Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
Brushing Teeth
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting toddlers (age 1-5), including physical, speech, sensory, cognitive and emotional development, choosing a daycare/nanny, games & activities, and toilet training.

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Brushing Teeth

My daughter is 2 1/2 and screams bloody murder every time I brush her teeth.  I sort-of gave up for a while, and just semi-brushed them lightly, but when she went to the dentist a few months ago, she had 3 cavities!  I felt so so bad, like what kind of mother lets their baby get that many cavities?  So now if she doesn't want to have them brushed, I hold her down and do it anyway.  I'm literally surprised the neighbors haven't called the cops to come check on us though, as loud as that kid screams every night.  It's ridiculous.  And since she won't be still, I know I probably do it a little too hard, just because I'm trying to hurry and at the same time get her teeth really clean.  It's to the point now where I know her gums are sore because they bleed a little, but I don't know what else to do.  She has a sticker-reward chart that we use for the potty (successfully, I might add) but it just isn't working for this toothbrush phobia she has.  She loves the toothpaste though; will literally eat it if I give her the toothbrush and let her do it herself.  
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My almost 3 yr old little girl hasnt gone to dentist yet.  I can't imagine her coping well with that.  Were you allowed to go in with her, or had to stay in waiting room?  I give her the toothbrush, she puts the toothpaste on, and turns the water on.  Yeh, she just ***** off the toothpaste, but it gets her in the habit.  Then when her turn is over, it's my turn to brush her teeth.  Also, whenever I brush my teeth, I make sure she is always there next to me with hers.   She sees that mommy does it all the time, so she wants to.
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My daughter has wanted to brush her teeth in the past because she watched me, but now that the newness has worn off, I guess it isn't as fun.  What I've done that has brought about some minor progress is: I got her a step-stool, so she can stand at the sink like a "big girl" and a motorized toothbrush, so she can do it herself (all she has to do is hold it in the right place, and the thing brushes for her; genius!)  and now that she sort-of feels "big" she'll do it. Although she still will not allow me anywhere near her with a toothbrush, so I stand like two inches from her mouth and make sure the brush gets to touch all of her teeth, and I help guide it from time to time, although that really irritates her    =)
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