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3 year old and brushing teeth...?

My son William is 3. He does not like for me to brush his teeth, and I don't think he does a very good job himself. He just turned 3 by the way.

I read somewhere that it's less traumatic to pin them down and brush them than to have them get a cavity and drilled by the dentist. Sometimes I resort to pinning down, although I don't really like to do that.

He has a grey tooth in the front, from hitting his face on a toy at the park. The dentist said it is vital to keep his teeth brushed, or else it may get infected and they will have to pull it. This is also why I need his teeth brushed, and not necessarily on his terms!

Anyone have any ideas how to make time to brush teeth more enjoyable with a preschooler?

Answer Question

Asked by prettyrayray at 8:51 PM on Oct. 3, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (16 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • my daughter is 3 and i used to tell her i saw a bug in there and i needed to get it out. it worked very well! she did not wanta bug in her mouth!

    Answer by rahrahsmama at 9:07 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • yikes idk mine is 3 also and he hates it but every night before i read to him he knows its time,i let him just for fun but overall i do it for him,we also have this inside family joke,if he dont brush his teeth we will call him hally tosis,its a book story called dog breath by dav pilkey but thats our little trick.

    Answer by BUSYLOVINGHIM at 9:08 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • LuvBug3

    Answer by LuvBug3 at 9:09 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • I took my daughter to the dentist for the first time at 2. To get her ready we "played" dentist at home, I counted her teeth and touched her tounge with a fingernail so she could feel the movement in her mouth. We did this for about a month before her appointment. She also got pretty uppity about brushing after her, and told me she does a good job. So I figure I hurt her feelings by following up with Me brushing after Her. Now she brushes on her own in the morning, and after lunch, but at bedtime she uses her blue mouthwash, and I brush her teeth first, she does blue mouthwash again, and brushes behind my efforts. This way, she doesn't feel like I am helping because she can't do a good job, she gets to help me make sure they are super clean before bed. The blue rinse seemed to help keep her focused on her brushing, so did a mirror at her height, she doesn't like brushing as much away from home, because she can't see well.

    Answer by Cheapsk8mom at 9:25 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • Sorry, I just tackle and pin to get it done. Not a lot of fun, but it has to happen. We also have a LOT of tooth brushs for him, and he can play with one anytime he feels like it.

    Answer by auroura at 9:29 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • try a song before you brush your teeth and always brush your teeth with him. let him do it first then you brush them. you could get him a cute timer too. make it sound fun.

    Answer by mandielynn23 at 10:06 PM on Oct. 3, 2009

  • My son also just turned 3 (about a week ago),and he has always LOVED brushing his teeth! Its even better now because he's in preschool and they brush their teeth after lunch everyday. I still watch him while he's brushing,and remind him to scrub the front,back,side to side and so on-then when he's done I have him open up and let me see his "good work". Maybe you could find a special way to make brushing time fun for your child. If all else fails crest makes these "mouthwash" type products for children in different colors that your child swishes before brushing and it "clings" to all the problemed "dirty" areas so that young kids can make sure they brush everywhere. Good Luck!!

    Answer by dakotasmommy06 at 8:36 AM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • I know I am lucky to have the opposite "problem" - (although I don't really see it as a problem LOL) My 2 yr old LOVES to brush his teeth! We do it first thing in the morning, and after his bedtime snack, and he asks 2-3 more times during the day to do it. He just started using "grown-up" toothpaste and does well with spitting too. I did buy him a kid's battery operated toothbrush to add to his collection (they are only $5 or 6 at wal-mart) - he goes CRAZY over that. Maybe that could encourage your son more? Good luck!!!

    Answer by JD815 at 1:16 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • I'm having the same exact problem with my little girl. She loves to brush her own teeth, but screams if I try to help her. I have tried the "there's a bug in there" approach, but it didn't work. Lol. So if you find any helpful tips, let me know!

    Answer by bobbilinn7 at 8:19 PM on Oct. 4, 2009

  • Thank you so much for your responses!!

    Answer by prettyrayray at 10:41 PM on Oct. 5, 2009

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