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#1 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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do you struggle with teeth brushing? DD will chew on a brush on her own but we can barely get the brush in. I don't want to force it. It seems like some people hold their baby down. Soon as she protests I stop. I am afraid that her teeth are going to fall out! Also that she will never learn that she needs to brush them.

what do you do?
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#2 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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I don't fight about it. I try every day & if we get some brushing done I consider it a success. It's just not worth creating a huge drama over every day.

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#3 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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By letting her watch tv while we did it. Eventually, she got old enough that an explanation sufficed, but before 2yo, we used tv.
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#4 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Honestly, there have been times when I have forced it. Actually it was easier when she cried because her mouth was open. I figured that the few times it was bad like this were far less traumatic than bad dentist trips/fillings/extractions etc. DD has been through stages.

What did help was getting a new toothpaste (Weleda) which is loves and asks for "teeth? brush teeth?" in the morning when I am doing mine. We also do it at night before bed, so I figure if one session isn't so great it is ok.

She visited the ped dentist at 14 mths and he said her teeth were great and once a day brushing is fine.

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#5 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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My DS fights it HARD. and we force it. We've already spent over $2000 having cavities filled, etc in his mouth so yeah, it is pretty important that his teeth get brushed every night.

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#6 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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My pedi and dentist said that at my son's age it is more about establishing routine than actual brushing. They said that letting him chew on the toothbrush when he wouldn't let me actually brush his teeth was good. I don't want him to see tooth brushing as a control issue later in life.

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#7 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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Brushing teeth is one of the few things that are non-negotiable. DD's 8 teeth get properly brushed ~6 times/week. Twice daily would be better, but I don't want to torture her too much.

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#8 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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I just signed on to ask the exact same thing! DD is 15 mo and she only has 5 teeth, but she clamps her mouth shut and it's a huge fight to brush. So if she just chews on the toothbrush I feel like at least that's OK for now. That's all we really get most nights.

We already hold her down to cut her nails and that is a huge trauma...But otherwise she scratches her face up terribly in her sleep. I don't want to have yet another thing we need to restrain her for, and every day! So I chose to nit fight her on the tooth brushing thing at this point. Nails at least are only once every 2 weeks. But I do feel like a bad parent because some nights I can't even get the brush in for a chew, even.

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#9 of 36 Old 07-22-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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just wanted to add-- we got some Spiffie tooth-wipes as well, to do throughout the day (because it takes 2 people to actually brush his teeth) and he is not as resistant to those. I can usually at least wipe the front of his teeth with those.

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#10 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I didn't think it was a big deal to make sure dd brushed, until my friend's child developed some pretty serious tooth problems (under 2 yo) because of lack of brushing. We just built it into the routine. She was resistant at first but we stuck with it and now she's fine, she even reminds us that it's time to brush her teeth. DH is convinced that she came around to it because he bought her an battery-powered toothbrush (we have electric ones, so it's more like ours). I hate the wastefulness of it, but if it gets her to brush...
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#11 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Tooth-brushing is a non-negotiable in our house, too. For months, it was a fight... EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Things have gotten much better, but... yeah. For me, it's like riding in the car seat. Yes, you may prefer not to do it, kiddo, but in ways you are not yet able to understand, it's what you need.

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#12 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 05:19 AM
 
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I was just talking to my dental assistant friend about this today. She said that she's seen kids with entire rows of teeth rotted out from not brushing who have to be put under general anesthesia to be worked on. Needless to say, she forces the issue, even to the point of flossing!
I don't floss, but we did start forcing the teeth brushing issue when our dd was around 18 months. Right now we are at the point where she'll let me brush her teeth after she's brushed for a little bit. For some reason, "there are monsters in your teeth. Let me get the monsters out. Out monsters! Out!" works like a charm. (A little trick I read somewhere).
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#13 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 05:31 AM
 
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Toothbrushing is also non-negotiable here. What I do say works for us is using two toothbrushes. My son holds one (biting on it), and I go in with another one saying "my turn!" I also make it a game. I ask him what the sheep says and he says "Baa!" and I go for it. It is part of the routine. At night he gets a bath and after we brush teeth. In the morning, we all brush our teeth before we leave the house.

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#14 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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We let her do it. She really likes standing on her stool and putting her brush under the running water. She basically gets the brush wet and then sucks the water off about 50 times in a row, and then she is usually agreeable to letting Mummy have a turn and I brush them for her.

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#15 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Most of the children in my family have their baby teeth rot out of their heads because we have genetically bad teeth. Teeth brushing is not optional. We started using a little finger tip thing mostly on gums before she was old enough to object much. I think she only had two teeth and she was barely touching solid foods. We have had periods where she fought tooth brushing. I pretty calmly explain to her that there are bugs that live in our mouths that we have to get off our teeth before we go to sleep. If we don't the bugs eat our teeth. The few times she really has fought (I've probably done this five times ever) I did pin her on the floor between my thighs and brush her teeth. It sucked for all involved.

Mostly we make it a game and that works. My husband actually does 95% of the teeth brushing these days now that I made the routine possible. (He just couldn't force the issue. He's not that kind of person.) He gives her a tooth brush while he brushes his own teeth and they talk a lot about teeth bugs and how important it is to get them all. Then he 'finishes' brushing her teeth for her and is very silly about darting in to get the bugs. He generally attacks small sections at a time and is silly the whole time. She laughs and plays along. Our newest bedtime/teeth brushing incentive is we found 'kid flossers' and she is really excited that she gets to floss now too. It was always one of those grown up things before.

It's rare for them to have a hard night now. It took patience and dedication on my part to get this routine in place but it has seriously paid off. She simply is not capable of understanding the consequences of not brushing her teeth and I am not going to put her through the hell of bad early experiences at the dentist's office. I had nightmares for years and terrible panic attacks at the dentist's office because I had to have so much work done. I think that the relative 'trauma' of me forcibly brushing her teeth a handful of times is balanced out by our overall very positive, loving relationship.

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#16 of 36 Old 07-23-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Toothbrushing is also non-negotiable here. What I do say works for us is using two toothbrushes. My son holds one (biting on it), and I go in with another one saying "my turn!" I also make it a game. I ask him what the sheep says and he says "Baa!" and I go for it. It is part of the routine. At night he gets a bath and after we brush teeth. In the morning, we all brush our teeth before we leave the house.
We also use 2. A little regular one for DS to use first and then I go in with the battery powered one. He's actually pretty good with it now. he used to fight it but mellowed out with time. Brushing is non negotiable here as I have very "soft" teeth and have had a lifelong history of caries and dental problems. I will do my best to prevent my son from going through that.

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#17 of 36 Old 07-24-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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I like the idea of using 2. We do it every night. always. sometimes it's a fight but for the most part it's ok. We let him take a turn first (he puts it in his mouth and basically pushes it up and down so it looks like he's brushing but really he's just mimicking the motion. Then we say 'mommys turn' or 'daddy's turn!' and we go in and just do a quick pass of the teeth he has, we don't try to get them really scrubbed unless he's more willing.

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#18 of 36 Old 07-25-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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Because of ds1's (4.5 yrs) dental surgery at 2 years old, we've had to force brushing. For him I would give him the choice of sitting up for me to 'check' or he could lie down for me to 'check'. Lying down would mean my legs over his arms and his face up. He would usually pick the sitting up but if he wouldn't let me brush we'd have to do it the other way.
Pretty soon he was really good at letting me check either by lying down or sitting, then he would have his turn at brushing himself.
With ds2 (16 m) we started brushing lying down from the beginning. He tolerates it for about 30 seconds Thankfully he only has 7 teeth, so they don't take too long to brush.

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#19 of 36 Old 07-25-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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When my boys were that age, I asked them if I could see their huge dinosaur-like teeth and then I'd make crazy faces and exclamations in fear as I brushed. It worked every single time. My current toddler isn't interested in scary teeth but lines up for brushing because her siblings do, I think.

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#20 of 36 Old 07-25-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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My son is 16 months old and got teeth pretty late, so he's only got 6 right now and 4 aren't even all the way through. We just started brushing teeth, but he won't let me do it. So I just give it to him and model how to brush. When I brush my teeth in front of him, he gets a better idea of what to do, and will brush a bit. I'm sure it's not actually getting his teeth *really* clean, but we do this twice a day, and I think it's great for his age.

Once he has more teeth and is older and eating more sweets (right now the only sugar in his diet is the occasional Popsicle) I might push the brushing a little more, but for now, I'm completely satisfied with letting him enjoy tooth brushing and doing it himself. I really feel like if I forced the issue, it would end up a battle that would make him hate brushing his teeth, and I'd rather have it be fun right now.

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#21 of 36 Old 07-25-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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My son is 16 months old and got teeth pretty late, so he's only got 6 right now and 4 aren't even all the way through. We just started brushing teeth, but he won't let me do it. So I just give it to him and model how to brush. When I brush my teeth in front of him, he gets a better idea of what to do, and will brush a bit. I'm sure it's not actually getting his teeth *really* clean, but we do this twice a day, and I think it's great for his age.

Once he has more teeth and is older and eating more sweets (right now the only sugar in his diet is the occasional Popsicle) I might push the brushing a little more, but for now, I'm completely satisfied with letting him enjoy tooth brushing and doing it himself. I really feel like if I forced the issue, it would end up a battle that would make him hate brushing his teeth, and I'd rather have it be fun right now.
I totally understand what you are saying and this is the approach we took with ds1. Just make sure you keep a look out for brown spots near the gums. He had zero sugar until 2 years old, and still at 13 months he had slight brown near the gum line at the front. At two he had surgery because he was in so much pain.
If your able to keep it fun and still keep them really clean, then that is great, just keep an eye on things in there

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#22 of 36 Old 07-27-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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I use a washcloth to scrub my 14 mo old's 6 teeth. I'm sure it's not as good as brushing because the bristles do a better job of getting in the gumline, but it's better than nothing. I do it at least once a day, typically after a meal in his high chair. My challenge is just when he bites down HARD on my finger.

I also try to remember to do it before bed, but that one typically falls by the way side. He still nurses to sleep anyway and at least twice more during the night.

I do rub a gel called Spry made for babies on his teeth (bought at my local health food store), which is a xylitol syrup because studies have shown that it can ward off cavities. See links below.

http://dentistry.about.com/b/2009/07...ood-caries.htm

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul.../sci-xylitol11
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#23 of 36 Old 07-27-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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Toothbrushing is non-negotiable here too. We started when he was little and once he was old enough to get grumpy about it, he got to pick out his own electric toothbrush and what flavor toothpaste he wanted. And we do the first run, a good thorough clean and then he gets to finish himself.

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#24 of 36 Old 07-28-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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Toothbrushing is non-negotiable after my not-yet-four nephew underwent thousands of dollars of dental work under general anaesthesia including ROOT CANALS.
But I just wanted to add that having to force the issue - and there have been periods where it's been for weeks at a time - does not seem to have given DS a "complex" about it. At 2, he's now perfectly fine with it 90% of the time and complains mightily the rest.
Thanks for reminding me I need to investigation how to floss a toddler!

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#25 of 36 Old 07-28-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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My son is 16 months old and got teeth pretty late, so he's only got 6 right now and 4 aren't even all the way through. We just started brushing teeth, but he won't let me do it. So I just give it to him and model how to brush. When I brush my teeth in front of him, he gets a better idea of what to do, and will brush a bit. I'm sure it's not actually getting his teeth *really* clean, but we do this twice a day, and I think it's great for his age.

Once he has more teeth and is older and eating more sweets (right now the only sugar in his diet is the occasional Popsicle) I might push the brushing a little more, but for now, I'm completely satisfied with letting him enjoy tooth brushing and doing it himself. I really feel like if I forced the issue, it would end up a battle that would make him hate brushing his teeth, and I'd rather have it be fun right now.

Hi Jennie!
I agree with what the other poster said, just make sure you watch out, Liam had NO sweets, NONE, and didn't even start eating solids until 15 months old.. AND we brushed his teeth every single night (starting at 12 months old) at 17 months he had 6+ cavities that had to be filled under general anesthesia. I agree wiping them is good, maybe get a little toddler toothpaste (without flouride) or some xylitol spray to put on the washcloth and jsut wipe as good as you can. With only 6 teeth it should be pretty easy, Liam had 16 teeth by that time so it was pretty hard for us to wipe them all. A lot of it is definitely genetic, Liam got "lucky" with weak enamel, but I would still be extra careful because you don't know whether Wyatt has strong teeth or not yet.

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#26 of 36 Old 07-28-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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Tooth-brushing is a non-negotiable in our house as well.
She used to really love it.
We had two toothbrushes. She would hold one and get to brush first. Then I would brush next.
Then she turned two and she refused to let anyone help her.
I stick to my guns though and tell her that she can brush her teeth but I need to brush them too.
She fights but she doesn't freak out. Eventually she's calm and let's me do it with an occasional pushing my hand away. I'm steadfast though and tell her that it's almost done.
I also sing a song so she knows when it's almost done. She knows that the song has to be sung in it's fullest for the top set and then again for the bottom set.

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#27 of 36 Old 07-29-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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My son likes brushing himself, but never do it right. So I will let him do it first and finish up myself, sometime I have to force it. I have heard so much about the teeth problems at young age, and I don't want my son to have them.
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#28 of 36 Old 07-29-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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For some reason, "there are monsters in your teeth. Let me get the monsters out. Out monsters! Out!" works like a charm. (A little trick I read somewhere).
That's the funniest thing I've heard in a while!! We'll have to try it!

We got one of those bite guard looking toothbrushes from One Step Ahead. Expensive, but at least it is designed to be chewed on. Sometimes I see little pieces of food in it so I think it is helping

Also we do xylitol on the nite nite binky so it can work all night.

We have had staining issues where her front teeth were stained and I thought we'd have to go to the dentist. Both times a good brushing took it off. She does fight me brushing though and I just do it occasionally.
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#29 of 36 Old 07-30-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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My son brushes his own teeth first and then I "double-check" his work.
We made it into a big game when he first resisted (he never really cared if we wiped/brushed his teeth until 2). He was really into pretending to be different animals or a monster so we'd get really excited about needing to clean our big monster/bear/tiger teeth (whoa yeah! we better do it so we can have strong, healthy monster teeth to eat ____!! etc etc). Eventually he just did it without all the excitement.
He started resisting again at 3 and we made it about seeing the cool bubbles (though, really, his toothpaste doesn't bubble that much--I think he had just seen mine). He would stand on his stool, looking in the mirror, while I told him to keep brushing so we could see how many bubbles he could make. Again, lots of excitement, haha. This didn't require quite as much effort as the first time he resisted. Now he just does it most days. I always brush my teeth at the same time and sometimes we will "talk" to each other while doing it which just sounds like grrfflgeblllrg (haha, if you know what I mean) and that helps to get him in a better mood if he just has the toothbrush hanging there or whatever.
Obviously every child/family is different, so who knows! I hope you do find something that works though!

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#30 of 36 Old 07-30-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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I'm battling this same issue with my soon-to-be 2 year old as well. LAtely I've let him stand on the stool and brush his as I brush mine. If he doesn't cooperate, I just hold him down and wipe his teeth with a washcloth. Some cleaning is better than none IMO.

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