Q : Hi Doctor, my son is 1 year 8 months and already all his teeth. My concern is: how do I keep his teeth clean when he refuse to allow us to brush his teeth nor would he wants to do it on his own. We tried demostrating, acting, making it fun etc but all fail. He doesn’t eat much sweet stuff but occassionally we allow him one or two sweets/chocolates. Your advice is highly appreciated. Thank you (soupandsnuggery)
Great to know your son has teeth erupting appropriately for his age. It is common for children of his age to have very minimal toothbrushing skills, so do not despair! In most instances, parents need to be responsible for their child’s oral hygiene care at least up to the age of 6 years.
A helpful way to conduct toothbrushing for your son would be to initially sit him on your lap or on a chair and face him. Then,wrap, from behind, one arm around his head and lift up his upper lip and proceed to brush his teeth with your other hand.
For the first few days, just concentrate on a few front teeth, then gradually proceed to clean his other teeth especially the molars. You should select a soft brush with a small head and big handle, perhaps one with a cartoon character or alternatively consider using an electric toothbrush of appropriate size.
Also, introduce a smear amount of child toothpaste each time during brushing, ideally after breakfast and before bedtime. After brushing, wipe his teeth with a clean wet linen, and later when he is able, encourage him to rinse out with water.
Another great way to help your child would be to position his back on your lap and proceed to brush while looking down into his mouth. I have attached a helpful link for demonstration below;-
On the issue of sweets/chocolates, try and restrict them to once a week, preferably during weekends. This is a simple way to monitor his snack intake.
If your have additional concerns about your son’s oral care, do not hesitate to contact me again.
( answered by Dr Kalaiarasu Peariasamy )