Brushing 14month old teeth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you do it without it making them cry? I've been doing what I can since he was about 4 months old...maybe not as consistent as I could have been..
I try to "brush" in the morning and at night. He will NOT let me get my finger in there with the little silicone bristle thing...he will NOT let me get a toothbrush in there either. When I's for a split second and I don't think I'm doing that much. If I try much more he will cry...I know I'm the mom but to what extent.

I had a friend that would hold her child down to brush their teeth as they would flail and cry...don't want to go there...but don't want him to have cavities

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#2 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 09:41 PM
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I had the same problem with my oldest, until I found out he just hated that flavor of toothpaste! He loves Tom's of Maine Strawberry flavor. If you can find small sample sizes of a few different kinds to try, it makes it alot easier. As much as I hate all things artificial, my youngest son brushes his teeth twice as often and well if I let him use the turquoise sparkly bubblegum gel. But at least his teeth stay nice and clean now. HTH

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#3 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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toothpaste that young?

How long should I be able to brush for? Sometimes I can only get the front of bottom teeth. Almost never lets me get the back of top teeth. He's working on getting his molars in now. UUgghh!

Should I be worried? Should I force him to point of crying...not my style of parenting...but that's what people are telling me....
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#4 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 11:08 PM
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My 14 mo LOVES Kiss My Face berry flavored toothpaste for kids. So does my 4yo. It really does make a huge difference in willingness to brush.

I also got them both a firefly that lights up for a minute or two. Sometimes we brush in the dark and they love it.

I have also brushed my own teeth almost 100% of the time holding dd in my left arm, so she is totally intrigued with tooth brushing and wanted her own brush from the get-go. She thinks its really cool.
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#5 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 11:17 PM
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I have a gel I got from my local HFS called Spry. It's for infants, contains xylitol and has a very mildly sweet flavor.

We have family brushing time - DH brushes his teeth while 12mo DD watches closely. Then we make a big deal about how it's her turn and go for it. If she fusses, I open my mouth and pretend to brush with her toothbrush, and that usually gets her interested again.

I think it hasn't been much of an issue for us because she has always coveted our electric toothbrushes.
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#6 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 11:19 PM
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DD loves brushing. I can never get the brush away from her. She gets a brush while I get the "real" brush out of the drawer and in between her doing it I can some good scrubbing in.

Have you seen the xylitol wipes? I want those for me! lol

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#7 of 13 Old 03-02-2010, 11:21 PM
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We discovered that it went much easier when we asked my daughter to lie on her back on the bed and open her mouth really wide so that we could "tickle her teeth." She thought that was lots of fun, whereas when we'd make her stand to poke around in her mouth she was very reticent.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#8 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 12:14 AM
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I asked this to my SIL who used to be a dental assistant and has 4 kids who all love to brush their teeth. She said she went through a rough patch with most of them but had to "just do it".

So we finally broke down and forced the toothbrush in there, but the crying only lasted for 3-4 days, and it got a little better each time. Now he opens wide and lets us brush willingly. Then we let him try for as long as he wants.

It was worth it for me in the hopes that our kids don't have bajillions of cavities like their parents!

Christina, Mama to Salvador (3 yr) & Santiago (6 mo)! Life has gotten too busy - Come shop our going out of business sale! Cloth Dipes & more.
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#9 of 13 Old 03-03-2010, 02:48 PM
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My DS is only 10mos, but has 8 teeth for awhile. He has 2 toothbrushes, 1 for "play" that he can hold & bite on & 1 that I hold to actually brush the teeth. We're still working on it . . . he is reluctant. I don't want to force it on him b/c I don't want him to have bad associations with teeth brushing - but, like you said, I don't want him to have cavities either!!

We don't use toothpaste yet.

My only tip - I hold DS in front of the bathroom mirror and open my mouth wide. He sees our reflections and wants to mimic me. For some reason, he will always open his mouth wide for the baby in the mirror. I think he likes to be able to see what's happening.

Erin - mama to my happy little guy, born April 09  kewl.gif

and my sweet baby, born July 12  babygirl.gif

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#10 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 09:30 PM
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DD chipped a tooth and got a cavity by 10 months old. I'm terrified of her having to go under general anesthesia. From what I've learned, diet makes the most difference, so if you're concerned, check out the traditional foods forum or at least make sure that your kids are getting lots of Vitamin D and minerals (and you too).

I just do it. Three times a day. She hates it. I hate it. She screams. I hold her down and hold her mouth open. Wow, just admiting this is making me cry. When DH is here, he holds her, and that's a little better. I try singing with her. I try empathizing with her. I let her hold another toothbrush. We've tried 2 kinds of toothpaste and 2 toothbrushes plus a cloth. I use the one with the smallest head and the vanilla ice cream flavored toothpaste since they have the best results. I let her play with the toothbrush afterwards. I keep her safe, laying her on a soft surface and making sure that I restrain her in a way that won't hurt her. I keep looking for a better way...

Before she got the cavity, we just looked at mirrors and smiled and sang songs, and I got what I could, trying to keep things positive. I think that is the best approach for somebody who does not have high risk factors for cavities. I wish I could still be doing that, but I have to do it, and I have to do it well. I feel like this is necessary medical care, and she doesn't like it, but I have to do it.

Thanks for the ideas from other mammas. I'd love to hear more ideas on how to make this a more positive experience. She's just not old enough to understand when I explain to her why we're doing this. One idea has come to my mind... Can almost 1 year olds use electronic toothbrushes? I really think that could help since she loves putting it in her mouth. That way, she could do most of it. Does anybody have any experience with this?
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#11 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 09:44 PM
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My dh made up a song to sing to dd while brushing her teeth. It really made her like brushing a lot more.

I'm Theresa. nursing, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping mama to Clara (9/08) and wife to Mike
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#12 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 09:44 PM
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Great thread! Question:

Can you use just baking soda and water, or is there anything harmful to babies about baking soda?
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#13 of 13 Old 03-04-2010, 09:52 PM
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feeling really guilty reading these replies. I just sort of quickly brush over my dd's teeth with a toddler toothbrush (I can't get the front of the tops because she pulls her lip down) then I let her play with the toothbrush. I don't really brush her teeth

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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