First of all, thank you for all of the encouraging comments on the last post. They came on a day when I very much needed them! I have found that whenever I photograph something and then quickly look through what I have, I’m always disappointed. That was where I was on Tuesday when I posted the picture. Since then I’ve had more time to sort slowly through most of the pictures and the anxiety is easing and your encouragement was very appreciated. Thank you! I will post a few more pictures in the coming weeks.

Now, on to teeth! No, we’re not teething right now. We’re just trying to get these 16 teeth brushed! Seriously…how do you get an 18 month old to allow you to brush their teeth? I would love ALL suggestions and advice. Lya loves to hold her tooth brush and fights us when we try to “help” her brush her teeth. The problem is (obviously) she doesn’t brush her teeth, she just sucks on the brush. Whenever one of us “helps” her she is stubborn and yells, “Mommy!” in aggravation–whether it is Nick or me helping her. It definitely sounds like she is swearing when she grunts out “mommy”!

What are your tricks? How did you convince your toddler to open up and let you help them brush while they learned the technique? At this point we both hate brushing her teeth b/c its such a losing battle…and yet these 16 little pearls need to be cleaned. Help!!


9 thoughts on “Teeth

  1. We let Minh brush our teeth at the same time as we are doing his (no toothpaste on ours). He imitates what we are doing and we are able to get a few good scrubs in. If not, it’s hell!

  2. I sit down and lay Quinn (on his back) across my lap. That’s how I’ve always done it. Sometimes he tries to grab the toothbrush but I try to not let him until I’m done. Adam just holds him upright and he lets him brush his teeth. Quinn only has 12 teeth so far and a few of the molars still are not completely in. I’m not looking forward to the next set of molars!!!

  3. our pediatrician pointed out that whatever brushing a toddler can do is only superficial, anyway, and that the point at this stage is just to get good habits formed — so he advised me not to push it, when I came to him with the same fears/complaints. zen took a little hiatus from toothbrushing for a couple months… but is now a much, MUCH better sport about it than he was before. maybe just give it a break?

  4. My parenting advice on almost ALL issues (and this will serve you well especially as you enter the 2’s and 3’s … and 4’s) comes down to two words: bribes and threats. Ok, Lya’s probably still too little for the threats. But you could promise her something she really likes. Hmm. No snacks though, I suppose. I also remember that we bought Macy a little toothbrush for her doll and she liked to brush her teeth after we did hers. This task is still a battle occasionally around here. I always let her take her turn brushing “all by myself!” and then I get a turn. (Oh, fear sometimes works too. I’ve told her that there are bugs in her mouth that I need to brush away!) It occurs to me that I may not be the best mother to take advice from …

  5. This may sound slightly crazed, but try two toothbrushes. One (plain) is for you guys. The other (pretty) is for her. She gets to use *her* toothbrush as soon as you finish with yours.

    once in a while, this actually works for us…

  6. hmm, good question. we fought the battle and said, sorry, you have to let us brush your teeth. then they got to suck on/brush their teeth afterward. it was a battle for about a week and then they seemed resigned to it. not sure if it’s the best choice but it’s what we did. (and for a while when daniel was 4 i was letting him brush his teeth himself…then i looked at them one day EWWWW) i still help him most days and he’s six now 🙂

  7. I think I’m going to shoot a little “thanks” up to the stars… we’re very lucky in that this isn’t an issue for us (yet). Maybe once the novelty wears off it will be a battle… but ever since we started (last month) it’s been easy. I have a fancy toothbrush and I sing-song “It’s time to brusha brusha brusha…. gotta brush those teeth today.” As soon as S sees the brush he opens up and starts smiling and giggling…

  8. We are battling the exact same issue. Caroline used to love to let us brush her teeth with the little finger brush, but now she’s Miss Independent and wants to brush on her own – now with a bigger brush. She especially likes to do it when I am brushing my teeth, and she’ll brush for the same length of time that I do. I figure, she’s not getting them as well, but it’s moving around in there for a good amount of time at least. Sometimes we will try to get a few brushes in ourselves, but she doesn’t like it much most of the time. I don’t want to make teeth brushing something unpleasant for her and push too hard, so we just take what we can get for now and give her more water during the day.

  9. We try to give the kids choices. We let our kids pick out their own toothbrushes at the store. Then we even have 2-3 toothbrushes so they can choose which toothbrush they want to use on a given day. Then we tell them that they can brush their own teeth, but that Mommy or Daddy will help brush them, too, so we say, “Do you want to brush your teeth before Mommy brushes them or after?”

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