How to get toddler to let me brush his teeth?

By July 1, 2014 November 30th, 2018 Pediatric Dentist

My 3 yr old hates getting his teeth brushed. Somehow he know that I am about to brush his teeth and he starts running. When I finally catch him, he holds his lips stiff and I can’t get in his mouth. Sometimes I wait until he is asleep and I gently brush his teeth. He sleeps like a log so this works sometimes. I don’t want this to continue though. How can I encourage him to brush his teeth? Thanks. Jennie

Jennie – You can try to find ways to make brushing fun. Think of ways to turn brushing into a game that ends with a prize. Allow your son to hold the toothbrush. Maybe you and your son can have a teeth brushing race. Hum while you brush.

It may help if you have your son with you in the bathroom while you brush. Let him stand in a safe place while you both look in a mirror and brush. Make jokes or play games.

If you have older children, or friends or family members with children that you can borrow, invite them over for some fun and also to brush their teeth with your son. Explain to the children you invite that you are trying to help your son want to brush his teeth. Children can often think of ways to help younger children that adults may not consider.

Be patient. Your efforts will pay off.

This post is sponsored by Dr. Anthony LaVacca of Naperville Dental Specialists.