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How do I get my 2.5 year old to brush her teeth, short of forcing her mouth open????

It's really frustrating. I haven't been able to get a good tooth-brushing in at least a couple of weeks. I've tried letting her brush her teeth first, then mommy...doesn't work. I've tried the two toothbrush thing, letting her pick her own toothbrush, etc. Nada.

Any tricks? She clamps her little mouth shut, and if she does open her mouth, it's only a little bit.


Asked by Anonymous at 9:22 PM on Jan. 22, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • My husband would sit my daughter in his lap and tilt her to where she was almost upside down. She would open her mouth to whine and he would hurry and brush her teeth

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 9:24 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Have you tired a sticker sheet? You could do something like....she gets a sticker everytime you let her brush her teeth and after she gets 3/4 stickers she get 2 bedtime stories instead of one or something like that.

    Answer by faithnseansmama at 9:26 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • i'm in a pickle too, only with my 3yr old. i have to drag him kicking and screaming to brush his teeth. he does keep his mouth open, only cuz i threaten to take his leapster away...when i told him he'd have yellow teeth and that's nasty, he doesn't want yellow teeth, he wants white teeth, he looks at me in the eyes and says " but i want yellow teeth!" ggrr...

    but at the same time i'm trying to get my 2 1/2yr old to STOP brushing her teeth. when she gets a chance to sneak away into the bathroom, she grabs the first toothbrush she sees, usually daddy's, and brushes her teeth...with water obviously cuz the toothpaste isn't in reach...good luck!

    Answer by armywife43 at 9:29 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Seriously, this works, its not fun for the first few days, but it works. We got this advice from our pediatric dentist. Either you or your DH sits on the toilet with your child in your lap and braces the child. One arm around her arms and the other on her forhead keeping her snug against your body so you don't lose any teeth in an accidental headbutt ;) Gently of course, we're not talking about abusing a child here... the other gets in and brushes. You will get a fight for 2 or 3 nights, and then I swear, magically, she will realize that a) its going to happen whether she likes it or not and b) its not really that bad and she'll be a willing participant. This worked like a charm with my son. On the 3rd day we said its time to brush and he ran to the bathroom and opened wide and said, "I love brushing my teeth!" lol, I swear. Also the dentist said that a child can not effectively brush their own teeth until ....

    Answer by gramsmom at 9:33 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • ..they are at least 8 YO.

    Answer by gramsmom at 9:33 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Maybe let her brush YOUR teeth and then it's your turn to brush hers. .... or you can brush at the same time. With my son, once I get the brush in, I don't pull it out until I have at least touched every quadrant of his mouth. Occasionally, he'll still clamp down on the brush.

    Answer by JZ10FPM at 9:37 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • I got my little ones the toothbrushes that play music. They love it!

    Answer by derosia_mama at 9:38 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • pinch her nose. She WILL open her mouth. I know it sounds mean but it will be really sad for her if her teeth are awlful because they weren't brushed as a child

    Answer by JLS2388 at 9:41 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • my daughter had that problem she would let me do it and then she would bite me and the tooth brush and then we went to the dentist the second time and she loved the tooth brush so for christmas she got an electric one they are like 5 bucks at walmart.. i swear my daughter brushes her teeth 6 times a day now.. she is 3

    Answer by kyiahsmommy at 10:59 PM on Jan. 22, 2011

  • Give her a doll or stuffed animal and a toothbrush; you can brush your babies's teeth together.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:53 AM on Jan. 23, 2011