Teeth brushing

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2011 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My kids are learning to brush their teeth after every meal...and I am so proud of them. I do have to remind them a lot though. Do you ever wonder why some kids' parents don't make their kids brush their teeth? I know of parents that haven't forced the issue with their kids and their oldest has already got cavities and his top front teeth have started rotting....I mean, doesn't this just make you wonder why some parents have that "Oh well, there only the baby teeth, the permanent ones will come in soon anyway" attitude? It just makes me cringe! This particular little boy is only 3 1/2!!! And his teeth are already ROTTING! They are completely black....(he recently went to the dentist on his grandma's prompting of his mother, and the dentist had to remove the whole top front row of his teeth! and the dentist told the mom to make him brush his teeth and stay away from sugar, acidic foods, and sodas) What are your thoughts on this????

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Mrs. - posted on 03/24/2011

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Well, you never know about other people's health. My mother was born with no enamel on her baby teeth. It happens sometimes. Despite brushing and taking care of her teeth, they rotted.

My baby brother got my mom's teeth. Luckily, my mother knew what was happening and took him to the dentist at a very young age. They sealed the teeth (something they didn't do when she was young). Of course, it worked well, but not well enough for him to still avoid some cavities.

What might in your mind be neglectful brushing - might actually be a genetic issue.

Meghan - posted on 03/26/2011

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I am so strict about brushing teeth!
Me and my son have "date nites" where we have popcorn and watch a movie and a few months back I had a few big fillings done and couldn't eat the popcorn. He was really upset for me and now if he doesn't want to brush, all I have to say is "member when mommy had fillings? I couldn't eat popcorn right? If we don't brush your teeth, YOU can't have popcorn either" HA, poor kid-works every time though!

Rosie - posted on 03/24/2011

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while i'm not quite as diligent in making them brush their teeth after every meal, they do brush their teeth every night. my husband is the one with them in the morning while i work, and i know he slags off on it, so sometimes it gets done,sometimes not. i wish he would get it on a regular basis!
my kids see the dentist every 6 months and none of them have had a cavity. my oldest is 11, youngest is 3 almost 4.

whoever thinks their teeth don't matter because their baby teeth is ridiculous! all that does is teach them bad habits to bring over into their permanent teeth. i'm not sure bu ti also think it might damage their permanent teeth if their baby ones aren't taken care of properly as well. stupid, silly people!

Sneaky - posted on 03/24/2011

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I don't think it is anal to want to prevent your kids from the trauma and pain of bad teeth!

And no, I do not understand the mindset - I thought that if your baby teeth get messed up, it causes problems with your adult teeth.

[deleted account]

I know of moms who dont bother. For the reason "its just baby teeth."Your suppose to start brushing as soon as they get teeth. I washed gabbys mouth out with a facecloth before she got teeth to make sure. Apparently I'm anal for doing that.

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Woah that is a terrible story! If I had to I would force my daughter to brush her teeth! Luckily I don't have to since she does it anyway. She loves brushing her teeth and I can't keep her away from the toothpaste. I have no idea why, but it saves me the hassle. One less thing for me to worry about lol.

Krista - posted on 03/26/2011

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I think it's horrible as well. They absolutely need to learn the habit of brushing. And if the dentist had to remove the teeth of that 3 1/2 year old, what on earth is that going to do to his speech development?

I brush my toddler's teeth twice a day. If he's in a bad mood or sick, I just give them a quick brush, but if he's even halfway amenable, they get a thorough brushing.

We got around the fussing issue by letting him hold my toothbrush and "brush" my teeth for me while I brush his. :) It works pretty well, except for that one time when he thought it would be fun to see how far he could get the toothbrush into my mouth -- ack!

Stifler's - posted on 03/26/2011

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That is horrible. Even if they have baby teeth now, they need to learn the habit of brushing before they get permanent teeth. And like Julianne said, they can stuff the permanent ones before they come in by letting the baby teeth rot. I'm not that extreme with the brushing, my 1 year old just doesn't get it so I hold him still and brush his teeth once a day. In the mornings I brush and let him have his toothbrush and I do big "THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT" motions.

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2011

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Exactly my point Deanna! Kids that little don't know any better, so if the parent isn't making them do it...they will not think twice about it and think it doesn't matter one way or the other if their teeth are clean or not. Also, this same mother (not trying to judge but I'm concerned for the kids!) that I know, lives in a roach infested home! She spent all of her tax refund $$ on a new car and clothes for herself instead of getting her home exterminated! How selfish is that????!!!!

[deleted account]

That should be considered child abuse. The 3 yr old doesn't know any better but the mother should.

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2011

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I agree September! I don't know why some parents would be so neglectful. I make sure my kiddos brush theirs 2 times a day....more if they have eaten sweets or drank a soda. I just don't understand how you can let your child's teeth get THAT bad....I mean, take him to the dentist when you're supposed to....and make him brush his teeth and by all means, LIMIT how much sugar, acidic food, and sodas he consumes! Yes, my kids do occasionally have a soda (about 8 oz. is all I allow) and maybe a lollipop, but that isn't a staple of their diet. They eat veggies, lean meats, fruits and whole grains/wheats most of the time, so I don't see how it could hurt to give them a 'treat' every now and then.

September - posted on 03/25/2011

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Sad! I've never meet anyone that does not brush their children's teeth so I can't speak on that. Our son brushes his teeth twice a day, once in the morning when he wakes up and again before he goes to bed, we usually brush our teeth together. I think it's important to keep his teeth healthy.

Brandi - posted on 03/25/2011

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I have to say... I do forget to get my children to brush their teeth a lot. We get in such a hurry and have such a hectic life, it slips my mind. I brush mine every morning and night, and they may brush theirs at night before bed.

My kids have PERFECT teeth. The reason being is that I only allow them to drink water and milk, and they don't eat sweets. They have been to the dentist and they don't have cavities, and they have very strong teeth. I don't think it is all about the brushing, I think their diet is a VERY BIG deal. Yes, when their adult teeth come in I will be a little more strict.

I think the parents you are talking about are the ones that just don't give a damn about anything their children do. I am sure they allow their kids to drink soda, and eat sweets, and not brush their teeth. All of those things combined will rot your teeth. ALSO, High Iron will... I had very high iron as a child and kept cavities. My mom MADE me brush my teeth after every meal as a child, and still I kept them... BUT, she also let me drink soda, and eat sweets. So, I don't think going without brushing is the major problem here, I think it has to do with diet.

ME - posted on 03/25/2011

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My three year old HATES brushing his teeth! We have brushed them with him since he was about 6 months old, but repetition doesn't seem to have done anything for his dislike of the experience. Still, we've pressed on. "It's time to brush Miles," "You have to brush your teeth before bedtime Miles," "If you don't do it yourself, Mommy will do it for you Miles". Anyway, Miles wraps his lips around his top front teeth every time we brush. We fight, we explain, we encourage, we put him in time out; nothing helps. He won't brush them; and, without FORCE, he won't allow them to be brushed. I am taking him to the Dentist today because a scary spot has appeared on his top front tooth. I am sad, and I am disappointed for him, but there is nothing more I could have done. My children don't eat junk food, or candy. They only get cake and treats at birthday parties or special occasions. They eat healthy organic snacks, mostly fruit and veggies. Not every parent who's child winds up with tooth problems has been neglectful of their teeth.

[deleted account]

My 2 year-old LOVES brushing her teeth. Seriously, it's one of her favorite things to do and she brushes her teeth (with her electric Dora toothbrush) sometimes 5 or 6 times a day... My 3 year-old and 8 year-old both brush their teeth 3 times a day (as do my hubby and I). After breakfast, after lunch (my oldest brushes her teeth first thing after getitng home from school on the weekdays) and before bed.

Honestly, I HATED brushing my teeth as a child. No clue why (and I didn't even know back then. I clearly remember my mom asking me why and I literally had no answer, I just didn't like it), and I was SOOO lucky to never get a cavity (now, as an adult who brushes teeth 3 times every day I get 2 cavities, go figure...). I don't want my girls to be like that, so we are big on oral hygeine and brushing our teeth. We do the tooth fairy and I tell my kids that they may be baby teeth, but the tooth fairy doesn't accept (or give anything for) rotten teeth... that has sure reinforced the brushing in our house! lol...

As for other people's kids, sure I think it's horrible when parents don't promote good oral hygiene. It's the child who really suffers and that's just wrong, BUT, like Rebecca pointed out some kids are genetically pre-disposed to have bad teeth. My cousin's little boy's baby teeth had no enamel and the only reason they were able to catch it when they did was because she KNEW his teeth looked wrong and made the receptionist give her 2 year-old an appointment (they had brushed her off a few times saying they only take kids 4 and older, but he had been assigned to that dentist by their insurance company and couldn't switch unless they wanted to pay for everything out of pocket). He ended up having all his teeth sealed, but like Rebecca's brother, he has still had some cavities (he's 5 now and yes, he does brush his teeth every day).

As with the majority of parenting judgements/issues, I think this one is hard to judge without knowing the whole story...

Jane - posted on 03/24/2011

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I am and have always been very adamant about teeth brushing so I'm with you on this 100%. Disgusting teeth (not crooked cuz that's not gross to me) make me want to vomit!!!!

April - posted on 03/24/2011

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It shouldn't matter whether they are baby teeth or not, they should still be kept clean. That's a child, you shouldn't want him/her to have bad breath or teeth that have bits of food stuck to it. Could anyone go a day without brushing their teeth? I don't think so. So why do it to a child. Some people are nuts. :/

Audrey - posted on 03/24/2011

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it may be a struggle sometimes to get your kids to brush, but it is necessary! if parents dont teach their children good dental hygeine when they are little, they will have a hard time teaching it to them when they are older. tooth bushing is very important. and i dont think its good enough to just let you little kids do it themselve...you need to do it for them. maybe let them do it once and then you do it after they are done. my mom used to check my teeth after every tooth brushing until i got it down. i have never had a cavity, never had braces, never had ANY dental problems.

[deleted account]

Yes they are the baby teeth, but good oral hygiene needs to be introduced early so that it's not a fight later. AND damage can still be done to the adult teeth before they are in so brushing and flossing as they get older is essential.

Mrs. - posted on 03/24/2011

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I don't know, have you looked at the kid's dental records? You just said the parents didn't "force the issue". A whole row of rotted top baby teeth at 3 and a half, that's a whole lot of neglect to rot them all out. I'm just suggesting that, even if this is not the case with your "friend", that genetics can play a big part in it. Maybe in this kids case, his teeth are more prone to decay and maybe it's a little bit of his parents "not pushing the issue". You never know, really.

You may see some kid with teeth that don't look so hot and assume the parents have the attitude of "Oh well, they'll just fall out", it may be something else.

You asked what we thought of it, the whole parents who seem not to care if their kids teeth are rotting. I think sometimes rotting teeth can be a symptom of other health problems or genetic issues. So, I don't make noise about it with other parents because you just never know.

I'd hate to make some kid or parent feel bad when it might not be my business....or it might just be a genetic issue. That'd suck.

Nikkole - posted on 03/24/2011

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@Bonnie i know i would die if they said that to me but this kids parents just said "oh ok" like they were just going to clean them i can't understand some people!

Bonnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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Oh my, I think I would bawl my eyes out if a dentist said that to me about my boys teeth Nikkole. That's so sad.

Nikkole - posted on 03/24/2011

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We took my son to the dentist and while we were there a boy about 2 was in the next chair and the Dr asked the parents if they brushed his teeth the parents said sometimes and the Dr said well were going to have to pull ALL his baby teeth (because they were soo bad) and the parents acted like it was no big deal! VERY sad!!

Bonnie - posted on 03/24/2011

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I used to have a friend whos boyfriend at the age of 28 had rotten teeth. To the point he was missing teeth already. She showed me some pictures of his nieces, nephews, and some cousins (all small kids) and they all had the same issue. It runs in his family. It's sad, but it can definitely be genetic. It's crazy that people like this can brush and brush and brush and you are basically thinking, what's the point?

Katherine - posted on 03/24/2011

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The rotting baby teeth will affect the adult teeth. I remember my dentist telling me that to my daughter because she wouldn't brush.
So to answer your question it is pretty bad that a 3.5 yo is getting this many cavities! I am 36 and have never had one, everyone else in my family has a mouthful.
Black teeth? Ugh! That poor boy.

Jenn - posted on 03/24/2011

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My kids all brush their teeth, and I don't know anyone who doesn't brush their kids' teeth. I do know that my neighbour's little girl has something wrong with her teeth, where they are bad looking, but I know she brushes her teeth because I babysit her in the morning sometimes and she brushes her teethe here before school. I actually went to school with her parents and her aunt had the exact same thing as a kid. The teeth are really small looking and spaced out and kind of brown looking.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2011

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Ok, Rebecca, genetics has nothing to do with this particular child...it was simply a lack of care and cleaning to the teeth. So, yeah in my opinion, it's not right to withhold teaching your kid to brush his/her teeth at that age! and yes I agree with you Tracey! Neglecting the baby teeth DO lead to problems with the Adult teeth! I can understand if you have some sort of genetic problem or health problem that causes your teeth to rot or to have cavities, but that is NOT what I am talking about. I am talking about parents who haven't taken care of their young child's teeth b/c they have the attitude (or are not educated) that the baby teeth will just fall out anyway and not affect the adult teeth. I just don't understand why some parents can be so neglectful....especially when it comes to their children's health.

Caitlin - posted on 03/24/2011

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I've seen some moms not bother.. It kind of scares me, my 2 1/2 year old sometimes doesn't do it twice a day, but AT LEAST once every day, just sometimes mornings are so hectic it doesn't get done. My 13 month old mostly just chews on a facecloth, which I spoke to my dentist about because she refuses to have anything shoved in her houth, and he says it's fine for a little while - until about 18 months, but then we really have to go in with a toothbrush.

Sometimes teeth are just bad though.. it's sad, mine went downt he crapper as soon as I started having kids.. NOt a siongle cavity before, but after the first they were popping out like flies.. Apparently the same thing happened to my moth so I guess it's a genetic thing as well. NOw on my thrid kid, I have 9 fillings, 7 more need to be done and a root canal that's waiting until I have the money for it (the tooth is temp. capped, which still hurts a bit, but much less).. considering it's 1200$ for a root canal, who knows when i'll be able to scrape togehter the dough.. I keep hoping the hubby lands a great job with good dental converage!

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