Looking for Toothbrush Help Walk of Shame

I was just getting ready to publish a post where I declared this a “Shame Free Week” but before hitting the publish button, I decided to wrack my brain one last time to see if I could uncover any more shameful mom secrets.

hmm… maybe I had knocked Becca over by mistake- no, I didn’t do that.

Did I feed her something I shouldn’t have- no, not really.

Did I try to force her 19 mos body into a 9 mos sleeper- no, not this week.

Just when I was beginning to feel confident that I had no reason to take the Mom’s Walk of Shame– I remembered something… just a little something… to do with her teeth.

I don’t brush her teeth as much as I should.


I feel like an idiot that I don’t because I am really worried about her teeth. I don’t want her to have a lot of fillings (like I do) and I don’t want her to deal with discolored teeth (as I have). Because of my experience with a painful filling when I was about 10, I have developed a slight phobia about dentists.

The dentist told me to raise my hand if I felt any pain and he would stop what he was doing. Pretty quickly into the procedure, the Novocaine wore off and I could feel a shooting pain as the drill bore down on my tooth. I quickly raised my hand but he kept on drilling. I raised my hand higher and he leaned in and placed more of his weight on the drill. The higher I raised my hand, the harder he seemed to bear down on the drill. By the end of the procedure, he was pinning my down by my mouth as I desperately tried to escape.

In retrospect, I could see that the dentist was probably trying to complete the filling more quickly but it only sent shooting pains up and down my body. I think it took me a good few hours to stop shaking from that experience and about 15 years before I could enter a dentist’s office (or hear the sound of a drill) without breaking into a cold sweat.

It is really important to me that Becca never have to experience a dentist appointment like that one. This simple process that only takes a few minutes a day could save my baby unnecessary pain and also save me $$$$$$$ in the future.

Since I clearly value the importance of healthy teeth, why don’t I brush hers?

Well, I haven’t come up with a reasonable way to keep track of Becca’s toothbrushes without buying new ones every few days.

When I brush Becca’s teeth, she usually wants to hang onto the toothbrush and doesn’t want to give it back. In an effort to encourage toothbrushing (and minimize temper tantrums), I usually will let her hold onto it for a little while. Inevitabley, Becca puts the toothbrush down somewhere (in a potted plant, the bathroom garbage or a pile of dirty laundry) and it is either highly unsanitary or I just can’t find her super-secret hiding place. So the next time I go to brush her teeth, it is nowhere to be found.

What can I do?

I’ve tried buying multiple toothbrushes (one for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for play) but they all seem to end up as toys.

I’ve tried sitting with her until she has lost interest in the toothbrush– but I usually am tight for time in the morning which makes that difficult to do.

I could just take the toothbrush away from her but that usually involves a struggle and its not a great way to start the day.
I just don’t know what to do.

Can you please help me so that I can stop this particular shameful situation?

I do not want to have to post about Becca’s first cavity because I can’t figure out how to keep a clean toothbrush in the house.

Patiently waiting for ingenious ideas.

Mary Kate



Filed under Toddler, Walk of Shame

10 responses to “Looking for Toothbrush Help Walk of Shame

  1. Anonymous

    You can give a toy for her to play with while you brush her teeth.

  2. mkate

    That’s a good idea. I will have to try that. Thanks for stopping by our site.

  3. HHMM Now sure about this one. I will ask my bloggy partner. Her sister-in-law is a dentist.

  4. mkate


    Thanks! I am serious that I need some practical advice and would appreciate any suggestions.

  5. Tonia

    My solution to this when my 4-year-old was prone to wandering with her toothbrush was multiple toothbrushes and the dishwasher. Any random toothbrushes found around the house went into the dishwasher, which made me comfortable with using them again and 3-4 toothbrushes usually held us long enough to make the cycle through the dishwasher. And yes, there were a number of times that I would find a toothbrush on the floor in a corner of the living room, and it must have been there for several days. Of course, the other part of this is that since she had the toothbrush she would chew on it and thus wear it out that much faster. What can I say, the toothbrush companies make a mint off our household. But teeth do (usually) get brushed, so I figure that’s all that really counts. Good luck!

  6. mkate


    Using the dishwasher is a great idea. I think I will try that.

    Maybe I will buy some stock in toothbrushes. At least that way, I’ll get a little return on the investment.

  7. jerseygirl89

    I am so glad I’m not the only one with a dentist phobia. I am terrified about taking Ironflower, even though she’s ready to go.

    Anyway, for some reason my children get a thrill from putting their toothbrushes back in the holder – have you tried that? After I brush Lovebug, I let him “brush” – chew – and then put it back. It stopped the running away with the toothbrush thing like magic.

  8. mkate


    I will have to try that. Thanks!

  9. Pingback: Clean Teeth! « Baby, Toddler and Beyond

  10. Jus

    Heya Marykate,

    It’s been more than a year since this post… Have you managed to brush her teeth yet? Any tips for me?

    I’ve only been using the toothwipes on my 15month old and only at night.

    While he finds the thumb tooth brush amusing, and even let it entered his mouth, i think he disliked the toothpaste itself.

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