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Is brushing teeth like pulling teeth?

Every night I have to fight with my daughter to brush her teeth. She will kick, scream, cry, twist and turn while I try to brush her teeth. Although I hate going through it every night, I continue the horrible ritual every night because I think it is important and I don't want her teeth to rot. I have bought those training toothpastes and toothbrushes but just want some suggestions about the approach. Thanks to all who answer!


Asked by msp12r at 4:23 AM on Jul. 16, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (57 Credits)
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Answers (7)
  • I guess I am lucky because my son loves brushing his teeth. He will actually ask to do it. I get him to say aaaah then I brush his teeth and then I hand him the toothbrush and let him brush while I brush my own so he can watch. I do put him where he can see both of us in the mirror. He mostly just chews on the toothbrush but he is starting to copy what I do. When we first started I just let him chew on the brush. Then once he got to like that I started telling him he could have it after he said ahh and let me brush first. He is 21 months now but we started at about 1 year. We do use the baby toothpaste and he has a Hulk toothbrush because he loves Hulk.

    Answer by rasbneon at 10:44 AM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • Just keep doing what you are doing what you are you doing but brush her teeth for her .

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:02 AM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • How are you brushing them exactly? I've found that the best way to do this with my son is hold him up in front of the mirror and brush them where he can see me doing it. And when I need to get the back teeth we go "AHHHHHHHHHHHH" in the mirror (which gets him cracking up laughing). Then when I get done I rinse the brush off and let him try and brush his own teeth in front of the mirror. It makes him feel like part of the process

    Answer by MamaPyratekk at 7:28 AM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • My oldest did this. I would have to pin him down to get him to even open his mouth. I know it is very frustrating & and I would dread it everyday. I eventually had to take him into the dentist and they had to put caps on some of his teeth. Very negative experience but it just had to be done. He learned his lesson and so did I. Once his adult teeth came in, the dentist sealed them.

    I like the idea above about letting him see you brush his teeth.

    Has he gone to see a pediatric dentist? When you take him early enough, they usually give children such a great experience about taking care of their teeth.

    Get some childrens books on brushing teeth as well. Talk very postively about it. Let him pick his own tooth brush..He did love the spinbrush...well still does. Make a chart on the bathroom wall and offer a reward at the an ice-cream or something with Mom.

    Answer by Momforhealth at 8:53 AM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • My DD went through this. Like you I just kept at it because I know it's important. She slowly learned that she had no choice and that it went quicker when she cooperated. It took months! But she now opens her mouth and is starting to help.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:15 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • I let my DD brush frist while she is in the and then i say lets if mommy can do as such a good job as you did, kinda like a game.

    Answer by hollinicole at 3:51 PM on Jul. 16, 2008

  • My daughter is fighting me too about brushing her teeth.One night I had to put her arms behind her back and open her mouth myself, it worked!It made her laugh and then she brushed them.But,I try not to do that often.I know I have to approach this situation in a positive way,gently ask her that she needs to brush her teeth, give her a warning or two, then if she doesn't do it, take a break, because I tend to get really mad.Take a break for 5 minutes and write down your feelings why you feel so mad,I do this and this helps me.Then put her on a time out.She stays on time-out. Ask her do you want to brush your teeth or stay on time out--she rather brush her teeth.

    Answer by countingsparows at 9:38 PM on Jul. 16, 2008