Teeth brushing dilemma!!!

Stephanie - posted on 03/05/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My daughter just turned 2, so I have been brushing her teeth for about a year now. It's always been somewhat of a struggle, but I'd still be able to get them brushed and clean. Well, as of about 2 weeks ago, she FREAKS OUT when trying to brush her teeth. She'll do it herself just fine, but, of course, she doesn't do a good enough job and I have to still do it. She literally screams like I'm killing her! I kinda have to pin her down because her arms are flailing so much and she won't keep her head still. This is not an "i want to do it" cry--this is a scream! Because of the flailing, I still can't get her teeth cleaned. I have no idea what to do--her teeth are gross! I'm embarassed to take her anywhere! Any suggestions? Has anyone gone through anything like this? Oh--and I feel I should also add that she is otherwise a very well-behaved child. So, that's why I'm concerned it's not just a power struggle issue. THANK YOU to anyone who might have some helpful insight as to how to overcome this!!!

11 Comments

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Bonnie - posted on 04/02/2010

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Our Jan 08 babies are trying to be independent and there are so many things they can not do yet.

I started having the same problem because I let my son brush his own teeth and then I would try. It doesn't work. I finally wouldn't let him do it himself at all, ever. I tell him to open and brush them then he must rinse and spit. It took 3-4 nights of not letting him do it to realize that this was the new way. Now he is a champ, opens right up. We also were given flouride from his dentist (he loves them) and when he is done, if he was good, he gets a flouride.

Remember, they are smarter then we give them credit for. Talk to her, tell her how you want to do it now and do it. She will learn VERY quickly.

Kimberley - posted on 03/31/2010

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My son and My husband have a routine down for night time. My husband will give my son his bath and then I help to get jammies on. ( My son for some reason only lets me dress him for nighttime) then my husband, myself and I go into the bathroom for the teeth brushing. My son has two little brushes to choose from. We let him choose which he wants to use, then it gets his training tooth gel on it. Sometimes he sits on the counter so he can watch daddy closely but other times he sits on my lap and I brush his teeth. I have also found that most of his night time books have the characters brushing their teeth for night time which helps. He can point it out right away. But I do agree if her teeth are in really bad shape please go see the dentist. If her teeth are sensitive then she will do everything in her power to avoid the pain, wouldn't you?

Sara - posted on 03/30/2010

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I, too, have a stubborn baby who does not like when I brush his teeth. All of the above suggestions are great. I do the "tickling" of the teeth, and we sing any song I can think of to help distract him. One thing that has helped lately is saying, "Good boys who let mommy brush their teeth get treats." This means, if he puts up a fight and I cannot brush his teeth well, he will get water with breakfast, not juice. When he complains, I ask if he would like to let mommy brush his teeth so he can have juice with breakfast. He usually gives in. Whatever you have to do, even if it's holding her down for awhile, she needs to know it's important and you have to do it. Can you imagine holding her down while the dentist is drilling her teeth? Keep up the good work :)

Stephanie - posted on 03/14/2010

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Oh my, brings back memories of my daughter a few months back. What I finally found that actually works: I bought her a stool and let her stand on it in front of the mirror in our bathroom them I get her toothbrush and in a really silly voice I say open you mouth big and let me tickle your teeth(she wasn't sure about it the 1st time I tried) but after that she has let me every time. I also tell her that after I brush her teeth then she can brush them by herself, so she knows if she doesn't let me then she can't brush them.

Lea - posted on 03/10/2010

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If her teeth are gross, theres a possibility decay has started and her teeth are sensitive. Please take her to the dentist and discuss this problem with him.

Sara - posted on 03/10/2010

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What I do with my daughter to get her to let me brush her teeth is We'll go into the bathroom together and brush out teeth together but when I'm done I let her brush my teeth and she lets me brush her teeth. She really likes it and doesn't mind that I am brushing her teeth.

Verushka - posted on 03/09/2010

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I havbe the same problem with my daughter... What I do is I alwasy take her to the bathroom with me to brush her teeth and we'l brush them together... Once I'm done I ask her to open her mouth and let me inspect... I'll put it as a game... It doesn't always works... But for the most part it does... What I'm afraid of is that when forcing her I will scare her and when she gets older she won't want to brush them like most kids at 5 or 7... I do like the comment Lynnette made... I am DEFENETLY going to try that also... but I'm also going to mix it with my little technique which involves my boyfriend, myself and my daughter all brushing our teeth at the same time.. She seems to really like that!

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We turned it into a game. My son loves music and songs so when we started brushing his teeth we sang the "Brush Your Teeth" song. We would also brush our teeth while he was doing his, telling him to do it "just like mommy or daddy". He doesn't do a perfect job and I have to help a bit but he now thinks it's fun. He was even asking to brush his teeth this morning - but I think that may have something to do with him liking the taste of his training toothpaste lol.

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Our dentist recommended a trick, have them brush first then say "Mommy's turn" and take your child having them lay down in your lap (you need to be seated). Their mouth naturally opens when in this cradled position. We also call it "tickling" her teeth, she seems to like that better than brushing.

Good Luck!

Lea - posted on 03/07/2010

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I think she wants to do it herself. I gave my son who is the same age his own Diego toothbrush to use, meanwhile I go in with a kid's electric toothbrush. If he puts up a fight I strap him to the changing table while we brush his teeth. If he refuses to open his mouth, I pinch his cheeks next to his lips which forces them open. Usually he doesn't put up a fight because he knows its useless.

Kira - posted on 03/07/2010

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hi stephanie i have had the same problem and what i try to do is make a game of it and swap between myself and jayden brushing that way he is still doing it himself and its more fun

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