DS refuses to get his teeth brushed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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19 month old DS refuses to get his teeth brushed. WE used to let him brush his own teeth (he would basically just suck on the tooth brush). then I read some of the posts about toddler teeth problems and got nervous. I have tried to wipe his teeth clean with a wash cloth. I even made a game of it but he can't stand it! I've tried to make a game of brushing his teeth with a tooth brush. He cries and whines and refuses. I got him a tooth brushing book. I have let him brush my teeth and DH's teeth. I have even tried to go back to having him brush his own teeth but he just throws the tooth brush. I have even forced him and he just cries and screams and i feel terrible and know that I am going through so much to get into his mouth and he isn't even getting a good brushing.

There have been many nights where I have just said forget it and I feel that DS is getting the message that if he throws a fit he can get out of anything he doesn't like.

Any advice would be appreciated.

thanks,

Lori
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#2 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 02:28 AM
 
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We solved this one by modelling correct brushing and dd eventually learned how to do it herself. She brushes her very own teeth now at 22 months (a little sloppiliy). Sometimes we help her get the back teeth but she pretty much does it herself and seems to like it. I used to sit her up on the counter and we would brush our teeth "together". Only prob is now she hates when it's over and I have to take the brush away from her. Sometimes it's a bit of a row. Otherwise she would run around with it and possibly choke herself. You can't win sometimes.

Good luck

Denny
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#3 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Denny,

Did yur DD originally dislike brushing her teeth?
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#4 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 02:47 AM
 
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I don't really think she had an opinion on it either way. I think we did start her on it about the same age as your son. About 17 months. It might not happen overnight and I don't think you should worry about perfect dental hygiene at this stage. I think it's more about building the habit into part of the bedtime ritual, KWIM? So try making it a game. Sing a goofy brushing song and see if he will try it. It might just be an autonomy issue. He does not want to be handled or something like that. Is he good for diaper changes?

Denny
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#5 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 06:58 AM
 
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Check this thread in the archives of the Dental forum for lots of great ideas, including playing crocodile

brushing the babe

And bear with it. Children whose body choices are respected by their parents eventually DO figure out that things like diaper changes and tooth brushing are inevitable.
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#6 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 02:03 PM
 
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Just wanted to share what worked for us when dd hated teeth brushing:

We got like 4 toothbrushes for her, she has one with clifford and one with bugs bunny and for awhile she had hello kitty, or some with just neat designs and some plain (we replace them regularly so we've been through quite a few now). She started out with her holding two or three (both hands full) and me or dh having ONE and doing most of the brushing. She was distracted by the tooth brushes I think, these little toys she only gets to play with for a few minutes a day) and now it's not a problem to brush her teeth (she's 2). Generally dh does it and she"helps".

Also... we got some Weleda non-fluoridated toothpaste for her (she doesn't spit it out yet so we can't use flouride). It tastes like fennel/anise I think ? Anyways she likes it, she likes dabbing a little on one toothbrush and sucking it off (a very little bit I might add). And I think the good flavor helps her be patient when daddy needs to get those molars and go over all surfaces.

And she has to be able to see herself in the mirror, that also helps.

good luck.... and whatever you do try to keep it from becoming a big "issue" KWIM ? I think it's better to not push it for a few days or a week than to make it into a battle. Of course sometimes you just have to be the mommy too and put your foot down. Its hard to know when to draw the line sometimes.
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#7 of 7 Old 03-09-2003, 04:12 PM
 
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We were having the same problem with ds, 22 months. We finally decided that after dinner we all 3 went into the bathroom and closed the door (solving the wanting to run around the house with the toothbrush issue). Then dh and I would brush our teeth, and hand ds's tootbrush to him. We would make a big deal out of brushing, he would kind of imitate, and then every once in awhile dh or I take his brush and get a good swipe at a different portion of his teeth. Dh and I say "aaah" while we're brushing our teeth, and then say "aaah" to ds to get him to open his mouth wide enough for us to get a brush in now and then. This has actually been working for us pretty well. We too had tried letting him brush our teeth, playing games, etc., and nothing had worked.

We decided to do it after dinner rather than right before bedtime because sometimes ds was tired and cranky before bedtime, and then it was just a big battle. Sometimes he still eats something after he's brushed before he goes to bed, but I don't worry about it. At least his teeth are finally getting somewhat clean!

Oh, and we also got him a little stool that allows him to just be able to put his brush underneath the running water at the sink. He loves to stand on this little stool and rinse his toothbrush inbetween brushing.
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