Monday, December 5, 2011

Oral Hygiene

Everett brushes his teeth everyday. Meaning, he takes his toothbrush and gnaws on it. I have to replace his toothbrush every few weeks because he chews on it so hard the bristles flatten quickly.

I let him choose which color toothbrush he wants and he rinses it off before I put (fluoride free) toothpaste on it. He gnaws for about 5 minutes and that's what we call "brushing" our teeth. Ha.

I recently read in What to Expect The Toddler Years and they mentioned that parents should effectively be brushing their teeth. There is no way Everett will sit still and allow me to hold his mouth open while I brush.

I am a bit concerned that he isn't getting the oral care he needs. I know now is the time to take him in for a dental check up and honestly, I don't even see the point of taking him in since knowing my child, I do not foresee him sitting in the chair and allowing a person he doesn't know to touch his mouth, let alone clean his teeth. There are dentists out there specialized for children but I think even with the kid-friendly environment there, they don't stand a chance of seeing inside his mouth for a check up.

Have you taken your toddler to the dentist yet?

What is your teeth brushing routine that you have with your toddler?


  1. I took Wes to a pediatric dentist in September- he did a LOT better than expected! Fun stuff in the waiting room and very patient staff members. All the did was have Wes sit on my lap and they counted his teeth and put fluoride on them. They got kind of a dental history- paci use, sleeping with bottles (milk/juice), stuff like that.

    We also have the issue with gnawing and frequent replacements (he has one in his stocking right now). :( We let him 'brush' with his Thomas toothpaste and then we give them a quick brush at the end, this is the routine in the morning and before bed.

  2. Asher has his 1st dentist visit on Jan 5th. I actually wanted to take him last month but we didn't put him on our insurance this year so it just made sense to wait the extra month.

    We started "brushing" his teeth with a wet papertowel after he ate as soon as he got a first tooth, so mow he's pretty good about laying back and letting me really brush them with paste and a toothbrush. In spite of that I'm still nervous about how the first dentist visit will go!

    One thing that helped us and might help you is that I made up a song to singnwhile brushing A's teeth. It's silly and distacting and he knows that when it's over he can sit up. Works great!

  3. We took Logan when he was 18 months old. I've been going to the same dentist since I've been 1, and they did great with him. I, too, thought he wouldn't sit still, but surprisingly he did. They showed him each tool they were using, let him play with them, and then asked him if they could use it. It went well!

    We've also been brushing AND flossing his teeth every night, but we have to bribe him. He HATES getting his teeth brushed (he used to LOVE it!) so I tell him that we can watch trains or anything else he wants to watch on YouTube after we are done. That is how we end our night. :)

  4. I am with you on dreading taking B to the dentist. We also have a little gnawer on our hands, but I have recently decided I will have to brush them myself if he will not! I noticed some little spots on his teeth which concerned me!!! I usually lay him back on my knees and I laugh about it and make it a big joke... and he usually laughs unless he's super tired. That reminds me of another good stocking stuffer for him, thanks!!! I also need to find a kid-friendly dentist!!!! I haven't even thought about flossing.... !!!!! Uff da!!!!

    PS. I sent you a message back on FB but I don't think it went through bc your account is gone for now? Can you let me know if you got it or not? :)

  5. Like Emily, we've been "brushing" since Jack got his first tooth. I used to use the finger brush or a washcloth with water. When we graduated to brushing, he was completely fine to let me brush his teeth. Once he started becoming more independent, I would let him brush his own teeth in the morning while I brushed mine. But at night, he sits on my lap and I brush them. That way he's at least getting one good brushing a day! :) Now he's wanting to do that himself too and I can't seem to talk him out of it. He does pretty good brushing the front of his teeth and after he's done, I go in there and finish up (which he is mostly okay with because he already got to do it). If he gets upset and doesn't let me in there, I lay him on my lap and kind of hold him down and gently do what I can. He doesn't like that (obviously) and I tell him that he can do it himself but he needs to actually brush and not just bite or suck the toothbrush. We used to sing a song but have stopped. And we do floss a little! If he sees me do it, then he'll want to do it too and he lets me. He also just gnaws on the toothbrush and we've gone through a fair number of them! I think as long as he's "brushing" regularly and you're showing him how, he'll eventually get it and it'll become routine. It can only get easier as they get older. Right?

  6. When my daughter was 3 we took her and she screamed the whole time, my son was 1 and he sat quietly. I was quite surprised by their reactions. The receptionist assumed it was my son and was also surprised it was my daughter. My husband took them again about a year later so ages 4 and 2. This time he didn't go in back with them. They both did beautifully. Our dentist recommends having the kids go back on their own since kids generally behave better without mom and dad with them. I guess they were right. As for brushing, we've always taken turns, I start and he finishes. I want to make sure he gets his teeth clean so I get to go first.