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How can I get dd (3) to brush her teeth well?

509 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Stayathomemommy
I usually have dd (who is 3) brush her teeth then I check, which is essentially brushing her teeth. I know that she is fully capable of doing a pretty good job on her own, but all she does is mess around with the tooth brush in her mouth, it sort of grazes over some of her bottom teeth and that is about it! I really want her to be learning to do it on her own, but I am unsure on how to get her to do a better job.

How does your dc do at brushing their own teeth? What can I do to improve dd's teeth brushing?
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My dd is the same age as your Sonja (beautiful name, btw). What we do might give you some ideas. We stand at the sink facing the bathroom mirror with me standing behind dd. I brush her teeth and describe what I'm doing while she watches in the mirror and listens. Then it's her turn. She gets practice and direction; I know that at least during my portion that her teeth were properly brushed.

Maybe? Maybe not?

Here's an idea for you...brush your own teeth and get her to mirror you or copy works great and it doesn't hurt to get yours done at the same time!!! You can also brush with her and explain exactly where you are brushing and what you are doing!! Try it b/c it really works!!!

Hope it helps!!

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We got ds an electric toothbrush, which our dentist highly recommended. Then dh taught him to brush for at least 10 seconds (counting to 10) in each quadrant of his mouth. I still usually follow up with a quick brush just to make sure, but he seems to be doing pretty well.
We do "aah" teeth and "eee" teeth. He knows where his top and bottom "aah" (back) teeth are, and the "eee" teeth are the front ones. Try making the sounds in an exaggerated two-year-old fashion and you'll see how it works.
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My ds (just turned 5) has just now started to do a really good job on his own teeth. I look/sniff sfter he is done, but it has been weeks since I have had to go behind him. DD (3...soon 4), on the other hand, is not quite there yet. SHe brushes them, but does not do a good enough job for me not to follow up behind her. I guess my advice is to wait it out. SHe will take responsibility when she is ready. For my ds, it was that he wanted to brush his tongue himself. I brush their tongues since it makes their breath smell better. Hope that helps.
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My dd is a little older but I think I brushed her teeth for her until she was 6. Somedays I still do. Shes now 7. She just wasn't brushing good enough. She would brush while I brushed and then after, I would re brush her teeth. Personaly, I can't imagine a 3 yr old being able to brush his own teeth without an adult re brushing afterwords.
Personally, I wouldn't expect a three year old to be able to brush their teeth properly. Our pediatric dentist agrees.

My young ones take their turn after I finish, and I floss their teeth several times a week as well.
I also still brush my 3yr old teeth for her. She may or may not take a turn before or after, it is still something I do for her. I also floss her teeth and she rinses with natural mouthwash. I can't really see my dd being able to adequetly brush her own teeth for a while.
I still brush my son's teeth for him. Otherwise, he usually just likes to suck the toothpaste off it. I let him have a turn first, then I do it and I sing a song as I go to keep his attention. He is just turning 3 in two weeks and it will be awhile before he can do a good job on his own. Jill
Most dentists recommend parents helping with brushing until 7-8 years old. With our 2 and 3 years olds, we brush first, then they get a turn.

- Krista
Thanks for the ideas I will give some of them a whirl this week, and see what works.

I am not expecting her at 3 to brush well enough that I dont need to go over them myself at all, but I know that she is capable of brushing better than she is now. She has done much better in the past. I think some of it goes with her wanting help with many things she used to do on her own since the arrival of baby brother.
DS (3.5) brushes his teeth twice a day. In the morning, he gets to do it all on his own. In the evening, just before bed, he does it, then I do it again. He LOVE LOVE LOVES brushing his teeth, as does his 14m old sister. They are so much fun.

You should seriously be doing at least one full brushing each day yourself, probably the one right before bed b/c that's when the food will fester and not get washed away by drinks, etc.

Good luck. Maybe you can get her a child's size Electric brush. DS loves his, but opts for his Thomas one more often. We have the Oral B with the changeable heads, so we each have a head.
I heard that you should brush your childs teeth for them till they are 7 yrs old. now i dont have the paitents for that but i still brush my 3 yr olds teeth first and then let them do it after me. my 5 yr old is allowed to brush her own teeth and occationally i get a turn to do a really good job. a 3 yr old just cant do a good enough job. sometimes we let them do it on their own throughout the day and then an adult has to do it for them before bed.
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