advice, babyhood, motherhood, parenthood, parenting, teeth, toothbrush

Aisha, the baby, and the toothbrush

My son loves putting his shoes on. He’s a gem at diaper time. And sleeps a solid twelve hours most days. However. The toothbrush turns my sweet cherubic child into a cartoon cat faced with a tub of water and a bottle of soap. Screeches, squeals and twisty maneuvers? Par for the course. Every. Single. Day. I’ve tried different toothpaste flavors. Got a brush with Pooh Bear [his best friend] affixed to the handle. Opted for plain water as the the dentist [and some of you] recommended. I give him my toothbrush to ‘brush’ my teeth while I brush his. I sing songs. I showed him Elmo brushing his teeth so he could see that his beacon of all things awesome does said brushing too. And, well, our morning ritual still would make an outsider wonder if I’m attempting to feed him a bucket of squirrels what with all the yelling, twisting, and clamping of mouth [with exceptionally sharp teeth]. Truly, he’s a slender little guy so corralling him isn’t the issue— I just hate putting him through such an unpleasant experience every single day, except, well, he needs to brush his teeth. Anyone reading have advice? Or commiseration?

15 thoughts on “Aisha, the baby, and the toothbrush”

  1. In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have this problem with my guys, but does be get a chance to brush his own teeth? In our house, an adult brushes with toothpaste, then to rinse, the adult brushes with water, then each boy gets a turn. I'm sure you've tried it, but it does wonders in our house. They also each have a cup that they like to put under the faucet and I give them a little water and they either drink it, or pour it out. Good luck! What a frustrating way to start the day!


  2. I guess it has to be something? My guy seems to be the opposite. He's a twisting, squirming escape artist when it comes to diaper changes. He disappears when it's time to put on his shoes. But brushing his teeth? He ASKS to do it. Multiple times a day. And loves it. I've no idea why. He saw me doing it once upon a time when he was just new to walking and had 2 teeth, and he was mesmerized. So got out a new toothbrush and brushed his teeth! He's been a fan ever since.

    But you've already done that!

    So no. No advice. But if you find a good solution for the squirms I can apply to diaper changes…that'd be awesome!


  3. Thanks JOLT, I will try some of these ideas– handing him the toothbrush for independence led to it being tossed in the toilet on a few occassions but a cup holder, etc sound like a great idea. Thanks!

    Kate, you too?? :-/

    Banshee well that is of some comfort! If it wasn't this it would likely be another thing later on. . . lol. As for diaper changes, handing him my phone, or a toy usually does the trick!

    Natalie, well misery loves company 😉 Thanks for sharing!


  4. I'm sorry. I don't have any advice. My cousin's kid loves brushing his teeth. He thinks it's “awesome”. No jokes. This kid will try and brush his teeth every time he goes to the toilet!

    Have you tried making a dance out of this with him brushing his own teeth?


  5. I never worried about my kids tooth brush till they turn 5/6. Just rinse was good….Afyrt 5 they were mature to understand and listen…Both turned out fine with teeth…..Not a popular advise (but trust me I get away with it)


  6. kamille, dance! Love the idea! will try it, thanks 🙂

    Mystic- so if they simply didn't you didn't push it? Hm. You're a doctor so perhaps you know a thing or two 🙂


  7. George has days and days. Sometimes all goes perfect, sometimes he does not want to do anything.
    I gave him the brush a couple of months ago, since I hated the fight. He chews is enough to count as brushing. Haven't had a problem since then. Good luck.


  8. I had another thought, could his teeth be hurting him from teething? If it hurts I could totally understand the fight…if he hasn't just figured out that he can get a reaction. We are dealing with that with putting feet on the table at meals…apparently I reacted with too much emotion the first time and now it's funny. Gah!


  9. Mina, it always helps to know that I'm not alone, thank you! There are days I also just let it go— I wish he'd chew it- he ends up tossing it in the loo! 😦

    JOLT, I wonder if this is what prompted the aversion to tooth brushing, and since then he associates the pain with teeting and brushing– because he's not teething at the moment but I DID once brush him right before a tooth emerged and he cried his eyes out. . . hmm, thanks for the food for thought!

    Alien– agreed. 😉


  10. I don't worry about it too much. Wait until he is three and has his first dentist visit. He'll understand a lot more as he ages and as he frequents the dentist. I mostly focused on water rinsing at that age and progressed with my expectations as he aged.


  11. electric toothbrushes for kids seem to work pretty good at motivating lil munchkins to clean their dirty teeth 🙂 i gave one to my little nephew… he brushed his teeth and then went to sleep holding it 😛


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