Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Tooth Brushing & Eating Habits =[

 I'm wondering what tips anyone can give me to help my son get into brushing his teeth more? I'm guessing for now it may be a lost cause because he's just barely under 22mos. but nothing I've tried has worked! He'll humor me for a few seconds but then he won't let me near them to do a good job! I've tried creating a little song and dance about 'Brushing Time and he'll sing and dance but won't participate lol I tried letting him do it for a bit and then saying 'Okay, now its Mommy's turn!' and he either runs away with the tooth brush or kicks and screams when I take it from him and try. I'm willing to try anything that has proven to work!


He also has decided, in the last couple weeks, that he no longer likes anything we feed him. He used to have a baffling appetite, he'd scarf down anything we'd put in front of him, almost to the point of grabbing more to eat before he'd finish eating what was in his mouth AND run to mommy and daddy's plate for more. Now, we have to beg him to eat at every meal. I know its okay, if kids are being picky, to let them go without eating once or twice...sometimes they just aren't hungry or can't be reasoned with and its not like they'll starve for missing one meal. But this has been consistent and I'm getting concerned. Any experience with this? TIA!!

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Re: Tooth Brushing & Eating Habits =[

  • I know I don't post here much, so you can take this advice for whatever it's worth to you. When DD wouldn't let me brush her teeth, I decided to get her more involved. We went to the store together and I let her pick out her own toothbrush(2 actually, 1 to play with and 1 to actually use), and her own toothpaste. She was so excited about what she had picked out that she could hardly wait to get home and use it. Every since then, she's a tooth brushing machine! I brush first and then she brushes for a few minutes while I change her diaper and get her dressed or in her jammies. Hope you find something that works for you and your LO. As far as the eating(or lack there of) goes, I have no advice to offer, as I am in the same boat with DD.


  • I agree with pp. I let her pick out her toothbrush and paste. Then we have a routine where she gets to brush her teeth, but "mommy does first." We look in the mirror together and make all kinds of noises. I say, "say ahh...say eee..." then I show her how to spit (she loves this) and we look at how pretty and white her teeth are afterwards. Then I let her sit on the counter and do it while I do her hair. She thinks it is funny when I use the toothbrush to pull her lip down a little and show her teeth.

     I'd say, let LO get involved as much as possible, while making sure the teeth get clean. Good luck! 

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  • We always brush in the bathtub...that way it doesn't matter if it gets all over her. She ends up playing with the brush afterwards and in turn loves getting her teeth brushed.
    Maybe he's teething and thats why he doesn't want you around his mouth? And that would explain his lost appetite?

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  • My LO is only 13 months old, so I don't know if I can be a ton of help, but what I do with her to brush her teeth is I put her on the bathroom counter, have her watch me get her toothbrush ready, then I brush her teeth as best I can first (sometimes its hardly at all, sometimes she lets me get them good), then I give her the toothbrush and let her brush her teeth (mostly just her chewing on it right now) while I get my own toothbrush out and have her watch me brush. Then when I am done I put my toothbrush away and ask her if she is done and most of the time she takes her brush out of her mouth and hands it to me and I rinse it and put it away and tell her to say "bye bye" to the toothbrushes. I think doing the cleaning first helps because then I am not taking it from her and doing it when she thought she was doing it herself and having her watch me helps her to get the idea of what she is supposed to do.

     About the eating, I can't be of any help.

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  • I was wondering along the same lines. Having the worst time with teeth brushing and feeling the job I am doing is not good enough. My son used to let me brush his teeth fine but now he just wants to play with the toothbrush himself and NOT let me do it for him and it feels like a lost cause each time.
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  • He's at taht picky age...try to ride it out with the food & keep trying some things but always at the same time as something you know he'll eat. It is frustrating but passes for most kids.

    As for the teeth, I tried every trick out there, brushes, songs, letting him choose, do things, brush first etc etc. Between 18 months and 2 yrs we pretty much had to pin him down on the floor (sit on top w/ his arms at his sides) and get in there. He is almost 3 and still resists but now will let us do it most of the time but again I get resistance in waves. His sister has never given us much of a problem w/ toothbrushing so I know it is not our approach, it is just his personality and I'm sure the same with your LO. To me, getting them brushed was more important than anything at that age b/c I did not want to set him up w/ bad teeth and I knew eventually he'd get better about it. GL

  • We have a second toothbrush and he "brushes" my teeth while I brush his.  We also say "aaaaahhhh" and "eeeeeeee."
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