When did you start brushing your baby’s teeth? I started brushing D’s teeth as soon as that first one popped through, but not with an actual toothbrush, with a Fingerbrush meant for infants. However, this post isn’t to talk about how easy it was to lightly brush the inside of my baby’s mouth, it’s to talk about some of the struggles of brushing my toddler’s teeth, and to hopefully provide you with some tips to use at home.
In general, he’s really not that bad about the whole process, but there are nights when it’s an all out battle and it sounds as if the poor child is being tortured. I’m not sure if it’s actually hurting him or if he’s just being stubborn. My husband actually does the majority of the teeth brushing, actually 95% of it. That’s our routine – he does the brushing and I do the reading/singing before bed. It seems to work for us, but there are certainly those moments where I want to step in and say, “You need to brush a little gentler” or “Stop tilting his head so far back, it hurts him” - but I don’t. I tend to let the two of them duke it out, but it makes me so happy when I hear my husband saying, “Great job buddy, you get a sticker tonight!” Isn’t it nice to know you’re not alone? I know for a fact there are many moms, dads and caregivers out there that struggle with this very task, so hopefully maybe something I write or suggest will help in some way.
Some suggestions/tips I have, assuming you haven’t tried them already are:
- Get a second toothbrush for your child to use. We have 2 toothbrushes (which he picked out), one for him to use and one for us to use.
- Get a 3rd toothbrush so that he can brush his favorite stuffed animal’s “teeth”.
- Create a sticker calendar. D gets a sticker every night he does a good job brushing his teeth. He gets to pick out the sticker and then gets to decide whether or not to put it on the calendar, his hand, shirt, or oddly enough, under his arm.
- Print a free printable checklist. D loves Dora the Explorer so this would be perfect for him. I might actually try this starting this weekend.
Anyone have any other suggestions/tips they’d like to share? What works for you?