for it. I always knew she was smart

But she did outgrow it, gradually. What finally made it easier was buying a whole bunch of fancy (expensive too) toothbrushes, so she could always choose a couple. And then we learned to count till 10, so she knew how long that took. And finally, she realized that having it over with, with her fave brush of the day and knowing exactly how long it was going to take (till 5 "downstairs" and then to 10 in the "upper department" and it's easy to drag out the words when your child has a mouthful of bristles LOL), was preferable to hiding under the kitchen table all day ( she actually once spent most of 3 days under the table to avoid it ).

She still doesn't like it (3 yo now), but she understands it needs to be done. The "kid dentist" already fixed a tooth, and she knows that she doesn't really want to go there again (and that it costs the same as a whooooole bunch of toys).

(edited for incomprehensible typo)
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#85 of 119 Old 09-14-2002, 02:46 PM
 
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I hold my dd down, kicking and screaming. We have tried all the tricks. Sometimes they work, sometimes they just don't (she is a little strong willed) It sucks but not nearly as much as it is going to hurt to have cavities filled. This will pass eventually. By the way, we never forced dd#1 and she has 6 cavities that need to be filled. It sucks to be her. Looking back I wish I had just brushed for her.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#86 of 119 Old 09-15-2002, 12:20 AM
 
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Hi,
I pretend I see a 'sugar bug' in my ds mouth. I tell him that mom sees a sugar bug and we have to get him with the toothbrush. He opens up and I chase the 'bug' around his mouth with toothbrush. Then I tell him to spit so we can make sure we got the 'sugar bug' I can brush as much as I have to and he has fun. In the end, we pretend to see the sugar bug go down the drain. Then we floss and that is called the treasure hunt. Kind of gross I guess!

If that doesn't work, I make up a Curious George story (one of his favourites - any favourite character could be subsituted) about Curious George getting his teeth brushed by the man with the yellow hat. He usually sits quiet and cooperates and listens to the story.

Hope that helps!
Samantha
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#87 of 119 Old 09-15-2002, 11:21 AM
 
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We went to Target yesterday and bought $30. of stuff. A rechargable toothbrush with three different monster heads (I don't know - Maddie liked them!) a battery powered toothbrush(I think I'll put it away for a really difficult day or something) two regular toothbrushes, including Barney : (I HATE Barney) and strangely, Bob the Builder. And two kinds of toothpaste. And last but not least, a Hello KItty cup that she can ONLY use after she brushes her teeth.

I guess I really went nuts! Oh well. Maddie got to pick everything out herself and I told myself it was better - and cheaper than having to take her to the dentist and get fillings.

Also, the suggestion about letting her brush my teeth while I brush hers has worked about 4 times.

Seems like different things work different days. One brushing at a time, right?

Edie
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#88 of 119 Old 09-22-2002, 11:43 PM
 
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We do the routine where first my son brushes and then I or dh brush his teeth. He used to protest, but I finally told him a rather dramatic version of the truth. I told him that there are little bugs in our mouth that we have to scrub out every night. They are the sugar bugs. If we don't scrub them out every night they will eat our teeth until they fall out.
It helps that my son doesn't like the idea of bugs on him.

I know it sounds a little mean, but it is the truth. My mother thought that was a little overdramatic, but after she went through a few teethbrushing episodes with him, I overheard her saying the same thing to him.
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#89 of 119 Old 09-23-2002, 12:11 AM
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Is this something I have to look forward to in a few months?

Right now Kailey LOVES brushing her teeth with us. She first brushes her teeth while I brush mine. We act really goofy while we do it. She stands in one of the vanity drawers so she can look in the big mirror with us. Then after I am finished brushing, I brush her teeth. We say "open up" and just do a real vigorous brushing of front, top, back, and bottom teeth. Takes about 10 seconds.

We have been brushing her teeth since she was about 11- 12 months old.

So this will change for us?? WHAAAAA!!!!

PS- she LOVES running her tooth brush under the water like we do
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#90 of 119 Old 09-30-2002, 02:30 AM
 
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Ds is 22-months and can't stand to have his teeth brushed..... He does like to chew on his toothbrush, so I put a bit of Weleda Calendula toothpaste or some Eco-Dent on there and let him chew away, figuring this will pretty well take care of the back teeth. As for his front teeth - I do them when he's asleep .

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