HELP! tooth brush battles - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-28-2003, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone else have a major struggle getting their toddler to submit to tooth brushing? Cajoling, sweet-talking, reasoning have all gone by the wayside and I am resorting to holding down my ds (20 mo) to even get 6 seconds of contact between brush and teeth. He screams blue murder the entire time.

Any suggestions welcome.
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#2 of 6 Old 04-28-2003, 11:03 PM
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We had the same problem. It seems to be better now. Here's what I did with 21 mo dd:

I let her be in control of the toothbrush at 1st. I gave it to her every night in the bathtub with just a smidgen of Tom's of Maine Strawberry Fluoride toothpaste. At 1st she would just lick it. Then I would try to get a bit of brushing in. She really resisted but I was persistant & got a few seconds in. She started giving me more & more time to brush.

Now, I put a bit of the toothpaste on the toothbrush and give it to her in the bath. She does try to brush a bit, licks off the paste and gives it back to me. I put a little dab more toothpaste on the brush and brush her teeth. I don't get more than about 90 seconds of brushing in, but it's better than nothing. And I think we are getting there.

Try letting him be in control of the brush a bit and see if that works for you.

Also, doing it in the bathtub seemed to help a lot with my dd.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-29-2003, 12:16 AM
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check out the dental forum for more tips. our dd (26 mo) doesn't mind it too much now, but hated it for a long time.

right now dd likes to pretend there are things in her mouth we're brushing out. we'll start out by saying, "i think i see a seal in there," and she grab my arm and say, "i think i see a mama seal in there and a little baby seal". it makes the brushing take a little longer, but she's happy. also, if i have a clean baby washcloth i'll use that to clean the outside of her teeth. she especially doesn't seem to like the brush there. i usually use the brush on the chewing surfaces and the insides (next to the tongue) to avoid bites, although she rarely does that anymore.

check out the dental forum, though, if you have a chance -- here's a great, though long, thread... .


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#4 of 6 Old 04-29-2003, 02:03 AM
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We have problems with that, too. I usually tell Chase, "I will give you the brush if you'll let me brush your teeth first." He agrees but then screams and tries to pull away while I'm brushing them. I usually get in about 10 seconds of brush-to-teeth contact twice a day. He will carry around his toothbrush for an hour, though, chewing on it, so I figure he's probably doing a pretty good job himself.
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#5 of 6 Old 04-29-2003, 02:57 PM
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How timely - I was just reading over the tooth brushing tips in the dental forum! This is a big problem in our household - dd opens her mouth for a few seconds to suck the toothpaste off, and then it's closed. No more brushing! After reading about all those young kids with cavities though, I think I'm going to start taking a hard-line approach. First I guess I'll try the electric toothbrush thing, but if that doesn't work I think we're going to have to resort to brushing her teeth upside down. I'm just really worried that she's going to get cavities if we don't start getting in a good brushing...

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#6 of 6 Old 04-30-2003, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to all of you - I did not see that there was en entire FORUM dedicated to this (seemingly) universal problem. I have a lot of reading to do!
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