Getting toddler to brush their teeth

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paulsiu
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Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by paulsiu » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:27 pm

I have a 2-1/2 year old who gotten more and more resistant to brushing. She used to let me brush, but now she plainly refuses. She wants to do it herself, which I can understand, but at her age, she probably won't do a good job.

I have tried various strategies. I tried motorized brushes, but she's apparently afraid of motors (and fans). I tried letting her pick out tooth brushes and toothpaste, thinking that she's probably asserting her independence. I tried giving out rewards ("extra book if you brush). I tried withholding rewards ("No more ice-cream unless you brush"). Nothing seems to work.

I was thinking about brushing her little brother's teeth and praising him to see if sibling rivalry can be used somehow. In any case, I should have gotten her used to brushing sooner. If it was a routine, she probably wouldn't think too much of it.

I can't force her to brush her teeth, but I can't skip brushing her teeth either.

Do fellow parents have suggestion they can share?

Paul

123
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by 123 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:31 pm

Maybe the tooth fairy won't visit if all s/he gets are teeth that weren't brushed well.
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livesoft
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:35 pm

I am really smiling here. She's going to lose all those teeth anyways. I would not let her touch her sibling's teeth or mouth. It will only lead to disaster (you know, hating her brother).

I'd pick another battle, but would brush my own teeth while she watched. Of course, you can let her brush your teeth any time you want. :)

Another thing is to give her control, but in a controlled way as in: "You can either watch TV now and brush your teeth later. Or you can go to bed now and brush your teeth in the morning." The key is to pick something that gives her control, but still gets the job more or less done. In fact, I just used this on my son today: You can mow the yard today or you can mow it tomorrow in the rain. He chose to mow it tomorrow in the rain which is OK with me.
Last edited by livesoft on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bottlecap
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by bottlecap » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:38 pm

I'm not certain, as it's always been a routine for our slightly older toddler. There have been times that she wanted to do it herself, however, and I was able to get her to agree that I would do them first and she would finish brushing them. That way, they always got brushed, even when she wanted to do it herself. Maybe you can work that into your negotiation if you haven't already tried.

JT

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by twindad57 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:39 pm

We have 2 1/2 year old twins. We brush their teeth first, then they get to do it. They always ask for more toothpaste, but what they say is 'too much.' When it is their turn daddy gives them 'too much' toothpaste with instructions not to tell mom (who is sitting nearby). The 'too much' toothpaste is really just a smudge across the bristles, but they think they are really getting over. And, of course, they immediately turn around and tell mom to which daddy reacts. Sometimes, dad is even sent to timeout.

This works most nights. They also rinse and spit using the little plastic cups that come with medicine. This somehow qualifies as fun in their minds. When finished they race from the bathroom to the kitchen to toss their cups into the sink.

Good luck!

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by Lafder » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:41 pm

It becomes more about the battle than the tooth brushing.

I always reminded myself the baby teeth are just their "practice" teeth and they get another full set : ).

Let her brush her own way and praise her when she does. And ignore if she does a quick job. It is more about the habit of brushing than the actual brushing at her age. Offer to brush for her and maybe she will let you from time to time and you can do a more thorough job.

Bigger factors in tooth problems are things like sweet drinks before bed or in bed more than how good they brush. (I am not a dentist).

My friends held their kids down and did more brushing and flossing than most adults. It took both parents for the nightly routine. I will never forget it. I figure the first chance those kids get they will rebel and never brush.

My kids have never had a cavity. I have no idea how often they brush their teeth now ,they are teens. They do see a dentist for a cleaning every six months.

I always agonized over toothbrushing more than their dad did, since I worried about their teeth. So it is not as easy to just let it go, I know that.

Good luck!
lafder

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by krannerd » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:52 pm

I have a similar situation....a toddler who does not brush well and is resistant to help.

One day I offered to "play dentist" with him...he accepted and after he brushes, I come and pretend to be the dentist. This involves me instructing him to open his mouth, talking to him about his teeth (hmm, we should really clean those molars...or...what nice incisors you have) and then doing a quick brushing to get the hard spots. Not sure how long the game will last...but it's been fun...it doesn't work when Mom tries it.

Best of luck!

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Chan_va
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by Chan_va » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:56 pm

I make a game out of it. She and I are fighting the bad germs that live in her mouth. My job is to brush them out and hers is to spit them out.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by NorCalDad » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:49 pm

Cautionary tale: We had our son brush his own teeth and would help him get the back ones. I figured this was good enough, along the same lines as what has been mentioned here about it being his baby teeth and all. He did not drink much juice and had less of a sweet tooth than his friends. He still developed multiple cavities at age 3 and required nearly a thousand dollars in dental work and sedation. This is actually a trend on the rise: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/healt ... d=all&_r=0

Some of this is hereditary and some kids are more prone to cavities no matter what you do. But our dentist has since told us to brush him twice a day with fluoride and to floss him each night. Also to rinse out his mouth with fluoride-treated tap water after he eats crackers or bread products that can get stuck in his mouth. Which we do, even if we struggle to get him to do it.

You can try many things. Reward charts, extra reading time, whatever incentive you can think of. We've had luck telling our son we have to clean the food "bugs" off his teeth. If that doesn't work, you just have to force the issue, in my opinion. Maybe you'll get lucky and your kid is cavity-immune regardless of brushing habits, but you're better off not finding out the hard way. I would also ask your dentist for advice. Good luck.
Last edited by NorCalDad on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sscritic
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:58 pm

paulsiu wrote:I have a 2-1/2 year old who gotten more and more resistant to brushing. She used to let me brush, but now she plainly refuses. She wants to do it herself, which I can understand, but at her age, she probably won't do a good job.
She is developing good habits, so don't fight her. Let her brush. Does she floss too? I am pretty sure that all my granddaughters were brushing and flossing by that age. I do know that as a baby sitter I used to get in trouble for not having them brush their teeth. Actually, that was always a good "get out of bed" trick: "Grandpa, you forgot to have us brush our teeth."

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sdaehelgob » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:06 pm

Keep trying and don't give up. Moods and new "rules" come fast and furious at this age. See what you can do to ritualize it, sing a toothbrush song, encourage her, brush her teeth together, watch mommy and daddy, watch a youtube video with big kids in it and then ask her if she wants to be like the big kids, take turns brushing her teeth, etc. Something will stick. Your willpower and resourcefulness is greater than hers.

Maybe there are some 3 or 4 year olds in the neighborhood or at the day care who can be recruited as role models? Peers too.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by vankleef » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:35 pm

My son likes his light up toothbrush. He presses a button, the brush handle glows, and we keep brushing until the light goes out.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by SamGamgee » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:36 am

Let her brush her own teeth... but if she doesn't do a good job, then you get a turn.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by Andyrunner » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:56 am

It gets harder?

I have an 11 month old with 9 teeth already!! We try to brush it with a soft brush and she just shuts her mouth and swings her head. I'm not sure what is worse, the wrestling match of changing clothes/diaper or brushing teeth.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:10 am

NorCalDad wrote: Some of this is hereditary and some kids are more prone to cavities no matter what you do.
My daughter the dentist has three kids. All brush and floss. Only the youngest, now 5, has ever had cavities (and those in her baby teeth). Why? Morphology.* Her teeth morphology makes her prone. Since you are born with your baby teeth, I guess you could call this hereditary, but not the sort of hereditary that effects all your kids.

* In her case, think "Ruffles Have Ridges."

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:15 am

I think we are of two minds when it comes to reading the OP, so you see two separate threads in the responses:
I have a 2-1/2 year old who gotten more and more resistant to brushing. She used to let me brush, but now she plainly refuses. She wants to do it herself, which I can understand, but at her age, she probably won't do a good job.
Half of us think resistant to brushing means any brushing by anybody, while half of us think that she wants to do it herself means that she is only resistant to daddy doing the brushing.

When my daughter was two, we were not allowed to put on her pants. That didn't mean she wanted to go naked, it just meant that she wanted to do it herself. I am in the "not not brushing, but just wants to do it herself" camp.

Edit: I just reread the rest of the OP. It sounds like she doesn't want to do it at all. I will now crawl back into my hole.

So the question remains: Does She or Doesn't She? Only her daddy knows for sure.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by NoVa Lurker » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:19 am

Our first son, now three, went through a phase this past winter where he was very resistant to letting us brush him. And when he brushed himself, he proclaimed himself done in about five seconds -- not good enough! We tried a bunch of things that didn't work, which turned it into quite a nightly battle. It was probably three months of nightly fighting.

There were two things that I think eventually helped us: (1) when we switched to a mechanical toothbrush (with Monsters Inc. characters), and (2) when we moved "teeth time" up 15 minutes, and told him he could go to bed right away, or he could brush and floss, and then have 15 extra minutes of playtime before reading and bedtime. Neither of those were magic pills that immediately made it easy. The toothbrush-resistance might have just been a phase that he grew out of, irrespective of our specific strategies. But in any case, we kept trying, and flossing, brushing and spitting are all going well right now.

Good luck. In perspective, this is a pretty small issue - I'm sure your daughter is awesome and will grow beyond this if you hang in there and just keep trying different stuff.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by tyrion » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:31 am

Maybe I'm too far removed from this (kids are 6 and 9 now), but there were definitely things that were not up for negotiation with the kids. Mostly for safety reasons, but also for health reasons. They do not get to negotiate whether or not they hold an adult's hand in a busy parking lot. They do not get to negotiate whether or not they wash their hands before eating. You get the idea.

I'd also echo the suggestion of getting the tooth brushing done early on in the nightly routine, before any of the 'fun' stuff. That, and keeping the same consistent routine was really helpful for us (no 'negotiating' the order of bath, brushing teeth, books, etc).

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paulsiu
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by paulsiu » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:36 am

Well, she used to let me brush her teeth, I would distract her with something like a movie or a book and I'll brush her teeth. I probably should do a better job, but I get what I can get. Recently, she decides to assert her independence and wanted to brush herself. The problem is she just put it into her mouth and chew on it, not getting the back teeth. I try to teach her to brush every tooth. I demostrate to her and try to tell her that her teeth is dirty and needs cleaning. She doesn't quite get it.

These things are non-negotiatable, but you can't force her to hold your hands in the parking lot, but you can't force a toothbrush into her mouth without injury. I will try the other suggestions in the list.

Paul

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by MDfive21 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:54 am

just let her do it herself. she will eventually get better at it and with a kid this age you're about to get a LOT of 'i want to do it myself' so get used to it.

when my daughter (5yrs now) resisted tooth brushing, i told her she has to brush because during the day germs grow in our mouths and if we don't brush them out the germs make pee and poop in our mouths at night and that will make holes in our teeth. and if we gets holes in our teeth we have to go to the dentist for fillings.

the truth worked. the bit about germs [excreting] in our mouths was a big eye opener and now she brushes every day with occasional resistance, but it's not hard to get her to do it.

we also bought weleda infant toothpaste (no Fl) which tastes really good. while she brushes she eats the toothpaste which is not ideal but it's better than not brushing. keeping control of how much toothpaste she puts on the brush was an issue for a while but there are more important battles to choose during the day.

recently, we moved up to an electric toothbrush and instead of tracking how much time she brushes, i tell her to brush all of her teeth.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by lightheir » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:57 am

A trick that has worked (at least for now) with my similar aged toddler was to upgrade her toothbrush to a battery-powered one, and then also introduce a hourglass sand timer of 2 minutes. We made it a game where she has to brush as long as the timer is going, and the electric toothbrush makes it harder for her to slack off or stop brushing. I'm normally anti-gadgets for the sake of gadgets, but at least with my toddler, it made brushing go from a near-useless 20sec motion to almost completely painless with the sand timer.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by pennstater2005 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:57 am

I have a 2 1/2 year old too. I let him brush his own teeth. Some nights he wants to, others not so much. I gave up the fight. His teeth look ok, right now :happy
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by Goldfinger » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:34 pm

We've had the best luck by making brushing teeth fun. My youngest (now 5) loves this Charlie Brown video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPTxD8j0StM

Every time he watches it, he wants to go brush his teeth.

Something else I do is show them how daddy has fun brushing teeth. Gargling seems to fascinate my kids. When I pretend to throw up (in the act of toothpaste spitting), they laugh uncontrollably and can't wait to tell mommy and their older siblings. This is probably one of those "you had to be there" type things. (Think Jim Carrey)
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:21 pm

I sit on them, pinning their arms under my legs and brush their teeth as they scream. Works all the way up to about 10 years old. Actually, after two or three times all I have to do is threaten it and they scamper off to brush. Toddlers don't get a lot of choices at my house. Maybe their shirt or pull-up.

Maybe I'm a bad parent, dunno, but I can't get DCFS to come pick them up so I guess I'm stuck with them.
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by epilnk » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:07 pm

Let her do her own, but at the end you get to "check" to get the spots she missed. Then see something and take a very quick swipe over the spots you know she doesn't really hit. Make sure you "see" less on days when she appears to be taking more time and trying to hit the spots she usually misses.

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Dutch
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by Dutch » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:16 pm

Have them watch some Timmy the Tooth videos :D

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:17 pm

epilnk wrote:Let her do her own, but at the end you get to "check" to get the spots she missed.
Don't they sell some sort of die that let's you see the missed spots? What child doesn't love having a bright red tongue and teeth? Isn't that the real fun of a popsicle?

Here is one brand:
http://www.amazon.com/Plaque-Disclosing ... B000W6EWY2

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JPH
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by JPH » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:43 pm

Getting a little fluoride on the teeth a couple of times a day might be more important than a really thorough cleaning.
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livesoft
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:56 pm

I have to admit to being fascinated by this thread. I don't recall that my kids even brushed their teeth until they started dating. And their teeth are just fine.
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:04 pm

livesoft wrote:I have to admit to being fascinated by this thread. I don't recall that my kids even brushed their teeth until they started dating. And their teeth are just fine.
With girls, the delay in starting dating because of mouth odor must have set your mind at ease. I have to tell my children to have my granddaughters stop brushing immediately. This will help with the no dates until 25 rule they are under.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by gac » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:21 pm

We had trouble with this for a while and started using the "Love and Logic" techniques of Jim Faye and Foster Cline. Once we started asking our daughter if she wanted to protect her teeth, we didn't really have any problems. Their books were available at our local public library and here's a link to their website: http://www.loveandlogic.com/.

Good luck.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by toofache32 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:28 pm

livesoft wrote:I am really smiling here. She's going to lose all those teeth anyways. I would not let her touch her sibling's teeth or mouth. It will only lead to disaster (you know, hating her brother).....
As a dentist, this mentality is sending my kids to college. Baby teeth act as "space holders" for the permanent teeth. The baby teeth need to last a certain amount of time and exfoliate in a certain order to allow the adult teeth to erupt normally. Change your mindset if you want to help your children, or keep your mindset if you want to help me. I'm good either way.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:31 pm

I'm not a dentist. My kids did fine even if dentists predicted the worst. And their teeth did even better. Perhaps all the money I saved by not paying dentists paid for my children's college?

You are of course right that baby teeth are space holders. It takes some work to have them all fall out before they are supposed to. I've never seen it happen. I've never even heard of that happening. I have heard of folks who had thin enamel or no enamel because of their genetic makeup.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:36 pm

toofache32 wrote:
livesoft wrote:I am really smiling here. She's going to lose all those teeth anyways. I would not let her touch her sibling's teeth or mouth. It will only lead to disaster (you know, hating her brother).....
As a dentist, this mentality is sending my kids to college. Baby teeth act as "space holders" for the permanent teeth. The baby teeth need to last a certain amount of time and exfoliate in a certain order to allow the adult teeth to erupt normally. Change your mindset if you want to help your children, or keep your mindset if you want to help me. I'm good either way.
And how do you know his kids aren't 30? He already said that they started brushing when they started dating.* Do you really think they started dating at 4?

Maybe you need to take lessons from Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. After many years, he finally started to get the hang of recognizing sarcasm.

* Did you believe that one as well? Do bridge salesmen like you? [Did you like the dental humor there?]

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:38 pm

livesoft wrote:I'm not a dentist. My kids did fine even if dentists predicted the worst. And their teeth did even better. Perhaps all the money I saved by not paying dentists paid for my children's college?

You are of course right that baby teeth are space holders. It takes some work to have them all fall out before they are supposed to. I've never seen it happen. I've never even heard of that happening. I have heard of folks who had thin enamel or no enamel because of their genetic makeup.
My daughter uses pliers and wiggles them a lot, but then she is a dentist.

Actually, we were trying to get the buckle through the base of a car seat, and it just wouldn't go through the slot. She finally had to use her dental skills to get it through. Now that took two pairs of pliers, four hands, and an extra dose of wiggling.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by toofache32 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:43 pm

sscritic wrote:
toofache32 wrote:
livesoft wrote:I am really smiling here. She's going to lose all those teeth anyways. I would not let her touch her sibling's teeth or mouth. It will only lead to disaster (you know, hating her brother).....
As a dentist, this mentality is sending my kids to college. Baby teeth act as "space holders" for the permanent teeth. The baby teeth need to last a certain amount of time and exfoliate in a certain order to allow the adult teeth to erupt normally. Change your mindset if you want to help your children, or keep your mindset if you want to help me. I'm good either way.
And how do you know his kids aren't 30? He already said that they started brushing when they started dating.* Do you really think they started dating at 4?

Maybe you need to take lessons from Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. After many years, he finally started to get the hang of recognizing sarcasm.

* Did you believe that one as well? Do bridge salesmen like you? [Did you like the dental humor there?]
My apologies to livesoft because I was using "you" to mean everyone in general, not just livesoft. I have yet to master "tone of voice" when passed through my keyboard. I'm not sure I follow your other comments, as I virtually live under a rock and don't watch TV much.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:43 pm

When she was little, I used the string, the doorknob, and the slamming door technique. Maybe that is why she wanted to be a dentist when she grew up and why she only has sliding doors in her house.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by donall » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:50 pm

There's some funny advice on this posting and made me chuckle. But a two year old is probably the hardest person to work with and perhaps the OP may just need to wait until the child is 3 after all the other strategies mentioned are unsuccessful.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:02 pm

Yard got mowed today without any hassles. And it didn't even rain. I'm disappointed.
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by toofache32 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:10 pm

As a dentist, some of my friends are surprised to learn that my kids fought me over brushing just as much (I suspect) as everyone else's kids. Now that my kids are a little older and brush their own teeth, I tell them, "you don't have to brush ALL your teeth....only the ones you want to keep." They are old enough that it gives them something to think about.

Lastly, taking your child to a pediatric dentist at an early age (before the age of 2 by some recommendations) goes a long way to simply let them learn that it's normal and OK to sit in the chair (have fun riding it up and down) and have someone look in their mouths to count their teeth. And these visits are cheap. These are often the children that grow up without fear and get regular dental care and treat small (relatively inexpensive) problems before they get to be bigger (more expensive) problems. The people who wait until pain develops are the ones who have "fear of the dentist" for life. They tell me "no offense but I hate the dentist" to which I always reply, "no offense taken, I hate patients." That usually clues them in to how offensive it is to say that to someone trying to help them.

These early dental visits are publicly advertised recommendations so I hope this doesn't get me edited for giving medical advice. It's not medical advice, it's just common sense.

Disclaimer: I am a dentist but I don't treat kids and have no skin in the game from that standpoint.

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by denovo » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:34 pm

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:01 am

toofache32 wrote: Disclaimer: I am a dentist but I don't treat kids and have no skin in the game from that standpoint.
What do you think about using tablets to expose the plaque missed in brushing by children?

[I don't think this would be medical advice, as you are not recommending treatment for anyone.]

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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:47 am

My 2 year old definitely has her moments with brushing her teeth. There is no simple answer... you can make it a game or take the brute force tactic. Either way, its a phase they will soon grow out of (I hope).

toofache32
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by toofache32 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:41 am

sscritic wrote:
toofache32 wrote: Disclaimer: I am a dentist but I don't treat kids and have no skin in the game from that standpoint.
What do you think about using tablets to expose the plaque missed in brushing by children?

[I don't think this would be medical advice, as you are not recommending treatment for anyone.]
If it's the tablets I'm thinking of, they taste nasty and I know my kids wouldn't chew them up. But maybe they have something new now.

js2012
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by js2012 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:59 pm

I don't have kids but just a thought. As someone mentioned before, it's probably not about the brushing at this point. How about taking her to the dentist? She can get a little exam from the dentist and maybe he/she can "educate" her. She might be more receptive from another party.

lululu
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by lululu » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:25 pm

paulsiu wrote:I have a 2-1/2 year old who gotten more and more resistant to brushing. She used to let me brush, but now she plainly refuses. She wants to do it herself, which I can understand, but at her age, she probably won't do a good job.
Let her brush her own teeth. I can remember being quite capable of making various decisions when I was a kid, when the parents were still in dictator mode.

Anecdote: You can have any wallpaper in your room in the new house that you want. Until I actually picked the wallpaper out. I still know that wallpaper matched my taste, and the wallpaper my well meaning Dad chose instead did not.

BamBamBam
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by BamBamBam » Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:51 pm

I certainly do not want to upset anyone, but as a dentist who specializes in treating children, you need to help your children brush their teeth. To those who were lucky enough to let their toddlers brush their own teeth without them getting cavities (bacterial infections and acid formation causing degradation of tooth structure), I'm happy for you. But trust me, we see tons of children every day who are not doing a good enough job. We tell parents that they need to help the children brush until they can write their own name in cursive- and by help, we mean get it done by whatever means necessary.

I'll be brief because I do not want to type a much lengthier reply, but as a parent you are doing your child a favor by holding them down and forcibly brushing their teeth when they refuse. The alternative- dental pain, infections, shots, fillings, sedations or even hospital trips, are a lot less fun for the child and a lot more expensive for the parent.

Oh, and please do not get me started on the "they are only baby teeth, they will fall out" comment :oops:

sscritic
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by sscritic » Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:45 pm

iverson3504 wrote: we see tons of children every day who are not doing a good enough job.
...
The alternative- dental pain, infections, shots, fillings, sedations or even hospital trips, are a lot less fun for the child and a lot more expensive for the parent.
Selection bias. You see kids in pain who have cavities. You don't see kids with healthy teeth and no pain.

OK, so you see some healthy kids because the parents bring them to the dentist for a checkup, but not every parent does that every year.

I know I only go to the doctor when it hurts. The doctor never sees the healthy me, only the ill me. From that she does not conclude that I am ill every day.

toofache32
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by toofache32 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:36 pm

sscritic wrote:
iverson3504 wrote: we see tons of children every day who are not doing a good enough job.
...
The alternative- dental pain, infections, shots, fillings, sedations or even hospital trips, are a lot less fun for the child and a lot more expensive for the parent.
Selection bias. You see kids in pain who have cavities. You don't see kids with healthy teeth and no pain.

OK, so you see some healthy kids because the parents bring them to the dentist for a checkup, but not every parent does that every year.

I know I only go to the doctor when it hurts. The doctor never sees the healthy me, only the ill me. From that she does not conclude that I am ill every day.
Note to self.....when nothing hurts, I am healthy. Good to know.

livesoft
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Re: Getting toddler to brush their teeth

Post by livesoft » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:43 pm

I think that everyone agrees that brushing teeth is good. Is failure to brush every now and then detrimental? If so, how detrimental is it? Is failure to brush thoroughly also detrimental? If so, how detrimental is it? Can the detriment be overcome by a good brushing once a week? Every two days? Once a month?

And what about flossing? :twisted:
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