Q. My son is two and I've always had trouble getting him to brush his teeth. I've tried kid’s electric toothbrushes, regular kid’s toothbrushes, not using toothpaste, flavoured toothpastes, playing him teeth brushing songs and rewarding him but he simply refuses. What can I do?
A. You’ve made great efforts! It could be oral sensitivity, which would include over sensitivity to certain textures in foods, and you would need to see a specialised Occupational Therapist to complete Oral Protocol programs.
Assuming it’s not this, you need to adopt a balanced reward–consequence approach. Initially let him control, and gradually increase the time he puts the toothbrush in his mouth. He will need an immediate, visible reward for being brave and tough, partly to distract him.
Despite tantrums, you have to try to be firm in your consequences, such as no iPad play today until teeth are done - no exceptions.