Toddler teeth cleaning

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden

Image via Wikipedia

There was once a time when getting Babe to clean her teeth was no hassle. When other mums talked about their struggles in this area I was silently smug. But someone, something knew…smug little cow, we’ll sort that one out. And sorted it is. Every blooming morning and evening Babe and I have this battle of the wills over whether or not her teeth will get cleaned. If any aspiring Nobel prize peace winners want some training, they can drop round mine to work on the toddler teeth cleaning negotiations.

To make my life easier, we haven’t yet fully advanced to full proper cleaning. I’m talking about the sink based, scrub and spit. Instead I settle for scrub on the go and swallow. I only put a tiny bit of toddler toothpaste on the brush so I don’t think it does her any harm. But recently I’ve been struggling with this. My little madam will scrub anything but her teeth with the brush. Our nice Mountain Buggy looks pretty gross at the moment, with white scrub marks all over the bumper bar. In fact anything gets it, furniture, carpets, walls and even the toilet seat ewwwww!

I do the consequences thing mostly

Ie we’re not going out until you’ve cleaned your teeth. This has stopped working, as she knows I’ll go insane unless we go out. And sometimes replies with “I stay home with mummy”. Noooo I need a rest, I need to get out! At night-time I explain that she won’t get her Num Nums (bedtime mummy milk) unless she cleans her teeth. OK so she’s happy to wait until I’m exhausted, dying for her to go to sleep and ready to beg her to have Num Nums. Sod the teeth, I want sleep!

Then there is the strategy which involves telling her that other kids will think she is smelly unless she cleans her teeth. I feel kind of bad about this approach. It’s not a good practice and it’s not something I want to get in the habit of doing. But if you have stinky breath it is true. Anyway that worked a couple of times, but now she has realised the other kids don’t actually give a damn if her breath stinks of garlic, as long as she doesn’t honk of poo they just don’t care.

Last week I did adapt the strategy slightly and introduced the big girl teeth cleaning process (scrub and spit). This worked perfectly first time around, but now all she wants to do is spit, with no scrubbing before.

I’ve done the new tooth-brush thing, which again lasts a day or so.

But what next, where too now? Ideas much appreciated.

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3 thoughts on “Toddler teeth cleaning

  1. ok, try a toothbrush that flashes (you can scrub in the dark for extra excitement!) or a battery one ((Seth loves the spiderman on he has and it works a treaT)

    you can get them is suoermakrkeys aldi/lidle/tesco do one i think)

    we got seth into it by the tomliboos (ITNGarden)

    You could try sticker charts for rewards (you get asticker for cleaning your teeth – ‘and what do stickers mean?’ PRIZES! (for something lame she’ll like- even if its a soft play trip. ((seth gets to collect stickers for going to bed nicely and going straight to sleep that when his chart if full, he goes to the cinema))

    Failing that there are threts. ‘you dont do this, i will take away a toy….’ As youi know rewards wo0rk better, but this is a last resort. Suoernappy states we must give a warning 1st.

    it appea4rs i cant tpe and the p isnt working, osoory, hope is readable, i cant be aresed to change it!! xxxx god luck, let me know how you get on! xxxx

  2. You have to accept this no children are same so you may have to do some experiments. You can check out for some ideas with other parents like how you did in this blog or try some this idea, which I have mentioned. Toddlers love to copy everything their parents do so make sure that brushing teeth is one among them. Try to get two identical brushes for you and your kid. Then sit with him in the bathroom floor so that he can see what you are doing and mimic exactly what you do. You can use a cup for rinsing, you can use either a bowl or the bathtub to spit, and each time he puts his brush in his mouth he earns a right to spit. Once he puts the brush in his mouth willingly, moves to the next step that is let him hold your brush and brush your teeth while you do the brushing for him.

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