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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 18-month-old DD refuses to let me brush her teeth. When I try, she turns her head, clenches her jaw shut, and cries/screams. She will "brush" them herself, but this consists of sucking the toothpaste out of the brush and maybe hitting a couple of front teeth in the process. I've tried making a game out of it, singing a song that involves opening the mouth, showing her how I brush mine and trying to get her to copy, explaining to her that she *needs* to let me brush them (yeah, that helps a LOT with a toddler, let me tell ya!). Nothing works. Any suggestions on how to keep her teeth healthy if she won't let me near them?
 

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Did she at some point let you brush them? Did anything happen to change that or is it just that she's now resisting?<br><br>
I'd see if she'd let you use a cloth instead -- maybe wet it and let her suck on it while you "brush" or try a new toothbrush that's special or something? Let her pick it out maybe?<br><br>
Sorry I'm not much help. Mine hates it when I try to brush her teeth, so I've resigned myself to letting her do it herself to the best of her ability at this point. And am praying it doesn't result in cavities....
 

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My problem is with my soon to be 12 month old. All my kids have gotten teeth early. My dd has, 4 molars, and 4 teeth on the top and bottom. She is now getting 2 more. I try to brush her teeth and it Always ends with her sucking on the toothbrush! I tried the finger toothbrush and OMG my finger can not take being bitten any more!<br><br>
I have tried singing, making the toothbrush talk, opening my mouth and saying Ahhhh to show her how to open hers (She laughed the first time!) and finally holding her arms and laying her across my legs and forcing a quick brush. (Not easy for me or her<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )<br><br>
Anyone else have a solution?
 

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letting her do it herself is not an option. I have 5 kids and the last 3 have gotten thrush very bad. As a result my next two youngest have had cavities before they were 3! I am trying to save my last baby from this terrible experience!
 

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My DD was and sometimes still is the same way. Then, when she was 21 months old, she suddenly started cooperating. We were on vacation and she just one day started letting me and that persisted for several weeks. We do the count to 10 thing. I count slowly as I brush and we finish at 10. I generally do each molar for one count and the top and bottom front teeth each for one count and then I do the molars a second time for one count each.<br><br>
Now she sometimes lets me do and it sometimes doesn't. I can usually tell if it's going to be a digging her heels in night and if so, I don't sweat it, just let her have "her turn" which must be better than nothing and then let it go. She doesn't eat any refined sugar or juice, so let's hope she'll be okay. If she eats any dried fruit, I definitely try to get in at those molars, but sometimes it just can't be done and I have to let it go. I guess they get baby teeth that fall out later for a reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nighten</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8180948"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Did she at some point let you brush them?</div>
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She would let me brush them with the finger toothbrush, but then she started BITINGevery single time -- hard -- so we can't do that anymore. She does have a Barbie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> toothbrush that she picked out herself, and I thought that would help, but I think it made the situation worse -- now not only does she not want me to brush them, she doesn't even want me to hold her special toothbrush! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm going to try the washcloth tonight, although I'm doubtful about that, too -- she doesn't want me anywhere near her mouth with *anything.* I'm thinking it may have become a control issue at this point, as she is very strong-willed and won't "give in" if she knows I'm trying hard to accomplish something!
 

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I will swear by the little battery operated toothbrushes that I picked up at the store. I think they were less than 6 bucks. My dd (2.5) hated to have her teeth brushed by me. And now she LOVES it b/c it's something different. She has the Dora toothbrush and LOVES it. It worked so well for her and now I can brush them for a long time!! Good luck.
 

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I got dd a battery toothbrush too.. but it seems too crazy for her speed wise at this age -16months.. (she loved it at first cause it's a cat, but I think the high speed scares her or pinched her lip or something!) someone in another thread said that they do the ABC song while brushing, so I gave it a try! AND WOW! Now, she will come in the bathroom and say ABC's... please!?! haha Soooo it worked pretty good!
 

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ds did this until we started to ask him what song should we sing while we brush. When the song is over he knows we are done. When we started we sang the abc's slowly for all the teeth. Now that he is used to this we sing one for the *uppers* and one for the *lowers*. We sing any song he wants. If he is having a hard time picking I give him 2 to choose from. It has worked like acharm since 16 months. FWIW in the beginging it may not have been long enough to just sing one song but it was better than a fight or not getting them brushed at all.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SMR</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8181404"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I got dd a battery toothbrush too.. but it seems too crazy for her speed wise at this age -16months.. (she loved it at first cause it's a cat, but I think the high speed scares her or pinched her lip or something!) someone in another thread said that they do the ABC song while brushing, so I gave it a try! AND WOW! Now, she will come in the bathroom and say ABC's... please!?! haha Soooo it worked pretty good!</div>
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I bet 16 months would be a little young for those. The singing sounds like a wonderful idea. I'm glad it's working. Whatever it takes sometimes...haha<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I was going to suggest a firefly toothbrush (I am not sure if you can buy them at the store or if you get them from your dentist). It has a flashing light for 1 minute and mine loves it and will at least tolerate more tooth brushing than before. My DH is a dentist so it is important to us that he brush!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>becoming</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8181105"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She would let me brush them with the finger toothbrush, but then she started BITINGevery single time -- hard -- so we can't do that anymore. She does have a Barbie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> toothbrush that she picked out herself, and I thought that would help, but I think it made the situation worse -- now not only does she not want me to brush them, she doesn't even want me to hold her special toothbrush! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm going to try the washcloth tonight, although I'm doubtful about that, too -- she doesn't want me anywhere near her mouth with *anything.* I'm thinking it may have become a control issue at this point, as she is very strong-willed and won't "give in" if she knows I'm trying hard to accomplish something!</div>
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Eep. I hear ya on the biting thing. We used the fingertip brush for a while until she started biting so hard -- and it hurts! Anyway. What we do now is basically give her a toothbrush often and ask if she wants to brush her teeth. So she'll chew on it for a few seconds and then sign "finish" and we try to get her to do it more, but usually that's it. So I figure it's like vegetables: I offer them often and any she gets is cause for celebration.<br><br>
But the battery powered thing might be a good option, if the cloth doesn't work. I vote distract her if at all possible while you try to brush. Though I'm not sure the best way to do that. Please let us know if you find something that works!<br><br>
(And to the PP: thrush causes cavities?!? I had no idea. Seriously?)
 

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I started using our battery toothbrush on ds on the slower setting at around 10 months, maybe sooner. Now he has a racecar one.<br>
Sometimes I gather all the teeth instruments (scraper, mirror, little brush) and I lay him on the bed and let him look at those while I brush his teeth.<br>
We sing the abc's now too.<br>
I think if I got desperate I would turn on the tv for a few minutes whilr I brushed...better then a screaming, clamped jawed child <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Dawn
 

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At night we do it right after dinner. DD is still in her highchair and DH dances and does silly things behind me to get her to laugh and I hold her head still and brush, some days there are still tears this way, but oh well, my whole mouth is full of cavities. In the mornings when I am alone, sometimes I can brush with her in the highchair, other days I have to hold her down. I lay her down with her head in my crotch and pin her arms down with my thighs and kind of hold her head still with my thighs too and brush quickly. We have tried songs, she brushes my teeth, etc but I think at 13 months she is too young.
 

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i know this is awful advice but the tv thing works really well. ds just zones out and i clean his teeth like there's no tomorrow.<br><br>
when he was younger i'd do it when he was sleeping.<br><br>
we use the sonicare toothbrush but he can choose between quiet (off) and loud (on). i figure if he even gets it close to his teeth it will clean them more than using a regular brush.
 

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We let DD (age 2) brush her teeth in the bath. She's distracted playing with toys, bubbles, etc and sometimes she lets us brush them. If that fails, we brush our teeth along with her and that a) gets her more excited about it and b) shows her how to brush. She's gotten a lot better with getting the back teeth by watching us and so now every morning we let her do her thing without us interfering.
 

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Does it help if you let her brust YOUR teeth? I recently started letting my 15mo old hold my toothbrush and I hold her hand and "help" her brush my teeth, then it is My turn and I try brushing her teeth. Sometimes it works well, other times, I only get a short brush of her teeth but it is better than nothing....<br><br>
Any one use those "angel Brushes" that Safety 1st sells??<br><br>
I don't understand why someone hasn't invented a toddler toothbrush that has bristles all over an end as opposed to just one side like a normal toothbrush.....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">
 

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My dentist suggested brushing DC's teeth in front of a mirror so she can see what is going on. Generally she is what I call a reward resistant oppositional contrarian but she has become much more cooperative with the process even now that we usually don't do it in front of the mirror, since she knows exactly what's going on.<br>
~Cath
 

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I'm pretty lucky that my 2.5 and 1.5 year olds let me brush their teeth every night with no hassel. I sing a song called the "AH AH" song (you just basically make them go ah ah ah ah ah in different pitches) and I tell them "lets get all the sugar bugs off". Sometimes I'll say, "OH MY GOSH...there goes a sugar bug now! AHHHH....got him!" I think my dentist uses the term "sugar bug" for cavities. He has codes for all the dental procedures so he doesn't scare the kids in the chair. LOL!! Good luck!
 

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just to add one other idea to all the good ones from the PPs...<br><br>
we usually brush teeth w/ DH, where he is brushing his teeth and DD is "helping" him, while I'm holding her and brushing her teeth... She is distracted by the activity and it is like a game to her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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