Monday, February 26, 2007

Calling all Moms!

OK Internet, I am asking for your wisdom and experience; How in the world do you brush a toddler's teeth??? We have the fancy toothbrush and the fancy toothpaste - we let her try, and she only eats the toothpaste. We try, and she will kick and scream and try to buck off the changing table. Short of sedation, we have tried everything. Our current method includes pinning her down WWF style and trying to get the brush in her mouth between screams.

I am so frazzled on this... I don't want to traumatize her with the toothbrushing, yet she absolutely needs it done. Her little teeth get grimy just like mine do. I don't want her to have baby cavities and have to suffer the dentist chair. HELP! Pretty much all forms of advice are welcome here, so don't be afraid to comment!


carrie said...

I wish I had some great advice for you, but we are going through the exact same thing!

For two weeks, I pretended there were all kinds of things in her teeth that we needed to brush out (dinosaurs, trees, etc). She thought that was hilarious and it worked like a charm until she realized it was just a giant ploy on my part. Then I'd sing the ABCs while we brushed, but that only worked for a week and now we're back to the screaming like the world is ending.

Have you tried silly games like that with Margot? I don't know if they'd work any better for her than they did for Millie, but those three weeks of clean shiny teeth were sure nice... :)

kalurah said...

as soon as all of my kids were old enough to sit up on their own and were able to direct objects towards their mouth rather than their eye, I gave them each their own baby size rubber handled toothbrush to just keep with them and gnaw away on to their hearts content. (this is also great for teething too, by the way). this was only allowed when they were sitting down, watching tv or sitting down with a book or toy.
even to this day, Zoe, who is five, still likes to go grab her toothbrush and chew on it while watching a flick. her dental hygienist actually encouraged her to do this, because it "agitates" the plaque.
but another thing that helped with my boys is buying a toothbrush that plays music, they even have ones that are timed for the length that brushing time should typically be. and there's also toothpaste that has a music-playing lid.(I can't stand the thing, by the way)
then there's always the tried and true "look at all the silver in mommy's mouth. do you want to look like this?"
anyway, hope these help out a little. sorry this post is so winded.

G.A. said...

The chewing thing is gets them a little clean lol. We've done the pin down method a lot lately too. Somethings that work sometimes are: sing a silly song while brusing (that brusha brusha song from Grease,) having her sit on the counter and look in the mirror while we brush, or having us both hold onto the brush. These work only sometimes. Also try brushing in the tub or shower. Good luck!

Lauren said...

So, brush them in the tub, while singing the ABC's with a musical toothbrush. Got it!

We have tried singing the Raffi "Brush your teeth" song while we attempt, but she is wise to our method now and only does the hand motions. Thanks for the advice though, we will try all of those things!

Keep 'em coming!

Trisha said...

So I obviously don't have the experience yet, but things that I have picked up over the years from other people include:

*Have them brush their teeth while you do
*Make it seem like it is something they are getting away with, rather than being forced to do, since kids usually like to do things they are not supposed to
*Have teeth brushing be the required activity before they get to do a specific fun thing, like a favorite toy, activity, etc.
*Having several different brushes and let them pick which one they want to use each time.

I honestly don't know how well they may work but at least it is something. Good luck and let us know what starts working so I can be prepared to use it myself!

sonny and stacy said...

Try giving her a dry toothbrush. After she gets used to the toothbrush then you can introduce the toothpaste.

Mama C-ta said...

Yeah Cricket LOVES to brush his teeth as in suck the water off of it. I try and say "OK mama's turn" and I may get a few scrubs in on the bottom front teeth only before he clamps down on it.

I've heard of people doing it while they are sleeping but I don't see how he wouldn't wake up. Sorry no advice but sounds like you're not alone. All our kids will have cavities! Yipee!