How To Brush Teeth

10 Replies
carmendanielle - October 25

So my dd is 19 months old and she absolutely throws a fit when we try to brush her teeth. We have tried everything! We brush our teeth, we "brush" her stuffed animals, we give her a toothbrush to play with, etc. etc. but she now just zips her lips and we have to basically pry her mouth open to get those little teeth clean! It's a nightmare. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get out of this daily struggle?


in the woods - October 26

I think they should understand first what toothbrushing is for, and 19 mo old is probably not ready to grasp. I started at 2 years old with my kids, and if they were not in the mood, that was fine, too. No forcing, they have to be interested themselves. My 2 3/4 year old now *brushes*, which consists of eating the toothpaste. My 4.5 year old is starting to get ONLY NOW the movements, how one should move the brush. Your toddler is too young, you can try but be prepared for hits and misses, and when it's a miss, just let it go.


redsonya - October 27

Good luck! I literally have to hold down my 3 year old with my legs and one arm and then brush his teeth with my free hand. He cries but it makes it easier when his mouth is open. I'm a teeth freak so it is soo important to me to make sure he has brushed teeth. I haven't tried flossing yet....LOL. Oh, I also make a huge deal out of how fresh his breath is. I say "go breathe on your daddy and show him how clean your breath is". We make a big deal out of it. GL.


letgo0527 - October 28

My son, who is 15 months old. Hated the finger brush. So I got him a tooth brush for little kids. I let him play with it for awhile. One day I let him hold it and then started brushing my own teeth, to show him what it was for. Now he pretty much brushes his own teeth, he does it himself for awhile then I do it for him when he's done to make sure he didn't miss anything. We use an infant non floride toothpaste for him and he loves the apple/banana taste, which may help some. Pick out an infant toothpaste that will taste good to them. Maybe call your dentist or pediatrician for advice too.


kristie h - October 28

I agree with in the woods. The one thing that realy works for me and ds 2 years 9 months is if he wants to go out side hes not allowd to till he is dressed and his teeth brushed. I dont know if your lo will be too young to understand this concept but just try this with somthing he loves doing.


sahmof3 - October 29

I have the same problem with my son who is 2 years and 3 months old. Actually, he does like to brush his teeth with his toothbrush, but at his age he's not very thorough and he won't let us do it at all!! My dad's a dentist and he suggested putting him to bed with a sippy cup of water so it can wash over his teeth right before he falls asleep. So, that's where I'm at now. Oh, and he takes flouride drops right before bed, too.


ds1970 - October 29

I'm so glad I read this tonight!! I am SO stressed out about this issue right now. I have tried everything, and it is just a daily nightmare trying to brush or otherwise clean my 21-month-old son's teeth!! Last night he bit me so hard that he actually broke the skin on my finger and I was BLEEDING. It is SUCH a relief to hear that others have this issue as well. My son has all his teeth, and I can't imagine not brushing them or cleaning them at all, (or at least trying to!)...I keep picturing how that would be if I did the same thing with myself, I'm just too afraid he will start to get tooth decay at this young age. I have tried everything...doing it with him in the mirror, letting him use my toothbrush to brush my teeth, and then "taking turns", where it's my turn to do his then, etc. I've tried the finger brush, the toothpaste, etc. When all else fails, I just have to kind of hold him down and use my finger covered with a wet wash cloth, but that is how I got bit, so I refuse to do it anymore. I am at a real loss.


jessb - October 29

Im right there with you ds1970, I am just relieved to find out Im not the only one who struggles with this. My dd is almost 21 months and she loves to brush her teeth, could do it all day... BUT she doesnt really brush she just chews on her toothbrush and sucks off all the infant toothpaste, i guess cause it tastes good. I have to struggle with her and basically hold her head and pry her mouth open so I can brush for a few seconds. I have gotten bit too!!! Maybe as she is older she will start brusing better so I wont have to do this. Sometimes from watching others she will take the brush and move it up and down over her teeth, I guess its a start. I also give her a sippy cup of water at bedtime, I figure this will wash away some of the food and sugar too.


carmendanielle - October 31

Well, it's good to know I'm not the only one! So far the toothbrush struggle is just getting worse. She now fights at me with all 4 limbs and i can't pry her mouth open and fight her off at the same time! (Oh my word, that sounds terrible, doesn't it? ha) She is otherwise so sweet and we have so few issues, but this just kills me! DD likes her toothbrush, she plays with it and sucks on it, but is certainly not cleaning her teeth. The finger brush sounds interesting. I've never seen those before. maybe I'll give it a try! good luck with those little teeth!


BouncingBabyBoy - October 31

I found these little finger brush things. like the ones crest (I think made) you open the package and put it on your finger and brush they made some for infants an toddlers. they come in fruity flavors, anyways. She is 9 months and has 7 teeth, i use these and she sits there with her mouth open and lets me brush them.


Erins Mom - October 31

When Erin started throwing a fit like that I just backed off for a few months and now she's all about brushing her teeth again. I bought her a brand new Elmo toothbrush and she was so excited over it. She cries now when we take it away and it's time to stop brushing the teeth! LOL. Crazy.



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