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BIG troubles brushing teeth Lock Rss

DS is 22 months and will not let me near him with a toothbrush (or cloth) to clean his teeth. If I try (and I do after breaky and before bed) he thrashes around, hitting and kicking, screaming etc. He has never been a great brusher, but it has now gotten so bad that he really is not getting his teeth brushed at all. It is exhausting to try. I have tried everything I can think of - got him to pick out a new toothbrush, tried with a little toothpaste, let him brush my teeth, promised Wiggles stickers, had corner time (particularly for the hitting).

No doubt I have done the wrong things and pushed it too far but now I cant seem to figure out how to improve this situation. I am very concerned for his teeth.

Has anyone been in such a bad situation and managed to turn it around ? I really need some advice.
Thanks.
We were in your situation until right up until our son turned about 2.

Like you, we tried absolutely everything! People on the Huggies forum gave lots of good advice but in the end, only 1 thing worked for us.

The one piece of advice given to us was given early on to me by a Huggies member and at the time I thought it was too harsh. We sort of tried it but found it too upsetting for all of us. Then after many, many months of trying other things, we ended up going back to this piece of advice and now it works.

We ended up wrapping our son in a large towel(He was 2 years old - who also kicked, hit, thrashed around)This way, he couldn't move his arms as much. I kind of got his legs in between mine and held him tightly against my chest whilst my husband tried to clean his teeth. He cried, screamed etc - but at least whilst he cried - his mouth was open so you could get the toothbrush in. I know this sounds brutal and cruel but it had to be done. As I said - we had tried everything!! I would honestly say it took about 3 days of this (we only did it once a day at the time) and he finally allowed us to brush his teeth without being wrapped in a towel. Mind you, there were still tears but no thrashing and better co-operation of mouth opening. We kept the towel by his side (on the lounge) so to remind him that if he didn't co-operate he would be wrapped in the towel again. After about 3 weeks, we no longer needed the towel by his side and now we can get the job done.

We are at the point now where we can make it fun for him by playing little games or singing funny songs or pulling silly faces etc to help him when he doesn't want his teeth cleaned. He is sooo much better now (not perfect - but now we can do it!)

Also, take him to your dentist when you go for a check-up. Let him watch the dentist clean your teeth and dentists usually have a big toy with large teeth and a big toothbrush to demonstrate teeth cleaning. That might help too.

Look out for books or tv programs (or episodes) with teeth cleaning in them.

Also make sure he watches you brush your teeth morning and night so he knows the routine.

I should add the my Child Community nurse suggested not to force the issue but to get him to keep watching us and one day hopefully he will allow us to clean his teeth. We did that but it didn't work.

Best of luck and I do hope your little guy co-operates soon. It's harder on you all as he gets older and more likely to be in situations where he may eat more sugary things that are bad for his teeth.
Just wanted to add to my previous post...

All the while we were having trouble brushing his teeth, I didn't allow him to drink any juice. Where possible, he didn't have lollies, cakes etc and if he did we encouraged him to drink water afterwards.

Also, when brushing (or attempting to brush) we were consistent. His teeth are cleaned straight after his bath and we do it in the lounge room. We keep to this routine so he knows exactly what to expect.
Howdy

My dd is not a big teeth brusher either. She would chew on her little toothbrush, then I discovered she is really happy to brush her teeth with an adult toothbrush! We let her do her own with that and while she is busy, we scoot in with a little one and do it properly. It is still a fight, but we sing and make it fun. At the moment the biggest issue is she just clamps down on the toothbrush with her teeth and we can't move it without prising her jaws apart....

As long as it is a fight to brush her teeth she is only drinking breastmilk, water and milk and she is not having ANY type of lolly/choc at all. If she has dried fruit her teeth get brushed straight after.
We also brush her teeth 3x a day and let her chew a toothbrush whenever she likes.
As a supplement, I give her cod liver oil and organic butter as a way to prevent and heal caries. (Weston Price Foundation for more info)
im having the same problem with my 15 month old.
at first she loved her toothbrush but now she wont have a bar of it. i used to do her teeth in the bath but now she squirms around so much i cant, because im afraid she'll slip and hurt herself or drown.

i brush my teeth with her and i let her just hold it in her hand or mouth and chew it as she pleases.
i have tried to hold her down a couple of times but i stopped because i really dont want to make an issue of it and create an even bigger battle ground.

im torn between forcing her and just letting her play with it for now.
She only has 5 teeth so its not such a big deal as if she had a whole mouthful but still...


forgot to say, i find it easiest if dd is laying down. i do it on the change table.
Thank you all for your responses. It makes me feel a little better knowing that I am not alone with this issue and others can understand the stress of it all.

An update on my DS - yesterday I sent him to daycare with his toothbrush and they had a go. Would you believe it - he opened his mouth and had his teeth cleaned with no issues. The daycare staff thought is was so funny - they took photos for me to prove it. I was just relieved that he finally had a good brush. But of course last night when DH and I went to have a go, it was all tears and tantrums again. I think he saves all his tantrums and bad behaviour for me and is an angel at daycare.

The towel idea appeals to me. I mean we have tried the physical restraining him between the 2 of us (without the towel) and it is tough to handle a thrashing child. And of course I am desperate and we are at the point of tough love.

Thanks again for all your suggestions.
Posted by: JD153
An update on my DS - yesterday I sent him to daycare with his toothbrush and they had a go. Would you believe it - he opened his mouth and had his teeth cleaned with no issues. The daycare staff thought is was so funny - they took photos for me to prove it. I was just relieved that he finally had a good brush. But of course last night when DH and I went to have a go, it was all tears and tantrums again. I think he saves all his tantrums and bad behaviour for me and is an angel at daycare.


Oooooh, they are ratbags aren't they!! Our son did a similar thing when he was about 18 months. I had pneumonia so Mum and Dad took him for a few days. Yes, you guessed it - he let my Mum brush is teeth morning and night!! When we got him back, we actually had success for about 5 days and then back to no teeth co-operation again.

Will you child care brush his teeth each day you send him? That's fantastic if they will. At least his teeth gets cleaned some of the time smile

Best of luck with the towel. I hope it works for you as it did with us.
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