Tips for adequate tooth brushing for a 14 month old?

Elizabeth - posted on 03/13/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




My daughter digs sucking and biting on her toothbrush, but she HATES when I try to actually brush her teeth. She's so wiggly and handsy that it's really difficult to be productive. I've even tried, and I know this sounds horrible, holding her nose so she HAS to open her mouth, but darnit if those hands don't try to swat me away anyway. She's the happiest most agreeable toddler, but she turns into the most defiant little munchkin when I try to brush her teeth.
I'd love some tips on how to make the process better. I've tried praising her when I get to brush them, brushing teeth as a family, watching "It's Fun to Brush Your Teeth" from "Yo Gabba Gabba," etc. Thanks!


Adf0905 - posted on 03/13/2009




We play the "One, Two, Three" game. I do it for other things too, like giving her medicine or using a bulb syringe to get gunk out of her nose. Basically, I count to three, and on the count of three she opens her mouth, and I say "brush brush brush brush!!!" (excitedly) and brush a tooth for a few seconds. We usually repeat that 5-10 times, depending on how long she lets me brush each tooth. She thinks she's playing a hilarious game, and I'm cleaning her teeth, so we're both happy!

[deleted account]

My little guys were like that (they are 18 months) until, at a friends' house, they watched another toddler brush her teeth. Since then it's been easier-going in that department! Kind of along the lines of kids wanting to do what other kids are doing... that idea. If you have friends with kids close in age to your daughter, you could try that! good luck... :)

[deleted account]

I was having the same problem with my son, who is almost 17 months old.  We started "brushing" his teeth pretty much as soon as he started getting teeth.  Like someone else said, at this age, it's more about establishing the routine.  That being said, bad teeth run in my family, so it makes ME feel better to be able to get a few "quality" brushes in there.  So one day as I was having the nightly struggle with him, I just started singing the ABC's and he stopped fighting me.  I go through the ABC's one time, take out the toothbrush and let him clap and say "yaayyyy" for Mommy and then I sing the song again letting him hold the tooth brush.  I saw another post about this not long ago and someone suggested a battery powered kid's tooth brush.  That way, they can chew all they want and the tooth brush will still get the job done.  Hope this helps :)

Esther - posted on 03/14/2009




I asked the same question somewhere else on this forum and someone responded to me that her dentist told her it's OK if they don't actually brush their teeth until they are about 2 years old. Until then it's all about establishing a routine so it's OK for them to just chew on it. So I'm letting my son do that twice a day while I model brushing for him. He seems to be catching on a little because at least now he moves the brush around in his mouth. Not in a brushing motion, but it does get around.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

User - posted on 10/22/2012




I was here looking for help, but I have done the singing and letting them see me brushing my teeth while keeping a happy face, and I have twin girls, they are exactly 14 months old and one is easy brushing and doing most things, while the other one (dominant) just makes me suffer.

Today, she has a great poop and as always didn't want me to change her, and all the wiggling around made poop come out of diaper into my hand, bedspread and my clothing....

I am stressed about her when it comes to all the normal things we do since the very beginning.


Tami - posted on 03/14/2009




Will he let you put your finger in his mouth?  If he does, and still hates the toothbrush, you could try a fingertip brush, at least then you're getting his teeth a bit cleaner than nothing at all.

Samantha - posted on 03/13/2009




I started out brushing my teeth in front of my little man (14 months now) and then letting him brush my teeth with his brush and then i ask him if he can brush his teeth. he doesn't apply alot of pressure but he does the forward and back motion- i still have to guide to do the top and bottom both sides and then i let him suck on the brush and bite it afterwards--i also give him liquid multi vitamin right before so maybe he is trying to get rid of that horrible multivitamin taste when he 'brushes'..hope this helps

Joanne - posted on 03/13/2009




my daughter and I brush our teeth together..children love to mimic mommy and daddy if they see you doing things a particular way they to will do it.

Rhizz - posted on 03/13/2009




we let our son watch us brush our teeth and we make it look like its really fun

also he like to use our tooth brush. see if that helps :-)

best wish's

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms