How do I get my 9 year old to understand the importance of brushing teeth and showering?

Kids might not realize how important hygiene is. How do you help them understand the importance of cleanliness?

24  Answers

2 20

I struggle with this with my 9 year old daughter. I tell her...CONSTANTLY, as much as you like to smile, hug & be all up in peoples faces, you NEED to be brushing those teeth and putting on deoderant. She's a soccer player, so 8 months out of the year, she smells like she's been at a petting zoo all day :-). I know this is a phase kids go thru, as I've raised 2 before her that did/didn't do the same thing. I know this shall pass. But SHEESH!!! Fortunately, she loves taking showers. Maybe I should have her brush her teeth in there! :-) Great question.

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3 22

Having them brush the shower is a GREAT idea! It won't seem like an extra step and they might as well take care of that wile they are in there.

4 26

I think its a phrase they go through personally. It's not a boy verses girl thing. My son just turned 9 and he has ADHD. We are on rountine. He has started asking why do I have to do this everyday. I just took a shower last night etc. He likes to smell good and he want's to use what big brother or dad uses which is a few products but they are to strong for my 9 year old. They use old spice gift sets, Gillete gift sets and my 17 year old likes Axe body gift sets. I tell my son it's important for you to learn how to take care of yourself and your body and brushing your teeth, taking a shower are part of that. He gets attitude at times but hey he does it. As a parent its our job to teach and show our children the importance of doing these things weather they like it or not. Get your childs doctor to talk to them for some kids it takes someone esle telling them. Good luck and hope this helps.

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76 34

My son also had ADHD and is doing the same things as your son. It's good to hear that it's not just us dealing with this issue. You give me hope that we can get past this phase. Thanks for posting your reply.

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12 15

I had the same issue and was concerned that when my 10 year old daughter starts her menstrual cycle it would be a problem but after giving her the whole spill about kids in school will make fun of you if you smell, she began bathing more and more. I also bought my son and daughter their own smell good soaps (letting them pick them out themselves) and light body sprays (Axe for boys). They started really caring more and more.

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11 0

Just one thought about the deoderant thing. Since these are young kids, I would really suggest looking into getting them some natural deoderant, without the aluminum and chemicals. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimers.

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1 8

Thank you for this comment...I've always wondered and kept forgetting to ask my son's ped!! so I don't let him use any deoderant...but boy he needs it... Do you know anything he could use on his stinky hair?? He has a TON of hair on his head so he smells like a wet puppy!!

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4 72

i had this problem untill i showed them several photos of peoples rotting teeth and explained how they would have to hav ethem pulled by a dentist if they didnt brush, then put a tooth (one of their baby teeth) in a glass of coke and left it in there for a couple of days and showed them how its rots! still trying with the washing thing but they are getting better as they get older! also helps if i get the wet wipes out when i am dropping them to school lol x

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9 78

I asked my dentist about my son not brushing his teeth & he said the best thing he has found to do is to take things away from them. I've also been told that for both boys & some girls it is usually a phase they go through with not wanting to take showers or brush teeth.

23 45

develop good habits by sticking to a routine. Every morning after brekky before she goes to school, make sure she brushes and showers.
at night after dinner before bed, do it again, EVERY DAY! No exceptions.
Make a sticker chart so she can remember when she is supposed to do it, then she has no excuse and post it by the toilet or light switch in the bathroom so she sees it every day,
get her a special brush and paste, let her pick it out.
also allow her to choose her own body wash or soap and shampoo so she can enjoy using it more... maybe even go as far as making your own so she can develop her own kind :D

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23 45

ALSO.... Homemade deoderant can smell GREAT, plus it is easy to make, and super cheap. 3 ingredients- solid coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder or corn starch. Equal amounts of each powder, and then mush in the oil until the consistence of deodorant . It smells like coconut, and is easy to use and save a ton of cash and dispensers. My kids like it, and I use it too/. We keep it in a reusable plastic container and just use our hands to apply.

4 8

I am so glad to see this doesn't just apply to my 11 year old boy. I thought I was just a bad mother!

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5 3

My son did this too at the same age but time change and now at 14 we have to tell him to stop his now stay to long in the shower. I will not worry about it it just be sure his s
Take shower i caugth mine the shower on but him was sitting on the toilet and it will past just not so easy for the parent i do understand you. He got me mad more than ones good luck loll. Lots of my friend with boy had the same adventure.

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135 41

I don't know about the deodorant thing but I got my 9 yr old daughter to have good brushing habits by sitting her down and explaining to her in detail, what it feels like to get a cavity drilled and getting a filling. She didn't like the sound of it, and started brushing well.

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3 1

I have 9 yr old twin boys with the same issue. I asked their Dr because I thought I was doing something wrong and her reply was that they don't really care until they start liking girls.

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7 40

LOL! So true :)

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children just don\t understand about brushing there teeth

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27 7

My 20yo dd brushes her teeth in the shower! I happened to need something from the bathroom one day recently, when she'd just hopped into the tub, and as I knocked on the door and asked her if it was ok if I came in for a moment, she asked me to hand her her toothbrush (which was all loaded with toothpaste and sitting on the vanity). I mentioned how weird I thought this was, I mean what if she dropped her toothbrush onto the shower floor - yuck! And spitting out and accidentally spitting onto herself? Yuck. I asked her when this all started (because I did not raise my 3 girls to do this - I don't think her sisters do this, but I'll have to ask them now lol) and she told me it was last year when she started having a 6 a.m. class at college! It saves time! She was in a dorm then, and there were 8 girls sharing 1 bathroom. I can understand that, there were the 3 of them plus me and my husband sharing our 1 bathroom - how many times I brushed in the kitchen ...

Re. getting them to understand the "importance" of hygiene - it's not an option. It's like washing your hands after using the toilet. It's something that's just done - no discussion, no choice. (Other than what products to use lol.)

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64 14

routine is important too. keep with it and it becomes something they just have to do and also like someone else said let them choose out what they like it helps.

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363 40

My husband is OCD and he is BIG on cleanliness. We make bathtime fun - we have a pink bath mitt shaped like an elephant and do "puppet shows" where my son talks with Puppet and talks about his day and what he did (especially at school when he goes). Puppet show only happens AFTER washing though, so if there's no washing, there's no puppet show. It's a good policy that works every time!

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2 15

My daughter is 9 and going through the same thing, especially about using deodorant. She DEFINITELY needs it! But she is convinced it is something you are not supposed to do until you are 16. Where do they get these ideas? Anyway, I got her a description to Discovery Girls magazine. It is fun and age appropriate, and it addresses hygeine. I am winning the battle now!

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13 17

i have the same problem with my 9yr. granddaughter about brushing her teeth to and showing to

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6 5

How funny, My kids don't mind bathing every night ,but my daughter doesn't like washing her hair.."it takes too long"! (She has beautifu,l very long, straight, thick hair) So, I just tell her You love dressing up nice and looking pretty...but, no matter How Pretty you look ..if you stink..you do Not seem pretty to other people. She got in the shower and washed her hair too. You just have to give it to them Straight, I guess! She is 7 yrs. old, by the way. : )

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20 24

I've read many of the answers & while it would be a nice gesture to have a drug abusing homeless man stay with you to teach your children the "terrors" of not showering or brushing their teeth I think it's important to establish a "routine". I'm not gonna lie in my youth which was just recently I went for 15yrs. w/o going to see a dentist for various reasons. *not having healthcare, not making time etc... Anyway, if you saw me you wouldn't think anything abnormal about me. I have a very nice smile & good teeth. HOWEVER- I'm prone to GINGIVITIS & almost had to have oral surgery because I don't floss daily. I think if you est. a morning routine of showering, brushing teeth etc.. It's just what's done. No IF'S &'s or buts... Also, getting your child or children & even yourself a SONIC type toothbrush will really make all the difference. If you've never used one it's AWESOME it makes your mouth feel dentist fresh EVERYDAY & pair it w/ a pro-health mouthwash you/family will be just fine. Since I have two small children I've kept up w/ our oral healthcare & I am proud to say I've NEVER had a cavity in all my 36yrs. & I'm not going to have to have oral gum surgery either ! Good Luck

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7 6

I am the proud Mom to 3 wonderful boys ages 14, 12 & 6. I'm grateful my oldest didn't go through the anti-clean stage, unfortunately my middle son has been fighting showers and brushing his teeth for as long as I can remember. We've tried reward and consequence to no avail. His teeth are yellow and he has a distinct (unpleasent) smell b/c he doesn't shower properly. We've talked to him repeatedly and explained the importance of cleanliness. We've had doctors and dentists explain what the consequences are, they even showed him pictures of what happens when you don't take care of yourself. When he was younger we even would periodically wash him to remind him how it should be done. We provided deodorants, body sprays, etc. He is picked on at school for his dirty teeth and smell, all to no avail. I've timed him in the shower and explained 53 seconds is not enough time to properly clean himself, he has a timer to brush his teeth, all to no avail. At this point all we can do is keep reminding him how important this all is and hope since he's starting middle school he will grow out of it VERY soon!
Since my youngest has just turned 6 he's still montitored but does a great job especially considering his young age. I hope your 9 year old grows out of this stage soon. I personally didn't go through this as a kid but my husband said he did. I personally believe kids aren't trying to be "dirty" but that they are more interested in fun stuff and getting clean doesn't rate high on their fun chart. Good luck and know you're not alone :)

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7 40

Sounds like you have tried everything... Taking away his favorite things? Did you try that? I hope that things are getting better for you. I think after reading a lot of the comments here, that this IS just a phase for this age group. I also have a 21 yo child and yes, when I think about it, he did go through a short time with this. I guess it seems like its gone on for a long while because of that and because now I have 2 at the same time?! haha. My son, now 12, is sooo much better than he was over the last year or so. (YAY!) I hope my daughter follows soon. (she's 10) Also, I am thankful that my children haven't had it go so far as to have others making fun of them... (at least to my knowledge). I would feel sooo bad for them, and that would make me fight their behaviour even harder. I couldn't just wait for them to grow out of it. They wouldn't have anything left in their rooms! The great thing about being the parent is, if you want your young child to do something.. we have more perseverance than they do! At least, we should. :) BB! Good luck!!

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193 1

I have one that has to have dental work done because of not brushing regularly and correctly. I feel badly because I thought he was doing a good job! He too is at the age where he doesn't enjoy taking showers regularly! I am trying to explain to him that he is at the age where his body is beginning to change slightly as he is hitting a couple of the puberty changes... one of them is realizing a bit of BO after a long hot day. Another is the emotional changes - more emotional easier, and the attitude changes, plus the desire to have a bit more control over the house while DH is at work. It is cute to see that - but frustrating bc he likes to try and overstep MY authority!
Try a shower/brushing chart and give some kind of reward at the end of the week for staying on schedule. I am trying to figure out something besides sweets - but, I may stick to what I have done in the past with teaching chores - ice cream party on Saturday nights. That was the best and the kids loved it! We have slacked a lot over the summer, so I am preparing today to get back on track! Good luck! :)

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34 14

Im wondering if this is a thing for 9-10 year olds,my daughter is 10 and the very same,she wont shower but will take a bath,she wont brush her hair until I refuse to let her leave the house in the morning she isint a girly girl and neither is she a tomboy just dosnt see the point of impressing people,well in her eyes anyway! Im hopeing she will see more sense as she gets older!

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18 16

It must be something with 10 year old girls, my twins are the same, hate showering, won't brush their teeth, or hair.. They used to do all of it daily without being asked, now it is a battle...

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48 66

Well I tell my daughter that she needs to brush her teeth so they do not look like mine. My mother never showed me or told me the importance of taking showers/baths or brushing my teeth and I have cavities galore that were filled when I was 13. I tell her I want her teeth to grow clean and straight. So far she loves brushing her teeth and she will be 7 in September. She takes a bath every night. She loves to take baths because she can play with toys.

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7 40

this is how it always goes...first, they love it... then, NOT! lol! I hope you have a different outcome!

7 40

I will be following this question. I have a 10 & 12 yr old who could care less about hygiene as well! They ARE getting better as time goes on... but, soooo not quick enough! My boy is 12 and he's getting better than his 10 yo sis....

wow! Thanks for asking this :)

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0 0

Great question. My boy is nine and he could care less too. I have to laugh though because now I say, "if you want your teeth to be able to eat that next piece of pizza or cheeseburger then you really should brush your teeth." And the shower--I tell him that he can get bugs and he'll have to be quarantined and not be able to see any of his friends for a long time. I have given up struggling with him and it seems when I make these silly statements (but could be true) he takes care of it. :)

19 1

Well, we've been telling our 5 year old about how all her teeth will someday rot out if she doesn't brush them good. What also helped was having a friend stay with us for two weeks, who had all his teeth rotting out from being homeless for a while, and from drug abuse. He couldn't brush his teeth anymore and can only use mouth wash. So, we try to encourage her to brush every day because she wants to keep all her teeth!

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2 32

I have an 11 yr old daughter she fights taking a shower and there are times she won't wash her hair and says she did. Her armpits smell and I changed her deodorant to the Tom's natural for sensitive skin since she is young and still didn't help. Everytime she does this and still doesn't smell good or I can tell she didn't was I make her get back in the shower and explain that she will get made fun of if she smells and she doesn't seem to think anyone can smell her. I also threatened to start taking showers with her if she doesn't wash well.

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