The secret to getting your toddler to let you brush their teeth..anyone??

Mercia - posted on 09/02/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 15 months old, and her little teeth just keep on coming. She gets really excited about brushing her teeth...she even reminds me in the morning, but I'm having a hard time getting her to let mommy do it for her. I love the idea of letting her try it out on her own, but her teeth are not getting brushed well! What do I do??



concerned mommy

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Tina - posted on 07/31/2011

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Well, my daughter is 26 months now. She absolutely loves brushing her teeth and she actually does a pretty decent job on her own too. I think I just got really lucky.



At first, she kinda fought. My doctor said, "Well, when she is crying, her mouth is open, just brush." I just kept trying to persevere. I just got her favorite character toothbrush and toddler paste. I let her play with the brush wet first then added paste to the routine. We do it at night during bath time as that is way my husband and I do it. In the morning, at first it was tougher. We would go in there midmorning, before we got ready to go out of the house. I think the key is letting me try on there on, however they do it, and then go in and "bat cleanup" so to speak.



Now, at 26 months, she drags me into our bathroom so she can brush WITH Mommy, I show her how and she usually follows my example to get the top and back ones. She, unfortunately/fortunately, likes our toothpaste more than the toddler one, so we put the slightest amount of reg toothpaste on there and have started trying to teach her how to wash it out and spit. STILL working on that.

She will cry sometimes now if we tell her not right now after the 4th or 5th time asking to brush her teeth again.



Best advice,,,, just keep working at it.. a little bit done at a time is better than none at all.



P.S. I also tried Elmo (her favorite) stamps on back of hand every time she brushed. Worked for a while. Then she stopped asking for them and just let us do it. You might also try and electric toothbrush. First without turning it on and brushing, then try turning it on.

Lori - posted on 07/13/2011

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We take turns too. I usually let her brush first, then it's my turn. Now that she's 3 she's used to that routine and we don't usually have any trouble with it. When she was under 2 it was more of a struggle. I'd do short intervals of brushing her teeth, then let her brush, then my turn. I would also let her brush my teeth once in a while. It really helps them if they see you brushing yours. AND, I let her "brush" her own teeth any time during the day that she asks. I had one day that she basically kept the toothbrush with her all day, and by the end of the day she'd chewed it all up and needed a new one, but if that means she likes her toothbrush then that's alright with me.

Terri - posted on 07/10/2011

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I say, after he has brushed, let me check. Then brush each again saying "you go that one! Ooh, good job, this one is clean. Missed a spot here. etc." He likes that a lot. Another teeth brushing game that often works is to let him know how long I'm going to brush for but saying, "I'll just brush for this long: Bob the Builder can he fit it?Bob the builder, yes he can!" And once he knows it's just going to be for a short time AND mom's going to SING his favorite song, then he opens wide! Good luck :)

Lina - posted on 10/23/2009

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Mine does the same sometimes. We brush together. Firstly I brush my, and she brushes hers. Then I brush hers and she brushes mine.

Kristina - posted on 10/21/2009

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I brush my sons teeth really good for about 10 secs or so to start out, and then I give him the brush for about a minute. He gums it, sucks on it, chews the brush but he's learning. He enjoys his tooth brush very much!

Sandra - posted on 09/26/2009

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We use 2 tooth brushes one for him one for me. We take turns and he seems to get it. I say its Oliver's turn know, and then I say Its Mom's turn know. When its my turn I let him put his toothbrush under the running water which kind of sidetracks him that Im brushing his teeth. Also he has 3 big sisters always showing him and telling his to say awww and open his mouth. Out of the four kids he has been the best with teeth brushing.

Yellane - posted on 09/25/2009

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my son and i take turn, i get to go first and hes goes second or vise versa- we have a lil competition on who can brush the most teeth!

Melissa - posted on 09/06/2009

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im so sorry you are having a hrd time with your daughter!! i dont hav the same problem..my son loves to brush his teeth....my only thought would be to let her brush with toddler same paste and make her copy you.... so her on your own teeth and then say let mommy show you on your teeth...then give a quick brush and let her do it again...repeat the process until you are finished!!!!!!!





hope it helps

Alicia - posted on 09/04/2009

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The only way we had any luck was taking him to the bathroom and making a big deal about how fun it is! My husband holds him and brushes while I use my own brush and pretend to brush with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. He now really cooperates. If I am not brushing my teeth at the same time, he points to my brush and insists. So it has become more like a game than a chore. BUT it took a long time to get to this point.

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take turns. i found this to work with my daughter. let her try, then you finish. but let her help you too. i started off by asked her to help mommy brush her teeth. so i squat down and she thinks its is hilarious to try to brush MY teeth. then we do her. so now, you are helping each other instead of you doing it for her.

Cathralynn - posted on 09/04/2009

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Yes it is extremely important that they get a good brushing, and that they get used to it as well. Babies at this age cannot do it themselves, you should be doing a good job for them and keep doing it for them until after at least 3yrs. Dentists now know that babies who don't practice good dental skills can get cavities and can even affect their adult teeth. Especially if your baby drinks from a bottle, eats sticky foods like raisins, and any time before bed. Ever heard of bottle rot? Its like an epidemic, its our job as parents to keep up good teeth hygeine. Docs recommend starting before they even have teeth by cleaning their gums. Good job on this goal!

Emma - posted on 09/04/2009

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with my eldest daughter i used to ask her to show me how she brushes her teeth and when she was finished id ask cud i have a go she used to think it very funny that she was teaching mammy something and it meant that she was giving it a go and then i was able to get in afterwards with toothpaste and give them a better cleaning. Shes now 4 and trying to show her 15 month old sister how to brush too

Jan - posted on 09/03/2009

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It is good that you're working on tooth brushing, but at this point it's not as important that they all get a thorough cleaning as it is to start the habit and have them get used to it. I try to get my 15 mos old to let me brush first and then let her have a turn, some days are more successful than others. Good luck!

Cathralynn - posted on 09/03/2009

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So yeah, I'm in the same boat. My daughter has NEVER liked her teeth brushed, even tho I've done it since she was weeks old to get her familiar. It was a screaming fit with me pinning her down and just doing it. But I didn't want brushing to be a neg experience for her so we started group brushing. I also have two tooth brushes. She gets one and sits on daddy's lap, in the bathroom so she can see us and the mirror. We all brush our teeth making funny noises and such. She loves this part and chomps on her brush. Then I get her other brush and put a lil paste on it, she will open up for the paste. But then she realizes I want to thoroughly brush and she struggles still. Tooth brushing is a non negotiable at our house, like carseats, so I persist. Its not as screamy as it once was and I hope she gets used to it more. I give her a break when I know she's teething, but only skip one day at a time. Anyways, somehow if I ask if my daughter if she wants to brush her teeth she's still excited. Stick with it!

Renee - posted on 09/03/2009

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I have 2 tooth brushes for my son. He also loves to brush his teeth and gets excited when he sees the tooth brush. He gets to brush his teeth with one as I TRY to get in with the other to get what he misses. He also really likes the tooth paste, so I use a little extra tooth paste so I can get in there a little more. If you find out the secret to letting them have more help...please I want to know too!!

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