9 answers

2 Year Old Refuses to Let Us Brush His Teeth

My 2 year old son has fought us over toothbrushing since he has had teeth. He is very strong willed and still fights us for diaper changes, getting dressed etc. I have tried letting him brush first, then I brush; not letting him brush until I get to do a "good" job; letting him brush my teeth with my brush while I brush his and none of this has really worked all that well. Any other tricks and tips you have would be greatly appreciated!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My son was the same way too... I now have 2 tooth bushes for him one for him to use and one for me to use to bush his teeth. Now he doesn't have to give up his big boy tooth brush, until I have had a chance to get all of the "bugs" out of his mouth.... Hope this helps.. good luck..

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Start over again! Take your son to the store and let him select his own toothbrush (kid size, let him choose from two you have selected from the shelf) and have him select his own toothpaste (give him 2 choices to choose from even if they aren't the type you would pick out for him. Let your son know HE IS DOING A GOOD JOB! It's important he feels proud for brushing his own teeth. He should not brush your teeth for you, YOU are the parent. Set the example for him by brushing your teeth next to him at the sink. A few times a week say "teeth check" and "count" his teeth while you brush over them. Only brush them enough to check for build up. Sounds like he wants to feel responsible for brushing his own teeth. Compliment him and thank him for doing a good job. Positive encouragement goes along way (Just keep it simple and not over rated). He'll come around quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

When my two boys were that age they threw fits about getting their teeth brushed. We started pretending that there were wild animals on their teeth that we needed to be cleaned off. We made a big deal of finding all the sharks, giraffes and elephants that were camped out in their mouth. It made the whole process much more fun for everybody, and taught the kids the importance of keeping their teeth clean! The two of them, now age 9 and 10, usually have great dental check-ups now.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter went through that phase when she turned 2. I had taken her to the dentist with me when I went for my regular check up/cleaning. She had sat on my lap while the dentist looked in my mouth. He also was able to look in her mouth at her teeth as well. I had asked my dentist about this and my dentist told me not to worry so much on pushing the issue. But try and get them to clean even with a wash cloth (not necessarily brushing). It is good to get them to start early on good heigine(sp?). But not to push the issue. Now my daughter is 2 1/2 and she loves to brush her teeth. She has her own Elmo toothbrush and her own toothpaste (that is safe to swallow). Hope this helps.

D.

1 mom found this helpful

I read in a magazine once that the editor pretended that their were "bugs" in her boys mouths. She would brush all over her kids mouths to try and catch the bugs. This worked to at least get my kids to let me brush for them when they went through willful phases. It made them laugh which happened to make them open their mouths pretty wide.

1 mom found this helpful

My son was the same way too... I now have 2 tooth bushes for him one for him to use and one for me to use to bush his teeth. Now he doesn't have to give up his big boy tooth brush, until I have had a chance to get all of the "bugs" out of his mouth.... Hope this helps.. good luck..

1 mom found this helpful

My kids did the same thing. We now say, as we put the brush in their mouth, "Okay, let's go see Bert and Ernie's house...oh here it is (put brush up top, for example. Oh, where's Big Bird's nest? There it is, on that side." And keep it going. If they don't watch Sesame Street, try Dora or something: "Where is Boots? Oh, Swiper is going to get that food behind your teeth!"

1 mom found this helpful

I wonder if you could help him "choose" it himself. If he's two now, he can start to understand some. Why not show him a picture of someone with really yucky (like Halloween scary) teeth? That is why you want him to let you help brush, after all.
If you have to, just keep fighting him. We became lax because it was difficult to keep fighting our strong-willed son (now five), and he's ended up with three silver caps on his teeth. Luckily they're all baby teeth so we have another shot at doing it right!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J.,
First, don't let him win. Maybe he doesn't like the toothpaste. I know that a natural paste without the fluoride is better for our children and there are some good ones out there. I am sure that you have explained that if he doesn't brush his teeth they will have to be pulled. You can't scare the child of dentists, but sometimes they have to know the facts. It sounds like you have tried everything. I really don't have any great ideas. Maybe the brush is something he doesn't like, have you tried giving him a clean washcloth and letting him "clean" his teeth rather than brush them? Sometimes little ones like to have washcloths in their mouths and this might help. Yes, put the toothpaste on the cloth. Sincerely, D. G.

1 mom found this helpful

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