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Two year old son.. Likes to brush his teeth, does not do a good job, so I brush them for him once he's done his part. I've noticed recently that some of his teeth espeiocally the canines are gathering SO much plaque and the enamel seems to be coming off them slightly.. I brush his teeth after he does because I don't want him to get stained icky teeth. Am I the problem with the brushing of the teeth for him...

 

Tell me all about your routines... how your kids to spit the toothpaste, brush (top, bottom, front, back...) And how often...

 

Thanks

ADRIANA

Edited Mar 29 2011 00:01 by msmysz
Reason: Removed Sticky 03-28-2011
14 Replies (last)

What does his dentist say? That's really the only person who could tell you.

It's expected for children to need help brushing until they're much older than your son. I still help my 6-year-old occasionally. Just be careful not to overdo it.

When my kids brush their teeth, I usually sing a song while they brush (Happy Birthday, Twinkle Twinkle, If You're Happy and You Know It, etc.) or I'll brush my teeth with them so they mimic what I'm doing. It's kind of like a game of Simon Says.

I was having problems with our granddaughter until a dental hygienist friend of mine suggested the song singing bit.  It worked like a CHARM!  She just holds her mouth open while we sing the song and she knows when it's gonna end.  Not at all like it was with my first son, who I had to sit on and hold down and squeeze his mouth open in order to get his teeth brushed--not at all a good experience for any of us.  He does a right good job of tooth-brushing now (oughta, he's 24yo).

 

Too bad we can't give the kids Denta-bones and the like.  Or that new anti-plaque spray they're advertising for pets now, just spray and plaque is gone.  New chicken flavor!

I have a two year old that is particular about the kind of tooth paste she likes to use.  I have been told to floss her teeth (I only do the ones that are crowded) and I DO belive it or not, because my 5 year old has already had 2 cavities, even with brushing teeth (with my help) over the last 4 years or so, and they pop up where the tooth brush just isn't getting. 

Make sure your kid drinks water regularly, as it washes harmful bacteria from teeth, lessening chances of cavities. 

Flossing is DANGEROUS with a 2 y.o. :) but she lets me because she likes the mint flavored floss I use.

Original Post by mrspinegrovedave:

Too bad we can't give the kids Denta-bones and the like.  Or that new anti-plaque spray they're advertising for pets now, just spray and plaque is gone.  New chicken flavor!

LOL!

I was the primary brusher for my oldest son's teeth until he was 5/6. My youngest 2 are 6 and 7 and they've brushed their own teeth for a good 2 years now. My doctor (not dentist, GP) told me years ago that if they only brush once a day, make it at night time since that's when the most buildup can happen. They brush in the morning as well, about 50% of the time.

My oldest is now 14 and had 2 fillings last year but my youngest kids were to the dentist 2 weeks ago and were given a clean dental bill of health. They're either doing it right or flukeing out ;)

CryI can't even get a toothbrush into my 2 yr olds mouth!!!!  she will run it over her teeth herself but it is sooooo hard and such a battle.  I everything else down pat-  bedtime, hair brushing, even potty training is going fine.  But teeth....I'll try the singing!

Ha yeah.... it's quite the battle on my end as well.. Potty training will be no problems once i can keep with it. but the teeth brushing.... they sounds identical in that aspect!!

Original Post by simplyadrie:

Two year old son.. Likes to brush his teeth, does not do a good job, so I brush them for him once he's done his part. I've noticed recently that some of his teeth espeiocally the canines are gathering SO much plaque and the enamel seems to be coming off them slightly.. I brush his teeth after he does because I don't want him to get stained icky teeth. Am I the problem with the brushing of the teeth for him...

 

Tell me all about your routines... how your kids to spit the toothpaste, brush (top, bottom, front, back...) And how often...

 

Thanks

ADRIANA

I was wondering about the "spit the toothpaste" part. 

You're not, by any chance, using a toothpaste with fluoride in it, are you?  The ingestion of too much fluoride can cause discoloration on the teeth which might resemble plaque or flaking enamel.   Really young children don't often manage to spit out all of the toothpaste and end up swallowing a fair amount.  Pair that with the fact that some cities/ towns still add fluoride to their water supply and and it becomes easy to get too much. 

My children don't get toothpaste on their brushes until they are capable of spitting it fully out- unless it is a non-fluoride version.  A good water brush is just as effective. 

I use the kids toothpaste flouride free! The little bear/thomas toothpaste :)

How soon after drinking/eating something acidy are you brushing his teeth?  Fruit juices etc soften tooth enamel and if you brush to soon after consuming them you can damage the enamel on the teeth.  This happened with my sister, she did not like milk so my mum gave here watered down fruit juice to drink and made sure she brushed her teeth afterwards, she ended up with brown discoloured teeth due to the enamel being damaged as her teeth were being brushed when the enamel was soft, as told to my mum by our dentist.  BTW I am talking about advice given 25 years ago.

I've got an additional question.  When did you start brushing your kids teeth and how often? 

My daughter is almost 18 months old and we try to brush her teeth twice a day but she REALLY wants to do it herself so sometimes I wrestle the brush from her and get a good cleaning while she melts down at the injustice of it all, and other times I just sigh and think, "at least she likes it - and she's definitely getting some of them..." and let her fake brush for awhile.

A friend of mine said her doctor told her not to bother until their daughter can do it herself (somewhere north of 2 years old?)

 

Original Post by fightinginsanity:

Original Post by simplyadrie:

Two year old son.. Likes to brush his teeth, does not do a good job, so I brush them for him once he's done his part. I've noticed recently that some of his teeth espeiocally the canines are gathering SO much plaque and the enamel seems to be coming off them slightly.. I brush his teeth after he does because I don't want him to get stained icky teeth. Am I the problem with the brushing of the teeth for him...

 

Tell me all about your routines... how your kids to spit the toothpaste, brush (top, bottom, front, back...) And how often...

 

Thanks

ADRIANA

I was wondering about the "spit the toothpaste" part. 

You're not, by any chance, using a toothpaste with fluoride in it, are you?  The ingestion of too much fluoride can cause discoloration on the teeth which might resemble plaque or flaking enamel.   Really young children don't often manage to spit out all of the toothpaste and end up swallowing a fair amount.  Pair that with the fact that some cities/ towns still add fluoride to their water supply and and it becomes easy to get too much. 

My children don't get toothpaste on their brushes until they are capable of spitting it fully out- unless it is a non-fluoride version.  A good water brush is just as effective. 

This can be an issue, however, if someone is on an water source that has no fluoride, then you *must* use toothpaste with fluoride in it.  The occasions when what you describe occur are when children are ingesting many sources of fluoride.  I was advised by three family members who are in the dental profession (two dentists, one maxillo-facial surgeon) and a friend who's a hygienist to have our granddaughter use fluoridated toothpaste specifically because our well water has none in it.

Kellywood, it's about letting her have a little bit of control.  Is there any way you can convince her that the two of you can take turns?  Or, perhaps let her hold a 'decoy' toothbrush while you get in there and get the real brushing done? 

Children really should be learning dental care as soon as they get teeth, and wanting to participate is a good thing in my world, much easier to deal with than kids who don't want brushes near their mouth.

Original Post by kellywood:

I've got an additional question.  When did you start brushing your kids teeth and how often? 

My daughter is almost 18 months old and we try to brush her teeth twice a day but she REALLY wants to do it herself so sometimes I wrestle the brush from her and get a good cleaning while she melts down at the injustice of it all, and other times I just sigh and think, "at least she likes it - and she's definitely getting some of them..." and let her fake brush for awhile.

A friend of mine said her doctor told her not to bother until their daughter can do it herself (somewhere north of 2 years old?)

 

 I think your friends' doctor may have misspoke.  My 3yr old's Pedi dentist said that kids are not ready to properly brush their own teeth until they can write in cursive.  My husband or I always brush her teeth morning and night.  Then we let her rinse on her own (with the toothbrush).   She had her first molar at 9months so we went to the Dentist for the first time then.  She's gone every six months since. 

I make up silly songs about her stinky teeth or something else while I brush and she knows the routine.  Also try getting a toothbrush or paste that she picks out. I think most importantly though, she knows it is not up for negotiation.  We brush her teeth period.  We also explain to her what can happen if she doesn't brush.  I also floss her teeth a few times a week.   I had/have horrible teeth.. including having caps on my baby teeth.. even though I practice good oral hygiene.  My parents however weren't diligent about making sure I did the same things as a child.  I don't remember really caring about brushing until I was like 11 and didn't want bad breath.  Because of this I am a bit obsessive about getting it right for her.

i bought my boys (21 month twins) kids spin brushes. they first have to let me brush over their teeth to make sure they all get touched. then, i let them try to brush. they usually make contact with the front teeth because it feels funny and they like it.

they key for us is that they aren't allowed to have the brush until after mommy uses it first. oh and we haven't started with toothpaste yet. they're no were near learning how to spit

Go to a dentist asap!!! 

You need to find out if you're doing something that might be damaging his teeth - someone else mentioned that you shouldn't brush when enamel is soft (from acidic foods, etc...) but you also need to make sure you're not SCRUBBING them so hard that you're damaging the surface.  

Brush teeth is like polishing ivory, not scrubbing a street surface.  There's definitely "right" and "wrong" things to do, and the best way to get to the bottom of it is to take your concern to a professional and let them guide you to the best solution.

Also - there's no harm in letting kids brush their teeth by themselves as long as you follow up with it.  Children should start brushing their teeth twice a day the moment they have their first tooth (even better if you start before that by brushing their gums at least daily) - My 10 month old daughter is more than compliant with my brushing her teeth, so the sooner the better!

As far as routines go... My daughter, obviously young to try to emulate what I'm doing.. BUT I distinctly remember brushing my teeth every night as I grew up, and after we had all brushed our teeth and made a huge mess of the sink every night, my dad would come into the bathroom and we would have our "nightly dental checkups" where we would sit on his lap and recline like you would in a dentist chair and he'd brush our teeth very systematically, going through and telling us what a good job we did, etc... Playing the part of a dentist...

 

That might be something that would be useful for your kid... it's one of the warmest memories I have of my dad, and it was great training for good dental care! 

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