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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He refuses to brush his teeth with the bristles- he only wants to chew on the opposite end. Since he still nurses through the night- I want to get him to brush his teeth but he won't. And he REFUSES to let me help. Any ideas?
 

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Well... I don't know if you let your ds watch any TV but my dd has become infatuated with brushing her teeth ever since she saw Barney brushing his. I now just hand her the toothbrush and she brushes them and then after she puts it down I sneak it away. We don't use toothpaste because of Elle's food allergies so I just wet it with warm water and she takes care of the rest.<br>
Amy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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My mom used to sing old toothpaste commercials to us when we brushed our teeth, so I started singing that to ds when I brushed his teeth. About your son's age, we started taking turns...mama's turn first then his turn. Maybe he would go for that?
 

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17 mo.s old seems a little young to be interested in oral hygene (from my expereince <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> ) I use one of those that fits on your finger like a glove, but just 4 one finger, from gerber and I brush dd's teeth (she is 26 mo.s) You can let him chew on the regular brush on the condition that you brish his teeth first (i did that for a while). Gerber brush comes with tasty fluoride free toothpaste which makes it apealing. Good luck!
 

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we have about five or six toothbrushes to choose from and he seems to really like choosing his Thomas or race car or Pooh, etc. to brush with. A friend said her dentist recommended something called "swifties" I think. like a litttle wipe for kids' teeth-- haven't tried this. The taking turns thing also worked for us. good luck!
 

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We're fortunate that our boy is in the stage where he'd stand on his head and juggle if he saw us doing it. When he sees us brush, he points to the cabinet and says, "ush, ush." He has an electric toothbrush shaped like a firetruck, which also helps. However, on the days when he's feeling contrary and won't brush voluntarily (usually at bedtime when I say he <i>has</i> to brush), I just tell him, "No brush, no breast." My kid would walk on fire to get to my breast. He's two, but maybe at 17 months, your guy could understand that too.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:<br><br>
We have even tried a battery operated toothbrush and she just wants to brush the dog's teeth with it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grossedout.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="gross">
 

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We have the swiffies. Simon sticks a toothbrush in his mouth and sorta brushes his teeth whenever Raffi's "brush your teeth" song is on. Tonight I managed to do a good job on Simon's teeth with the swiffies after he fell asleep. The key to this is to find a time when the toddler sleeps most deeply. Some days he'll let me or dh help him brush them well when he's awake. We've had bad luck with teeth-brushing overall. It's quite frustrating! I look for plaque at his gumline and try to keep that away. So far we've managed to remove the plaque every day. It doesn't seem to take much. Even him just sucking on a toothbruth, or "brushing" his own teeth with some toddler toothpaste does help. Good luck.
 

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My DD teethed early (4 mos.) so I wanted to be sure to wipe her teeth a lot with a wet washcloth. Maybe you could start out with the finger brush to get him more used to having his mouth cleaned by you and then when you DS sees Mom and Dad brushing, he'll want his own brush?<br><br>
I found that the baby toothpaste (no fluoride until 4 years old per my dentist) was helpful since she saw us using toothpaste. Also, it tastes kind of fruity so I think she likes that.<br><br>
When our DD was older, we got her a baby toothbrush to use - mostly she just teethed on it and we'd leave it at that. Sometimes, I'd try to brush for her a bit. When she turned 2 she got all her teeth in and we moved "up" to the toddler brushes. I think they're Oral B but I'm not sure.<br><br>
Now she loves to brush her teeth (unless she's really tired) and instructs us to brush alongside her. I've noticed lately that she's really studying my technique and trying to copy it (she's 28 mos. now). She usually starts out by sucking on the brush still. And I try to finish brushing her teeth for her after she's done brushing.<br><br>
This used to be really easy. I just did it whenever she grabbed for the water cup and I'd let the water trickle in the sink so it took a long time for her to fill up the cup. I never force her though if she's adamant about not having my help because I don't want to create a negative experience over brushing. (I'll push some, but not enough to cause a meltdown.)<br><br>
Right now she's in a very "I want to do it myself" phase and has always been very spirited. So last week, I convinced her to let me run the "train" (aka brush) over the "tracks." She seemed to like this and I've used it twice now. I think it might actually work well as a teaching tool for her because I talk about where the train is going on her teeth - upper outside, inside, lower, etc. I am hoping this will help her to learn to clean all parts of her teeth eventually.<br><br>
She also likes to brush her tongue because she sees me doing it, so sometimes we'll start with that.<br><br>
Good luck to you and happy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/tb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="brush"><br><br>
By the way, tonight was one of those nights where I couldn't convince her to let me help at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
THanks ladies. I've tried just about everything. He'll let me put some toothpaste on my finger and brush his teeth with that but since he nurses at night- his Dr. didn't think that was good enough. Whatever. I can't FORCE his toothbrush into his mouth. Maybe I'll look for a book on toothbrushing! <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 don't know what swiffies are, but if he'll let you "brush" with your finger, maybe you could use one of those rubber fingertip toothbrushes. Surely that would be good enough to do the job.<br><br>
Somewhere I read that babies mouths don't produce the kind of bacteria that causes decay, but we can introduce it into their mouths. So don't use your toothbrush for him whatever you do. Also, they say don't share food or eating utensils. I suppose mouth kissing should be avoided, too. But I'd rather he be toothless than kissless.
 

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We use the finger brush on our 19-month-old. She sits on daddy's lap while I sing a song to her and that's enough for her to (happily) open her mouth most of the time.<br><br>
We tried the toddler toothbrushes, but they upset her!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>beautyful</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We use the finger brush on our 19-month-old. She sits on daddy's lap while I sing a song to her and that's enough for her to (happily) open her mouth most of the time.<br><br>
We tried the toddler toothbrushes, but they upset her!</div>
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I have one of those and I went out and bought a book on toothbrushing- it's so cute! I'm going to try again tonight! Thanks for the ideas! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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We have a few different approaches.<br><br>
The first is to let my dd brush my teeth while I brush hers. She loves doing this and it keeps her entertains while I brush hers.<br><br>
The second is to play a game where I chase all the "dirt bugs" around her mouth with the brush. They are all different colors and I talk about how I find them and brush them out. She often pretends to hold them after they exit her mouth. <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 found a teether-toothbrush that works pretty well (when ds uses the correct end of it!). It's curved to fit his mouth and has little bristles that brush his teeth when he's chewing on it. It's the closest thing I've found that works--he never let me brush with a regular toothbrush, either.
 

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We just do it. My dh holds her and I brush. We try to get her cooperation in one way or another (sometimes asking, tickling, turning her upside down... etc) but when it comes down to it, we just do it. I feel a little bad, but it's the ONLY thing we ever force and we talk about how it has to be done.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well the book worked tonight with dh. He sat him on his lap, handed him his toothbrush and read him the book (it has different animals brushing their teeth and a pull out toothbrush to help the animals brush their teeth)... HE BRUSHED his own teeth and then let dh do it!<br><br>
Hopefully it will work with me tomorrow!
 

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Cool! That sounds like a great book. I hope that this positive experience will help him begin to enjoy toothbrushing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy">
 
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