Mothering Forum banner

But HOW do I get DD to open up that mouth?

696 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  sozobe
I checked the dental archives, but got lost looking for advice so I thought I'd just try a new post...Sorry if this is an old and worn subject!

I know I'm supposed to be brushing DDs new teeth and wiping her toothless gums, but she HATES having her mouth messed with. I started wiping her gums at least once a day with a washcloth starting when she was just a couple of months old, but, except for days when her gums are sore from submerged teeth, she really doesn't like me to put a finger or washcloth or baby toothbrush in her mouth.

I suppose I could wrestle her to the ground with DH's help and force her mouth open, but the thought of what that will do to the rest of our relationship has me a bit reluctant. I don't have a problem with strict toothbrushing rules, but at this point she's too young for verbal reasoning...

I really do worry about her teeth, though. My dentist found 10 caries that needed filling on my first visit to him (when I was around 5 or 6 yrs old). I'm thinking there's a good chance DD has inherited my teeth, and I know she has my bacteria, so I want to do everything possible to keep her teeth healthy.

Any advice, as specific as possible
, would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
for your concern and determination! It's a hard one, cuz from their perspective, it just seems invasive.....
Have you tried allowing her to use her toothbrush? And then tell her that you are going to count her teeth? Ask her to brush YOUR teeth?
There is a thread called "Start brushing and make it fun". Let me see if I can find it.....
Here it is...
See less See more
So far, DD hasn't shown any interest in using my toothbrush for anything other than conducting imaginary symphonies. She does love to watch me floss & brush my teeth, and likes to play with her little toothbrush, so I'm hoping someday it will all come together.
Tonight DH dangled her upside-down (which she loves) and I cleaned her teeth & gums with a washcloth while she giggled. She seemed to enjoy it, but who knows if she'll let us repeat the trick tomorrow
See less See more
Yep, was going to say that laughing is a really good way to get their mouths open.

And I second malamamama's applause -- really great that you're making such an effort. It's important.

I think my dd was just a little bit older when we started using this song:

We brush brush brush our teeth
We brush them left to right
We brush them up and down
To get them clean and white!

At some point, ya just gotta do it. A frequent analogy here, frequent because it's a good one, is changing diapers/ wiping poopy butts. Most kids go through a phase or twenty where they just cannot stand to have their diapers changed/ butts cleaned, but it's not really an option, ya know? If they aren't cleaned, bad stuff happens. The same with teeth. A little less linear -- sometimes people are really cavalier about tooth cleaning and the kids' teeth still turn out fine -- but if you have the risk factors, and sounds like your daughter might (good for you for figuring that out), you just gotta do what you gotta do, as hard as it may be.

My dd was older when we started really brushing her teeth -- around 19 months (after we'd found 7 cavities) but once she figured out that it was just going to happen, she really calmed down about it. Hasn't been a big deal since.

Good luck! So nice to see a question about prevention.
See less See more
Thanks for the support!

I love the toothbrushing song - I'll have to make up a tune and start singing while we brush. The diapering analogy works for me. I feel the same way about clean teeth and clean tushies - No room for compromise on either end!

DD seems to be coming to terms with the fact that her teeth & gums will be cleaned at least twice a day. She's not excited about it, but she's fighting it less and it looks like she might survive the whole tooth-cleaning routine without needing future therapy to deal with it
See less See more
The toothbrushing song is from "Babybug" magazine. I had the last line wrong -- should be "to KEEP them clean and white."

Seems like things are looking up already -- hooray indeed!
See less See more
Sozobe, I think it's safe to switch from "GET them clean and white" to "KEEP them clean and white" now, darlin'! :LOL :LOL :LOL

Anyone familiar with Sozobe's beautifully inspiring story will get it ....

See less See more
Why thanks!

Meanwhile, I'm having a new round of heart attacks... ack. I'm currently searching the archives for "fluorosis." I mentioned before that dd has some little tan/brown spots that worried me in terms of decay, but turned out to be fine. She's now getting a very light tan staining around the gumline. I have been using a smear of fluoride toothpaste in the morning and evening. We have been teaching her to swish and spit, she's OK with it, but great yet.

She also just took a round of antibiotics that listed one possible side effect as staining, which should be removable with toothbrushing.

Making a dental appointment now. This stuff just creeps up on you -- almost invisible in lamplight, and so hard to see kid's teeth anyway, but noticed when she was in her car seat the other day.

Anyway, rebx, sorry for the tangent.
See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.