L.B. asks from Elk Grove Village, IL on September 28, 2009
Need Some Tips for Toddler Toothbrushing
My little boy is 22 months, and little by little he has begun to hate toothbrushing time. At first it was novel and fun, but now it ranges from tedious to reluctant to a battle. He just clamps his mouth shut and turns to face the wall so I can't brush them. We build up to it by happily announcing "Teeth!! It's time for teeth!!!" and he used to squeal and run to the bathroom as part of the routine (bedtime or morning.) We use two identical toothbrushes, and he goes at it first "Nolan's turn", and then when he's done, it's "Mommy's turn" to brush his teeth for him. I have tried brushing my own teeth with him, brushing my husband's teeth (so he can see how much fun it is). He's OK doing it himself, but he doesn't want me or my husband to do it for him. I get that, but at the same time, he can't do a good enough job of it yet. I'm very gentle, so I know it's not uncomfortable for him. We use the Oral B training toothpaste, and he likes the flavor, so that's not it. Any tips, tricks, advice for this would be great. Maybe the fun, spinning kind of toothbrush?? I don't know.
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the responses!!! We have had luck with a few things, although he's still no tooth brushing star! We let him choose from a few different toothbrushes each time (although he always wants Elmo at least he thinks he's choosing), choosing which kiddie toothpaste, and he is now standing on a step stool doing it himself, well sort of anyway. And the brushing out imaginary monkeys, elephants, etc. really works pretty well!!! ("Oh! I think I see a monkey way back in there! Brush him out!") My husband and I are also brushing our own teeth at the same time, so he's trying to mimic us as best he can. It's not perfect, but it's so much better! Thank you Mommies!!!! I love this site, and you are all a wonderful community that I'm happy to be a part of!
C.T. answers from Chicago on September 29, 2009
My daughter is the same age and I'm having the same issue. She used to love it so I want to read the responses you got.
R.K. answers from Chicago on September 29, 2009
My daughter uses a Firefly toothbrush that I found at Target for 99 cents. Her dentist also recommended it. You push down on the toothbrush and it lights up red for the amount of time they should brush.
Hope this helps and good luck!
K.J. answers from Chicago on September 28, 2009
I've been in the same off and on battle that you are in right now. Sometimes my son lets me brush his teeth, but other times he violently opposes it. One thing that has helped us (again, some of the time) is that toothbrush that plays music that can only be clearly heard while it is in the child's mouth, on a tooth. Ours plays a song from the Lion King, and I only take it out when he's REALLY being difficult.
T.D. answers from Chicago on September 28, 2009
I found this stuff at Walmart called "Inspector Hector's Plaque Detector." It's a BLUE mouthwash and they have to keep brushing until there is no blue left on their teeth. It was in the toothbrush/mouthwash section. It's a little messy, but it didn't stain my counter or sink. Thee kids just like the novelty of it. They love having a blue mouth. Good luck. I have an 18 month old and he hates to have his teeth brushed, so I know the feeling.
J.G. answers from Chicago on September 29, 2009
Try 'brushing out the animals' in their mouth. I think I got this tip from Mamasource. I was in the same boat ... as soon as the novelty of brushing wore off my son got bored. Now we say ... 'oh look ... I see a monkey in your mouth! We need to brush it out'. The animals change depending on the day or there are many animals at one time and we ask him which animals he sees. Just a little make-believe goes a long way.
A.R. answers from Chicago on September 28, 2009
There are some cute toothbrushing songs and videos you can play from the internet. Try youtube.com
We also give stickers to play with while brushing or afterwards.
A.R. answers from Peoria on September 29, 2009
Maybe having him make sounds while you help brush. I have my kids say aahhhh and open real big so I can brush the tops (chewing surface)and inside of their teeth. Then eeeee so I can brush the outsides. Then I have them say aaaa (short a sound) and stick out their toungue so we can brush that. They think that one is the best, so they can't wait until they can stick their toungue out. We also started a bedtime sticker chart, so if they brush real good, or brush then let me help finish they get a sticker.
B.M. answers from Dallas on September 28, 2009
It seems to be first an assertion of independence (that he can do it himself) and then a battle of will (that you're NOT going to take away his new-found independence). My little Evie will be 3 in December and I just let her brush her teeth herself. I went through the same battle and went to my dentist about it. His (secret) recommendation? Just let her do it herself - but make sure she does it. No, she doesn't get them as clean as I would, but they get brushed reasonably well. She has a clean dental record, despite her flawed brushing. I just remind her to "get the backs" while brushing with her - she mimicks me and still gets to brush her teeth herself. It's a decision of choosing your battles....
J.P. answers from Chicago on September 28, 2009
I agree with the moms who said to play songs. And so the novelty doesn't wear off too fast, only play these favorite songs while he brushes his teeth (and maybe one more song afterwards.) There are cute songs out there that stress healthy habits such as brushing teeth. One mom suggested YouTube and that's a great idea because your son can hear and see someone during the song.... hopefully another kid brushing his teeth. We got musical toothbrushes awhile back and they brush until the music stops. (Like a musical timer!) I bought ours at Meijer but I'm sure other stores sell them too. They sell them in smaller sizes too and toddler songs are on them.