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How do I get my 20 month old to let me brush her teeth?

We brush 2x a day and she loves her toothbrush but she wants to do it herself and it creates a meltdown whenever we try to help.

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Asked by heidio175 at 1:09 PM on Feb. 7, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • I still use the finger brush on my oldest when he isn't getting in there really good. Course he is 26 months old and jealous that his 8 month old brother is using one like it so that helps me out a bit :)


    Answer by CooksWife at 1:27 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Let her do it first all by herself and then make sure you check her teeth and "surprise" tell her that you still see some sugar bugs and that you need to get the last of the sugar bugs out! She's trying desperately to achieve independence, so allow her some and then additional guidance so she can learn even more independence.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 2:17 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • Get the cute mouth wash that turns your teeth colors (like blue, pink, purple). Tell her that she needs to brush until all of the color is gone. If she didn't get all of the color to disappear by the time she's "done" brushing, then you still need to help her clean the rest of them. Explain that Mommy has to help get that color to go away because there's certain spots mommy can get. If she does get all of the color, then you know her teeth are OK and you don't need to help her that night. Hopefully it will get her to let you help her as well as help her learn how to do a thorough job on her own. Good luck!


    Answer by NovemberLove at 3:28 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • My son is just two years old and he is really good at letting me brush his teeth now. It wasn't always like that, so I did two things. First, I started brushing my own teeth first and let him brush his own teeth at the same time. After I was finished, I let him "help" me. He loved brushing my teeth. Then I'd say "My turn!" and that helped a lot, but didn't solve the problem 100%.


    Answer by DeTora_Family at 4:04 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • ... continued He was about 18 months at the time. I looked him in the eye and said "It's Mommy's job to take care of your teeth and keep them clean. I am going to brush your teeth. You can open your mouth and let me do it or I can hold you down and do it. It's your choice, but either way I WILL clean your teeth." I was serious and firm, but not angry or frustrated. I only had to hold him down twice and after that he became very cooperative because he knew I was serious.  Sometimes he doesn't want me to brush his teeth, but all I have to do is ask him if I need to hold him, and his mouth opens.


    Answer by DeTora_Family at 4:06 PM on Feb. 7, 2009

  • I brush my daughters teeth first and then i let her do it. It took a few tries but once she realized she was going to get to do it then she didn't fight me as much.

    Answer by kinzleysmommy at 9:28 AM on Feb. 8, 2009

  • I agree, let her do it and try to sneak in there when you can. At this age it is more important to build good brushing habits than making it something she hates cause you have to force her to do it, kwim? If you don't get every tooth every time right now, it's not gonna make her teeth rot out.

    good luck!


    Answer by Arkaidy at 9:56 AM on Feb. 8, 2009

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