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Did/do any of you have a horrific time trying to brush your toddler's teeth?

My son is almost 21 months and for the past month he has decided that he HATES having his teeth brushed. He's becoming very "independent" and wants to do a lot of things himself. That's fine and dandy with some things, but I have to help him with his teeth or they won't get thoroughly brushed. And he has almost all of his teeth, too. He either won't open his mouth, will shake his head back and forth, or cry if I try. Needless to say, it's rough. I don't want to force it in his mouth or make him upset, but no matter how much I try to make it fun, he HATES it. I usually manage to get a few swipes, but it's never without him getting mad. Any suggestions, ladies? :)

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Asked by LovingSAHMommy at 10:26 PM on Jun. 19, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 40 (115,957 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I took turns with DS. He would brush his teeth on his own, then I would finish up to make sure they were good and clean. Letting him start on his own satisfied his craving for independence so he was more willing to let me help.

    Answer by xtwistedxlovex at 10:32 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • i pour a tiny amount of mouthwash into the cap and dip the brush in it, she has never given me problems brushing teeth

    Answer by sophistcatdfury at 10:36 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • We use the training tooth paste currently, and he likes to suck it off and not brush his teeth, lol!

    Comment by LovingSAHMommy (original poster) at 10:37 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • it's mostly the age he is, my son didn't like it at first, but daycare does it everyday with him also try to make it fun. With a reward and praise in being so good, I personally stand behind my son and say open wide and we do it in the mirror sometimes so he can get a feel of it.
    good luck!

    Answer by Sillylins at 10:48 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • Sometimes, when she is feeling extra independant, I will let her "brush" my teeth and then we take turns and I brush hers. then when she opens her mouth really good - even if it is just for a little swipe - I make a huge deal of how good she is and how proud I am of her. But it took about 3 months of that type of consistency to really get it down. And she will still fuss... - btw my DD is 2 years old tomorrow.

    Answer by jessmered at 10:49 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • yes my son is 18 months and he screams, cries, and shakes his head back and forth. it is so hard. most nights i cant get the brush in his mouth. i dont know what to do because if i let him do it he just sucks the toothpaste off and thats it.

    Answer by price85 at 10:55 PM on Jun. 19, 2011

  • I have 3 boys--13, 9, and 4. They can be so stubborn at that age. I finally got fed up with the fight. They would close their mouth and refuse to open it. One night, I told my oldest, when he was about your son's age, that he could either open his mouth or I was going to make him open it. When he refused, I pinched his nose. He had to open his mouth to breathe. I finally got that toothbrush in his mouth and did what needed to be done. I have had to use this method on all 3 of my boys. When my 2nd DS was about 3, he started hiding his toothbrush:) That was an interesting time. (I did try the reward system. Nothing worked.)

    Answer by dustbunny at 1:00 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • We have never had rewards for something that is expected. We sometimes take turns with the brushing - he brushes his teeth, then it's Mama's turn to brush his teeth, back & forth like that. I have also let him brush my teeth, then his teeth, back & forth like that.

    Answer by hootie826 at 11:15 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

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