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Teeth Brushing for 2 Year Old

I've been trying to get my 2 year old to start learning to brush her teeth. The pediatrician says twice a day (once a day is a chore!!). I'm still using the flouride free toothpaste, but all she wants to do is eat it. I was told to try using a pea size of regular toothpaste to start training her, but I don't know where to start. Any advice?

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What works for me and my 3 year old is brushing her teeth while she lays down with her head in my lap and watches tv at the same time. This works. And I tell her before I do each part of her teeth what I'm about to brush so its not so invasive. The dentist recommended this technique and she prefers it.

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Hi K.,

Don't switch her to fluoride toothpaste. It is terribly dangerous if ingested. A "pea size" can cause terrible stomach perforations and a lot can be deadly. (Fluoride kills bacteria but for a person that brushes often, it can cause fluorosis that turns the teeth yellow. It will start eating the enamel away.)I don't even use it for myself or my kids. We switched from Crest to a natural Melaleuca oil toothpaste and my kids quit getting cavities!!!

Have you tried a battery operated toothbrush? Or one with music? Those can be fun for a two year old. My twelve year old still likes hers.



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Before my son started spitting , our dentist told us to start him on fluoride tooth paste a small amount once a day. The small amount will not hurt him its eating the whole tube that will.

I still don't come anywhere near my girls with fluoridated toothpaste because even little amounts swallowed are very toxic. For quite a while we didn't even use toothpaste. Our dentist said that the brushing was the important part and that the toothpaste was jut for flavoring or breath freshening. We would let them 'play' brush for a little bit, and then do it ourselves just to make sure we got all of the teeth done. Good luck!!

Pretty normal for a 2yo. They love eating the toothpaste. I would not switch to regular toothpaste. Just get another toothbrush and you try to brush her teeth if she won't let you hold hers. When it's out of her mouth, try brushing with the spare child's toothbrush. It's not going to be easy until you can communicate with her as to what you need to do. My 2yo's (actually none of my children) teeth are brushed twice a day. My 2yo goes and get her Dora toothbrush and Thomas toothpaste many times a day. I brush my teeth with her at times and I see her trying to mimick me. I think that is the best example right there. It may only be a stroke or two, but she's doing it. (It really helped for me to get that additional toothbrush though.)

This is a trick I used for my son and it worked like a charm. Before he can hold the toothbrush I get to "look at and brush over his teeth" and he has to brush his tongue. Then he gets to hold the toothbrush himself and he sucks the toothpaste off as well but it's minimal. I rotate between the floride and non-floride toothpaste. At night he usually gets the "better" brushing and in the morning when he wakes up it's not as vigorous. Hope this will work for you.

Brushing teeth is a hard habit to teach. Be sure you have the right sized toothbrush for his mouth - too large and he may gag - and the best toothbrush so far that works for my 5 year old is one that plays music while he is brushing his teeth. When the song is over, he knows he has brushed long enough, but he really loves this toothbrush - bought it at a dollar store - and he will wander around half the day brushing his teeth just to hear the song. With my daughter, now 10, she loved to watch the Bear in the Big Blue House video on brushing her teeth. She spent much more time singing the song than brushing. LOL Another something I found out from their pediatric dentist is that you should check behind their brushing efforts until they are at least TWELVE years old. !!!! Good luck! A.

I am a dental hygienist and it is still your responsibility to brush your baby's teeth. It is ok for her to practice, but you must do it for her at least until she is 7 or 8 years old.....and then after that age you should still inspect to make sure she removes all the plaque. It is ok for her to swallow the toothpaste, she won't learn to properly spit until she is older. My daughter is 2 as well and I use a children's form of fluoridated toothpaste......it will not turn her teeth yellow because that would be an awful lot of fluoride and there isn't that much in a pea sized amount!! Fluoride is added to our tap water as well and you can find it in some bottled water, but make sure you read on the label that the water contains fluoride. Fluoride helps with the remineralization of teeth...especially primary teeth which are prone to incipient caries. Your baby would have to swallow an entire tube of toothpaste to get sick and even if she did she would just vomit it right back up. But because you are the mommy you have to teach her good dental habits now. Plus if she is accustomed to you brushing her teeth regularly and properly, then her first dental visit will be a piece of cake. Baby teeth are important because they hold the space for the permanent teeth, so don't take those teeth for granted.

Im a mommy of a two year old as well with the same dilema. We have to literally chase her through the house and hold her down to brush those back teeth. I think that regular toothpaste burns her mouth and she tends to shy away from the task more often than when I bought the childrens toothpaste. She allows me to take turns with her to brush her teeth and we also have a step stool so she can stand in the bathroom mirror and stare at herself.Just left her first dentist appointment last month and believe it or not when she sat in the chair she was a totally different person. She opened wide and let the dentist brush as if she were a pro at it.

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