The Brushing of the Teeth

Let me tell you how much Bug likes to brush his teeth.  Oh, wait.  He doesn’t.  He would rather nobody touch his mouth.  Or his toenails, but that’s a whole different post.

When he was big enough to hold a toothbrush and successfully get it into his mouth, I got him a little baby one.  He was cool with using it himself and ok with me brushing his 4 teeth.

Then, Mommy got an electric toothbrush and Bug no longer wanted to use his plain, regular toothbrush.  So, I got him a kid electric one.  He thought it was beyond awesome.  For like, 3 days.  Mostly, he just liked turning it on and off.  This was months ago… so you can imagine that the novelty has only worn off even more by this point.

I realize that the brushing of the teeth is very important for the future hygiene of Bug.  Unfortunately, if I give him his toothbrush (which I do, every single day), he just sucks on it.  No amount of me showing him how to go ‘ahhh’ and ‘eeehhh’ and singing idiotic songs and dancing around like a weirdo will get him to do anything but suck on the toothbrush.  And then, oh and then, if I try to brush his teeth with his brush… no way, Jose.  Not happening.  Freak out, baby.

So, I’ve resorted to doing what I did when he was 7 months old and had only 2 teeth… wiping his toofers down with a washcloth.  Which he still hates, but slightly less, so I can actually accomplish clearing the fuzz out of his mouth without a total tantrum or without him trying to bite me.  For now.

Any tips on brushing a toddler’s teeth????? (Yes, that totally deserved five question marks.)


5 thoughts on “The Brushing of the Teeth

  1. You don’t know how wonderful it is to read your post. All the other mommy friends in my life claim that their kiddies just LOVE getting their teeth brushed. I have been thinking there is something wrong with my son–he absolutely HATES it like your “bug”.

    I have tried singing to him while I brush them but what seems to work best is if you give him something really novel and interesting to distract him beforehand. I’ve also found that if my husband and I do it together (one holds his hands out of the way…awful, I know)–he seems to like the attention from both of us. One final tip that has worked for us is to try to brush your teeth while you are trying to brush his.

    Usually, in the end, I just put up with the screaming and try to get it done as quickly as possible. Good luck!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I love the distraction idea… I’ll have to try that tomorrow! Tag-teaming it and holding his hands down is how Hubby & I get through toenail clipping, so I can imagine that’d work pretty well for the teeth, too.

  2. Owen is generally in the “complacent” camp about teeth brushing, but we’ve added flossing to the mix recently and it hasn’t been well-received. I find he always throws himself backwards in an effort to get away from the brush/floss, so we’ve instituted “upside down brushing”, which is when he lays across my lap (so he is, ahem, pinned down and has nowhere else to go). Being upside down makes it WAY more fun. We also have a song for flossing and a song for brushing, and most days if I sing in weird voices he lets me do what I need to do.

    Also, I let him brush 1st, for a minute, and then it’s my turn. I make a big silly deal about “Owen do it”, then “Now it’s Mommy’s turn!”, and “Do you want to do upside down brushing tonight? Oh! Ok! Let’s sing a song!”. As you said, I sound like a total idiot. But the kid has beautiful teeth.

    • Kate… thanks for stopping by! I am definitely going to try upside down brushing… sounds fun! I can’t imagine starting flossing at this point. I would get bitten for sure. Good for you guys & keep it up!

  3. Pingback: The Brushing of the Teeth Part Deux: The Battle Subsides | The Baker Bee

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