Yeah, the toothbrushing thing is really hard. We do it three times a day and we all dread it. It has definitely gotten easier. I just had to make it a priority, and take it seriously myself. Is there crying? Yes? Not everytime, and not terrible crying, but DS does not like it. But, he's gotten used to it. He never went for the "you brush my teeth, I'll brush yours thing" either. If there are two people involved, one will brush the teeth, the other will tickle him or tell him a funny story. If it's just me, I'll tell him a story, talk about something fun we'll do later. Distraction is the key for us. Teethbrushing doesn't hurt, it's just annoying and kids don't like to be held down (even gently), so taking their mind off of it helps.
We don't brush in the middle of the night. I'd be a zombie if I did that. DS nurses to sleep. Then, when he's been asleep for about 20 min (when he's limp), I fill a medicine dropper with water and a little xylitol and gently squirt it into his mouth. You have to do it slowly so the child won't gag on the water, but my DS has gotten used to it and sucks it down. You can also just wipe the teeth clean with a cloth. After the water, I use a clean finger and smear some xylitol directly onto the teeth. DS nurses about 2 times a night (sometimes more!) and gets his teeth brushed in the morning. I think the xylitol in the mouth all night fights off the germs that might feed on any milk that stay in his mouth.
I hope this helps! Ask more questions if you like. I've been there, and I know how stressful this can be.
Wendy, mama to Benjamin (1/4/07) :