Does anyone else have trouble brushing there baby's teeth?

Amanda - posted on 03/21/2010 ( 81 moms have responded )

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My little girl fights me to no end if I try to brush her teeth. I have tried everything I can think of.

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Matteo used to be okay with me brushing his teeth, until about a month ago. I think it is part of this independent streak he is on...wants to do it all on his own. Now I give him his brush and let him try first while watching mommy brush hers. Then I hold it with him to try to get a bit better job done and he seems a little happier with that. THe only problem is that now he gets upset when I have to take the brush away....

Helen - posted on 05/06/2010

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If your still having problems with using a toothbrush, my daughters dentist recommended just using a simple wet washcloth. Its just as effective and gives them something to chew on while you get in there and clean their teeth. my daughter really enjoys the wash cloth.. sometimes its just the feel of the brissils on the tooth brush that some children just dont like.

Danielle - posted on 03/28/2010

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Since my son turned a year old i have been brushing my teeth with him in the morning and before bed at night since he was 12 months, and he does it all by himself now at 17 months. Hes working on the potty training now =)

Courtney - posted on 03/22/2010

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I let my daughter watch me brush my teeth for awhile, then I gave her a tooth brush and let her chew on it. When I first tried to brush em for her she didnt really enjoy it, but then I made it into a game. I asked if she could show me her teeth and open real wide, then I did the same. Now she tries to brush her own teeth, it'll take time and she'll get used to it.

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Teresa Ann - posted on 06/06/2013

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Great tips!

"¼ of U.S. kids had at least one cavity filled in the past year, and most of them had two or more.

Cavities are nearly 100 % preventable. Parents can help their children learn strong dental care habits to save them from filling and drilling.

Make Brushing a Family Affair

Children are far more likely to learn how to brush properly with some help. They also need someone to make sure they get a full 2 minutes, twice a day. That’s something only 59 % of American kids are currently doing. Parents should also help kids floss once a day as soon as they have teeth that are touching.

Start helping your kids build healthy dental habits this month and turn these cavity statistics around!

Kayla - posted on 06/11/2010

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the only way i can brush my daughters teeth is holding her down but even then shes a strong kid and i cant do it without my hubby
BUT if my hubby brings our daughter into the bathroom to brush her teeth she gladly lets him

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My son is 19months and i have the same problem. When he was under 1 yr of age he loved getting his teeth brushed with the little blue finger brush you use for infants.. Then as he got older and more teeth OUCH it hurt to use it.. I got 2 sesame street brushes and he toddler toothpaste he still hates it..Takes 2 people or if i do it alone i dont feel i brushed them good enough. I tried singing, showing him i am doing it, nothing works. Now he'll gladly do it himself which means sucking on it for 5mins haha..So i dread the 3 times a day brushing

Samantha - posted on 06/04/2010

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My son refuses to open his mouth when i try brush his teeth he bites me and that'a if i can get him to open his mouth

Cyrine - posted on 06/04/2010

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MY BOY LOVES WATCHING ME BRUSH MY TEETH I GIVE HIM HIS BRUSH HE TRIES TO DO THE SAME BUT IT IS NOT WORKING WELL , I HAVE FOUND IN THE PHARMACY A SILICON FINGER FIT BRUSH FOR TODDLERS WHICH IS AN INCREDIBLE BRUSHER YOU PUT IT IN YOUR FINGER IT HAS SMALL BRISTLES AND VERY SMOTH AFTER WE PLAY BRUSHING I REBRUSH HIS TEETH WITH IT AND IT SEEMS FINE

Michelle - posted on 06/02/2010

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I started out with a finger tooth brush and (thomas the train) starter toothpaste. I think the thing that really helped was getting her to watch me brush my teeth and tell her what I was doing. I have a powered toothbrush so when I found a child size one that had a gum massager head too, I had to buy it for her. I would let her brush her own and now she comes to me at 20 months and asks to brush her teeth!

Dawn - posted on 05/31/2010

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I sit my son on my lap with his head against my chest and he's usually pretty happy to let me brush his teeth. We have a song I sing when I brush his teeth which seems to help, but he does sometimes shut his mouth or try to move away when his teeth are bothering him.

Erica - posted on 05/30/2010

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yeah...it's frusterating, but sometimes he will just let it happen! he just tends to have a stubborn nature!

Lesley - posted on 05/18/2010

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She lets me brush the bottoms but no the tops. I have to hold her cheeks and do it quick! xox

Amy - posted on 05/09/2010

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my 18 month old twins love to brush their teeth but only them! i cant touch the brush, but i get them with the rubber finger brush. they do a good job tho. great washing their hands too

Elizabeth - posted on 05/08/2010

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I have been brushing my sons teeth since he cut his first tooth at 4 months. at about 14months he went through a stage of refushing to brush and screaming everytime the brush came near him. so we started singing his favaroite song twinkle twinkle little star. if he pushes the brush out of his mouth we stop singing. now he only stops to swalow. he enjoys brushing his teeth twice a day.

Sheree - posted on 05/07/2010

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It can be daunting when you try so many ways to get them to brush and none work. I was very lucky that my son allows me to brush his teeth. We started him off with toothbrushes that go in stages of how many teeth they have. When he is teething I have a rubber toothbrush shaped like bristles.We started with him watching us brush our teeth while we got him to hold the brush. After a while he copied. Once he finished we would brush them properly.You could use your finger if he doesn't like the toothbrush. Good Luck!

Verniece - posted on 04/22/2010

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I bought my 17 month old an Elmo toothbrush and she BUGS me all the time to brush her teeth. In fact, she screams when she is done and I put it away! Have you tried a cute little toothbrush?

Megan - posted on 04/21/2010

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My son, Aiden, as a younger child, like 11 months or younger, would never let me brush his teeth. Now, at 18 months, he cries when I take the tooth brush away. It's going to sound super CRAZY, but have you ever seen the movie, "Grease"? If you have, the girls are having a sleepover and the girls with the pig tails starts singing that annoying song "Brush 'em, brush 'em, brush 'em....." about brushing your teeth. Everytime I start to brush his teeth, I start singing that song to make him laugh (you have to do the high pitched voice - this is key! lol) and then eventually (after I get a thorough once brush over on his teeth, I let him take over while still singing the song. He's getting better at it, but he's probably thinking "my mommy is nuts". lol.

Hopefuly, this helps or maybe even make up your own silly song while making the motion of brushing your teeth.

- Megan

Tracie - posted on 04/17/2010

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This is funny to me, I had the same problem with my son who is 18 mths old, when I tried using the "real" toothbrush. Then I switched to the kind you put on your finger, and he reacted much better. He even says aaaahhh now... and opens wide. I think the toothpaste along with the aaaahh part is what he loves. With the fingertip toothbrush you are sure to get all the teeth pretty clean as well.

Shoshana (Meddie) - posted on 04/16/2010

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I allow my son to "play brush" his teeth while I am brushing my teeth, and once i am done I take his tooth brush and brush his teeth. He loves that I allow him to brush his own teeth, so once I am done brushing mine I take his toothbrush and brush really good in case he missed any spots : )

Sheena - posted on 04/05/2010

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My son used to like brushing his teeth until about a week ago. Now he closes his mouth shut tight! I always let him hold the toothbrush for a little while. He will put the toothbrush in his mouth and just suck on it, but if I try and brush, he runs away. *Sometimes* it works if I do swirling motions and take a quick swipe, then distract him by singing or making funny faces and repeat a few times on the top and bottom. I am hoping its just a phase!

Sarah - posted on 04/05/2010

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I let my son have the toothbrush first and "brush" while I brush my teeth. Then I brush his teeth while I sing a toothbrushing song. It works well most of the time.

Charly - posted on 04/04/2010

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I'm in the same boat with most of you. My 17 month old isn't fond of having her teeth brushed either and flossing is a joke! I got her an Abby toothbrush and paste and I ask her to show me how to brush her teeth so she'll wiggle it around in her mouth for a while and then I "help" to get some real brushing done. Her Dad usually has to help and we either sing songs or get the dog to do tricks which keeps her entertained long enough to get a basic brushing in. It's nice to know my kid isn't the only one!!! :)

Amanda - posted on 04/04/2010

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I have a 5 yr old and an 18 month old. When they were about 1 i gave them a toothbrush at bath time. they usually just sucked or chewed it, but it got them into the routine. i brush my teeth when they do and let them brush mine. im a dental nurse, and the worst thing u could do, is force it. it makes them hate dental care from a very early age. perhaps try a rewards chart, where they get a sticker for everytime they brush their teeth in a week. at the end of the week, if they have done a good job, give them a little treat. some kids hate brushing their teeth because they dont like the toothpaste. some are really sensitive to it and it can burn. make sure its a kids toothpaste . have u tried taking her shopping and letting her choose her own special toothbrush? its best not to give kids electric toothbrushes, it make them lazy brushes. good luck :)

Kim - posted on 04/03/2010

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My daughter has always enjoyed tooth brushing time, but she won't let me do it for her either. I got a tip from her dentist. After I brush my teeth and let her "brush" her's for however long she wants, I pick her up and toss her on the bed on her back with her head towards me, so she's looking at me upside down. It's easier to manuever the toothbrush into her mouth that way and she's less likely to clamp down so I can't get to her teeth. She's still squirmy, so I have to brush quickly. I try and tell her what I'm doing, by saying "tops!" and brushing the top teeth real quick, then when I say "bottoms!" she's more cooperative because she knows it's almost over. :)

Rachel - posted on 04/03/2010

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My daughter loves brushing her teeth, especially if mommy is brushing hers. I brush them and then let her play with the tooth brush like she is doing it herself.

Tania - posted on 04/02/2010

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I let my daughter "brush" my teeth with my toothbrush while she opens wide and lets me brush hers. I still have troubles getting her to let me brush her bottom teeth and not her tongue but at least there aren't any more fights.

Traci - posted on 04/02/2010

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Well I started with my son super young, he is now 18 months old, but I let him brush his teeth during his diaper change and then when I am done, I tell him to let mommy check and then I finish brushing for him. He'll have pretty clean teeth since we do that almost every diaper change. Plus, I show him when I brush my teeth. Now he sees his toothbrush and wants to brush his teeth, he says "ahhh" and I let him pick out his toothbrush. I would not hold them down or force them because it will only make matters worse. And I agree on not letting a child play with the toothbrush or they think it is a toy, GOOD LUCK!!!

Becky - posted on 04/02/2010

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We use the rotary toothbrush....he LOVES pushing the button. Also, the flavored training toothpaste helps. But the trick is to just stay consistent and brush them several times a day EVERY day... the only way they get used to it is by doing it.

Hang in there!

Amber - posted on 04/02/2010

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My son loves to use his toothbrush but he refuses to let me help. Sometimes I just have to wait for him to fall asleep at night so I can get control of the brush for a few but it seems like it is a common problem for this age group.

Natasha - posted on 04/02/2010

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my daughter has 2 dif. toothbrushes...one for a "toy" and one for brushing her teeth....we get the gerber grins & giggles toddler tooth paste and she loves the flavors the only difficult thing we have is she wants to eat the toothpaste instead of letting us brush her teeth so we make sure we get em brushed really well and i she tries sucking on the tooth brush we take it away until she stops and we keep doing it until we are satisfied that hey are brushed right...then we let her brush them and then just or good measure we use the listerine mixed with wated and dip her toothbrush in it and brush her teeth again then rinse it under cold water and let her brush her own teeth...

Amanda - posted on 04/02/2010

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I also use the toddler toothpaste that is flavored, try different toothpastes?

Amanda - posted on 04/02/2010

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I stand my daughter on the counter and let her "watch" the "baby" in the mirror and she loves to do that,, then I tell her to tell the baby yay and she claps! I tell her good job! If she likes lookin in the mirror it may work! Hope u find something helpful!

Hallie - posted on 04/01/2010

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my girl is nearly 18 mths i have been giving her a toothbrush for ages and just letting her brush/chew/play her own way...now she goes and gets it and gives it to me to wash after every meal (not always lunch) then gives it back to me to wash it again when shes done ..im hoping this will continue till she does it completey on her own and properly ...there is also a good dvd out called brush brush brush...

Mindee - posted on 04/01/2010

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The website onestepahead.com has a GREAT toothbrush that is all rubber, and actually is a toothbrush on the top and bottom and sides and it curves so it gets a lot of their teeth at once. It also feels really good on their gums, and I have no worries about her falling and lodging it down her throat. I put a little bit of infant toothpaste on it for flavor and let her brush her teeth at the same time as me. I also have a regular toddler toothbrush that I let her use at times, and I will use it to help her quickly brush any teeth I feel need a little extra TLC. I don't force her to brush them more than she wants to, at this point, because I don't want her loath brushing her teeth and fight me on it as she gets older. Good luck. =)

Karen - posted on 04/01/2010

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I have had trouble too with my 17 month old. I used to do the method where I tried until he started crying and then went for it but then I found that if I distract him with his favorite book or toy he focuses on that and I can brush his teeth! It doesn't work every time but when it does it's great!

Jackie - posted on 04/01/2010

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Oh yes! he started off so well and i thought what,s the big deal but i don,t know what,s happened lately i have bought a new brush lately and maybe this is the problem he eats the toothpaste and chews on the brush which isn,t ideal but i think at least he is gettig fluoride around his mouth. Some days he just throws the brush on the floor and has nothing to do with it. Dad sometimes has to get tough but i don,t think this is the way to go as will really put him off the whole thing any ideas?! pleeeeeeese

Liberty - posted on 04/01/2010

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My daughter prefers my husband over me for brushing her teeth. Of course, she sees daddy do it, rarely me (different bathrooms), so she wants to be like Daddy. Also, I've found that if my daughter is laying down (like when I'm getting her ready to go to bed at night and am putting on a fresh diaper) she seems more apt to let me do it. Otherwise, she just thinks she needs to run around and fight me.

Also, our pediatrician told us 3 months ago it was time to start using toothpaste with her. We tried my hubby's Sensodyne and she hated that, then I found that Oral-B (and a couple others) have non-flouridated training toothpaste. Now when we use the paste she tries to suck it off the brush!

Sharina - posted on 04/01/2010

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I had the same problem with my daughter. I was having such a hard time with her screaming and fighting every night. I am a dental assistant and have seen some pretty bad kids mouths so I know its important to do it. I heard sometimes we brush too hard so try to be as gentle as possible. I also got her a toothbrush with a flashing light that gets her interest. After a few nights its gotten a lot easier, now she points her toothbrush out and says, " teeth"

Swaraja - posted on 04/01/2010

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Try talking her into it by rewarding her with something she likes, if she agrees to try brushing her teeth everyday. I bought some DVD's which have videos of baby songs and some of them have babies brushing their teeth every morning. My child was pretty impressed and got coaxed into it herself. try something like that.

Melody - posted on 03/31/2010

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As far is not getting a child's brush when we were little-did our parents give us pop? did they have candy around the house all the time? I realize that everyone's house growing up was different. My mom just wiped my teeth with washcloth after meals and let me brush when i was already 4-5, but we didn't drink pop or have grandparents giving us these sugar items.
My 17 month old is not given sugar by me, but i do give him watered down juice which can sit on his teeth and cause cavaties too. My mother in law gives him pop and candy and ice cream almost EVERY time she babysits. So, like you Amanda, I struggle and i have to hold him down sometimes. But, like others have suggested, brushing with her and singing songs while brushing helps. Also, after she "brushes" maybe you can say, "now mommy will help". or something and start small, you don't have to brush for 10 minutes, just doing a once-over can help her get used to it.

Elissa - posted on 03/28/2010

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I got my daughter a fruit flavored toothpaste...the oral-b stages toothpaste tastes HORRIBLE! but the Tom's fluoride free strawberry tastes really good if your LO isn't allergic to strawberry, they also have a mango flavor, which we haven't tried. We just put a dab on her toothbrush, and let her chew on it, eventually she began letting us brush a little. She loves brushing her teeth now, as long as we let her brush after she lets us brush them first.

Corinne - posted on 03/28/2010

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also at times ill give her the toothbrush right after im done and let her play with it! ive found she likes to do it herself! i will even brush my teeth with her and like most babies..shell mimick what im doing! might make it more fun for your baby so she knows its not so horrible and everyone does it!?

Corinne - posted on 03/28/2010

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i dont always have to fight my daughter but sometimes i do! she knows that its associated with going to bed so on the days she doesnt want to go to bed...we have problems! i get the toothbrush ready then i put her on my lap, facing away from me...then i wrap my arm around her and hold her arms down while i do it...i then start brushing her teeth on the outside if she clinches her jaw and she eventually will open her mouth up for whatever reason and i take that opportunity to do the inside! it souunds horrible but sometimes when shes really mad and crying...its almost easier then bc she already has her mouth open! lol i just try to get it done as quick and thoroughly as possible!

Emily - posted on 03/28/2010

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One thing I can suggest is to get the "safe if swallowed" toothpaste put a tab on a toothbrush and let her chew on it. My daughter is 17 months old and has had a toothbrush since she was 4 months old. She was teething and my Mom handed her one and she started chewing on. Now she LOVES to "brush" her teeth. I get in there and brush them then turn her loose with it. Also helps if you brush your teeth with her. Show her that it isn't painful, that even mommy does it too! I also sing the"Brusha Brusha Brusha" song from the movie Grease. She loves it. Good Luck!

Leah - posted on 03/28/2010

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my 17 month old daughter is the same , i brush what i can then give her a toothbrush with a little bit of tooth past, she chews it for a while. Have you tried strawberry tooth paste?

Julia - posted on 03/28/2010

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I'll hold my son and let the water run and say "time to brush your teeth". He'll sit on my lap and I'll put the tooth brush infront of him and he'll open his mouth and I'll brush. This is alot because after awhile he wont open his mouth any more but then I'll put the tooth brush under that water and say "mmm" and he'll open his mouth again. I guess it helps that he likes his "melmo" elmo toothbrush.

Vanessa - posted on 03/27/2010

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My son is the same way...so I usually give him the toothbrush first while I put on his PJ's and then I take over, but while I brush I sing a song(usually the ABC's). Its funny now because since I have started doing that-he knows when mommy takes the toothbrush it is time to sing and he starts dancing and saying "A-C's, A-C's"...too cute.

Naomi - posted on 03/27/2010

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there are baby, non flouride, toothpastes that are safe for little ones to swallow

Naomi - posted on 03/27/2010

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As soon as my daughter could walk she wanted to go into the bathroom. I gave her her own toothbrush to chew on with a little bit of the baby toothpaste. She LOVED it so much that she brushes teeth before each nap and before bedtime too. I let her start, then take the brush and do her teeth myself, then give it back to her to finish. Try to let your daughter do it herself like a big girl, and then you help her out a little too....take turns.

Janet - posted on 03/27/2010

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I put the toothbrush in the bath with her and she,ll always pick it up and play with it and then puts it in her mouth and shows me how she can brush her teeth.....I havent used toothpaste yet...Is it safe at their age?

Rachel - posted on 03/27/2010

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I had the same problem with my son. I just give him the toothpaste container every time I brush his teeth and his is usually to busy looking at that than paying any attention to what I'm doing. But once I am done brushing his teeth I take it back that way he only gets it while I'm brushing.

Natasha - posted on 03/27/2010

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I didn't really have much trouble with my son. I started brushing his teeth when he first started teething at 4 mths. I made up a song to sing whenever we were brushing. Here it is: Brush brush brush your teeth, brush them all day long. Brush brush brush your teeth, make them nice and strong. I sang this over and over for one to two minutes and now i sing this song and my son who is now 17 mths old brushes all on his own.

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2010

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My little one fights it like crazy screams everytime. I lay her down on the floor with my legs over her legs and arms and when she screams i get in there the best i can. i feel like im not doing the best but i tell my self its better then nothing.

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