Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Battle of the Toothbrush

We are having a minor war in our house at the moment. Felix and I are battling over cleaning his teeth and his father and I are disagreeing about how to handle it.

Now, teeth cleaning is not THE most important thing in the world, and I know I have to 'choose' my battles as the toddler is a wilful being and has to have his own way a good 80% of the time, but I do think it's an important issue. Especially having seen the recent tv coverage of kids at Alderhey Hospital who have lost their baby teeth to decay - yuk! I tend to do teeth brushing in the morning and daddy tends to do it at bathtime in the evening. My method has evolved to match the resistance of the toddler. I now put him in an (almost) headlock and keep him there until I'm satisfied that each tooth has, at the very least, been tickled by the bristles. If he screams, well, at least that opens his mouth nice and widely allowing the brush to get in and clean the insides.

Daddy, however, keeps telling me he thinks it's just going to make him hate teeth brushing more. I agree this is a possibility, but at the moment I think it's doing the trick. It means a) his teeth actually get cleaned properly once a day and b) I hope (please) that it's teaching him that mummy IS the boss and his teeth ARE going to get cleaned. No quantity of head shaking, mouth clenching and turning away is going to prevent it.

Does anyone have any handy tips or suggestions? Or know from experience that my 'show him who's boss' attitude will make things worse?

1 comment:

  1. It's a tricky one, but, as you say, you have to clean his teeth. He should learn to tolerate it eventually. Good luck!