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How to get a toddler to brush his teeth?

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
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May 18, 2008
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6,689
I let Sophia pick out her brush (she picked a tink one with an actual tinkerbell at the end of it). I let her stand on her potty (which is also a stool) and play with the water, sometimes with a bath toy. And then I say open a million times.

I also do a brush dance :Up_to_something:
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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What about one of those fancy toothbrushes that play music?
 

somethingshiny

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Jul 22, 2007
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Both of my kids liked having their teeth brushed. I started with both of them before they had teeth with a finger cleaner thing then moved on to a toothbrush. I have one for JT that lights up so he can time himself (it flashes for 60 seconds) but maybe it would keep your toddler occupied. Also, try different tooth pastes. JT has always hated mint paste because he says it's "spicy."

My cousin lays her little guy down on the floor after bath time to lotion him or whatever else. He brushes while laying down and then she finishes for him. Maybe the laying is less awkward? idk. But it seems to work for him.

It's never too early to start a sticker chart!
 

swingirl

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Apr 6, 2006
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Are you trying to use toothpaste? Does he not like the taste? We had some bubble gum flavored stuff.
 

Sha

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Jun 27, 2007
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Oh boy, I just finished wrestling with D on the same thing. I usually lay her down and brush them (prying her lips open the whole time) but lately she's been squirming and yowling and spinning her head from side to side - maybe she's teething.... but it's a real struggle. There's no way I could get her teeth brushed standing up.
 

packrat

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Dec 12, 2008
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10,615
I sing. Some "songs" he likes are just jingles so I have to do them 20 times but whatever works. Also, he likes me to lay in bed w/him until he falls asleep, and if he won't let me brush, I won't snuggle.
 

Jennifer W

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Force, bribery and the old 'wear em down' technique.

We've had some awesome stand-offs over this one. I just keep putting her in time out, then she comes back and evades the toothbrush again. Time out / evasion / time out / evasion and so on until she cracks. The basic principle is that I can keep it up for longer than she can, so eventually, she'll capitulate.

Sometimes.

Good luck. ;))
 

Pandora II

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Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
Daisy loves brushing her teeth - but will not let me brush them. She likes me to do mine at the same time and tries to copy.

I still worry that she doesn't brush them properly, so I bought her an electric toothbrush yesterday (they had a very good one on a 50% off deal) with Princess pictures on the heads and she's very taken with that.

I've no idea how to make a kid who won't go near a toothbrush do it though - bribery is normally my tactic of choice!
 

Lottie

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Jul 28, 2008
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701
I'm not sure if this would frighten some children, but we used to make it a bit of a game and pretend that Neve had a caterpillar/giraffe/animal of your choice on her teeth at the back and then be really theatrical about brushing it out and shooing it back to the zoo. Henry just wants to do what Neve does so he is easy (at the moment!).

On days when that failed I refused to read any bedtime stories until her teeth were done.
 

D&T

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12,504
my girls love love love the automatic spin brush toothbrush. One likes train and the other likes to decorate her own spinbrush with the stickers provided in the box. Maybe try one of those brushes?
 

Munchkin

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Nov 3, 2004
Messages
540
Go to the store and let him choose a new toothbrush for the "new way" you're going to brush teeth.

First let him brush your teeth, then you brush your teeth.
Second let him brush his own teeth facing a mirror or you as you brush your own. Finally you brush his teeth standing behind him while you both face the mirror.

Letting him start on you makes him feel more in control and like he gets to invade your space like you invade his. Letting him try to brush his own teeth first starts to develop long term habits. Standing behind him while brushing his teeth allows him to watch in the mirror and the hand motions you use are more similar to when you brush your own teeth, so you will do a better job.
 

SandyCheeks

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Sep 13, 2010
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520
My 2 year old guy fought getting his teeth brushed for quite some time. He's finally coming around. We always end the evenings with "Leo, time to brush teeth!" He'll run over to the sink, pull his stool up and pick out his tooth paste. I let him brush first then Mommy finishes off (I still have to pry open that mouth), then rinse. I think it's helped him to see his older sibs brushing too, but he was a fighter for a long time. He's my last baby and he gives me the hardest time :angryfire: Good luck!
 

Miss Sparkly

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Jan 2, 2010
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Jennifer W|1318505157|3039218 said:
Force, bribery and the old 'wear em down' technique.

We've had some awesome stand-offs over this one. I just keep putting her in time out, then she comes back and evades the toothbrush again. Time out / evasion / time out / evasion and so on until she cracks. The basic principle is that I can keep it up for longer than she can, so eventually, she'll capitulate.

Sometimes.

Good luck. ;))
I don't get it. Why would a kit not listen to you about teeth brushing but choose to listen to you about time out? Why not deny both or just have the teeth brushed?
 

fieryred33143

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6,689
Haha Sparkly. A sign someone isn't around toddlers very much: they try to find a meaning behind their actions ;))
 

Tacori E-ring

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20,039
T randomly saw a photo of "meth mouth" in one of my text books and DH said they were monster teeth and that's what happens when you don't brush your teeth. Kinda mean but it makes life easier. Princesses cannot have monster teeth! ;))
 

dreamer_dachsie

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He won't let us because he is contrary and wants to do everthing for himself or wants to do the opposite of anything we want him to do ;))

We've been trying some of the suggestions and it seems to work! For now. ::)
 

Jennifer W

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Sparkly Blonde|1318802391|3041622 said:
Jennifer W|1318505157|3039218 said:
Force, bribery and the old 'wear em down' technique.

We've had some awesome stand-offs over this one. I just keep putting her in time out, then she comes back and evades the toothbrush again. Time out / evasion / time out / evasion and so on until she cracks. The basic principle is that I can keep it up for longer than she can, so eventually, she'll capitulate.

Sometimes.

Good luck. ;))
I don't get it. Why would a kit not listen to you about teeth brushing but choose to listen to you about time out? Why not deny both or just have the teeth brushed?
Choice doesn't come into it. ;)) I can enforce time out without getting physical or using force (take her by the hand to the time out spot, gently, return her if she moves away) while I can't brush her teeth against her will without being physical and actually using force. I won't do that, so it's time out. Most days it isn't a problem now, because time out is dull and it's easier for her to just avoid it.

That said, time out doesn't bother her as much as it does most kids. Some days, it feels like wow, why don't I just go and sit in the quiet spot for a couple of hours? :bigsmile:
 

TravelingGal

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Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Tacori E-ring|1318810912|3041701 said:
T randomly saw a photo of "meth mouth" in one of my text books and DH said they were monster teeth and that's what happens when you don't brush your teeth. Kinda mean but it makes life easier. Princesses cannot have monster teeth! ;))
LOL, same thing for us, except it was a photo of teeth before veneers from a dental brochure. She still talks about those "BLACK, DIRTY TEETH!!"

I've heard other PS moms say the auto whirling ones worked well. For Amelia, we just didn't give her a choice if she didn't want to do it. Enough times and she gave in.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Messages
24,364
TravelingGal|1318882534|3042199 said:
Tacori E-ring|1318810912|3041701 said:
T randomly saw a photo of "meth mouth" in one of my text books and DH said they were monster teeth and that's what happens when you don't brush your teeth. Kinda mean but it makes life easier. Princesses cannot have monster teeth! ;))
LOL, same thing for us, except it was a photo of teeth before veneers from a dental brochure. She still talks about those "BLACK, DIRTY TEETH!!"

I've heard other PS moms say the auto whirling ones worked well. For Amelia, we just didn't give her a choice if she didn't want to do it. Enough times and she gave in.
How old were they when they were able to process that example?
 

TravelingGal

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Messages
17,193
Dreamer_D|1318885108|3042249 said:
TravelingGal|1318882534|3042199 said:
Tacori E-ring|1318810912|3041701 said:
T randomly saw a photo of "meth mouth" in one of my text books and DH said they were monster teeth and that's what happens when you don't brush your teeth. Kinda mean but it makes life easier. Princesses cannot have monster teeth! ;))
LOL, same thing for us, except it was a photo of teeth before veneers from a dental brochure. She still talks about those "BLACK, DIRTY TEETH!!"

I've heard other PS moms say the auto whirling ones worked well. For Amelia, we just didn't give her a choice if she didn't want to do it. Enough times and she gave in.
How old were they when they were able to process that example?
God, it was ages ago...Amelia had her first dental appointment at a little over 3 years (maybe 3 years, 2 months?) and it was a few months before that as it must have been around the time I was getting a bunch of dental work done....

So I'd guess, 2 years, 9 months?
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I would imagine it depends on the child - Daisy would probably be impressed now at 29 months.

ETA: the electric toothbrush has been a great success - I'm still not allowed to help, but at least I know that they are being properly cleaned (I got an adult one with heads designed for kids rather than the cheapy battery kids ones).
 

TravelingGal

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Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
btw, I'm not kidding you, this child was HORRIFIED at the photo. Really scared that her teeth would turn out like that. It really hasn't been an issue since. We've also been flossing her since she was 18 months old. Teeth are the ONE thing for this child that happened early. :rolleyes:
 

dreamer_dachsie

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24,364
Hunter loves to brush hid own teeth, but he does not do a good job at all, just chews in it and plays in the water. The "battle" comes when we want to finish up to make sure it is done right. But so far so good the last few nights.
 

Jennifer W

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Aha! You might want to try doing it the other way round - you go first, he gets to finish up. That's how we do it, and when she isn't in one of these awesome "I'm not doing it!!" moods, it works fine. I brush her teeth for two minutes then she gets to finish off and brush the bits I've missed. If she won't cooperate with my brushing, she doesn't get a turn.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Messages
20,039
Dreamer_D|1318885108|3042249 said:
TravelingGal|1318882534|3042199 said:
Tacori E-ring|1318810912|3041701 said:
T randomly saw a photo of "meth mouth" in one of my text books and DH said they were monster teeth and that's what happens when you don't brush your teeth. Kinda mean but it makes life easier. Princesses cannot have monster teeth! ;))
LOL, same thing for us, except it was a photo of teeth before veneers from a dental brochure. She still talks about those "BLACK, DIRTY TEETH!!"

I've heard other PS moms say the auto whirling ones worked well. For Amelia, we just didn't give her a choice if she didn't want to do it. Enough times and she gave in.
How old were they when they were able to process that example?
It was a little over a year ago so a few months before her 3rd b-day. Download a pic...fear can be a motivator.
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
fiery|1318806810|3041661 said:
Haha Sparkly. A sign someone isn't around toddlers very much: they try to find a meaning behind their actions ;))
LOL! That obvious? :cheeky:
 

LALove

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
934
Munchkin|1318592522|3040115 said:
Go to the store and let him choose a new toothbrush for the "new way" you're going to brush teeth.

First let him brush your teeth, then you brush your teeth.
Second let him brush his own teeth facing a mirror or you as you brush your own. Finally you brush his teeth standing behind him while you both face the mirror.

Letting him start on you makes him feel more in control and like he gets to invade your space like you invade his. Letting him try to brush his own teeth first starts to develop long term habits. Standing behind him while brushing his teeth allows him to watch in the mirror and the hand motions you use are more similar to when you brush your own teeth, so you will do a better job.
This is exactly what we do and why. My 2.5 yr old is very much into doing evvvverything on his own. His most common phrase is "I do it!!" Until I figured out if I let him brush mine he'll let me brush his, it was a horrible struggle every time. I also give him encouragement overload "oh my gosh youre doing so good!! You have such nice, clean teeth!!" etc and call daddy in when we're done to check out his clean teeth and clap.

So, for my DS, validation/praise and letting him do to us what we do to him works for most struggles.
 
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