Brushing teeth.

Michelle - posted on 07/05/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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8 year old daughter, dentist appt, 8 cavities, which one has to be pulled, baby tooth mind you, another one root canel. Then 3 visits to fill the 6 other cavities. Will not brush teeth with ease. Tried and took it all away, kept in house, all it is, is a punishment to me? Any words of wisdom?

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Dove - posted on 07/06/2016

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Stop nagging her then. If she won't brush her teeth in the morning before you leave let her know that she will be doing nothing when she gets home. Don't fight w/ her, don't beg her, don't let it make you late... set a timer and when it goes off... you guys leave, teeth done or not. If she didn't do it... when she gets home she can sit on her bed and read... nothing else for the rest of the day... dinner and get ready for bed (including brushing teeth... give her maybe 15 minutes to do this before sending her to bed). Next day... same thing. If she doesn't brush her teeth before it's time to go... she does nothing all day. Don't nag, don't beg, don't fight. Simply let her know that you told her what the consequences would be and now she is dealing w/ her choice to not brush her teeth.. If she comes out of her room for anything other than food or using the bathroom... quietly send her right back.

You can not keep fighting w/ an 8 year old over brushing her teeth. That's ridiculous. If she doesn't care about the natural consequences (all the damage to her mouth) you need to give her consequences that she does care about. You nagging and fighting w/ her clearly isn't working... so maybe boring her out of her mind will work.

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Sarah - posted on 07/06/2016

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On a side note; In my state we require dental visits has part of enrollment in public schools and many of the kids do have problems with tooth decay. For some kids it is poor hygiene, for others the pH of the mouth is off a bit and can lead to overgrowth of the bacteria that causes dental caries. This would be something to discuss with the hygienist or dentist at the next visit. I have a few students who come in after lunch to use a rinse with xylitol in it as part of the treatment to improve the overall oral health.

I agree, that arguing and pleading with her will get you nowhere. Why she thinks it is even optional is absurd. Just as she need to bathe, change clothing and wash her hair. Brushing teeth should be a habit by now. To make my life easier when my 4 kids were younger. I had toothbrushes and paste both upstairs in the bathroom and at the kitchen sink. This way if they wanted to dash out the door I could still have them brush after meals etc.

Michelle - posted on 07/06/2016

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The root canal is because it is a back lower tooth that won't fall out for awhile and the need to keep the space filled till the new tooth comes in, otherwise they would pull that one too. She had her first tooth pulled yesterday and as soon as she got home she was out and about, swimming and all. Didn't seem to phase her. Again last night an hour of talking, yelling, trying to get her to brush her teeth. Just a nightmare every day and morning. We are always late in the morning, she won't brush in the morning, I get her up an hour and half before we need to leave, nothing works. She has heard it all from me and she just doesn't care. No she has no mental or any disorders, she is a very smart 8 year old that is so stubborn it drives me nuts. Guess just need to keep what I am doing and maybe she will get sick of me. Thanks

Jodi - posted on 07/05/2016

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Have you tried making her stand in that bathroom, with you standing with her, until she does it? Have her do it at a time of day you can both stand there for an hour if need be.

And why would she need a root canal on a baby tooth? Or was that on one of her adult teeth? The root canal should have hurt enough that you can let her know that this is the consequence of not cleaning her teeth if that's what she wants.

I also agree, though, that since the root canal, etc, maybe her mouth is still a little tender and she needs some gentle cleansing for a while - a mouthwash may help with that.

Nadine - posted on 07/05/2016

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Well, firstly, a punishment is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a punishment to the parent as well. Hey, no one ever said parenting is easy. Could it be the reason she does not like brushing her teeth is because it hurts? I used that pre-rinse that showed the plaque (not sure if it is still around), that got my guy brushing. Mind you his baby teeth had HORRIBLE and awful cavities. Since he got his permanent teeth in, not a one cavity, *touch wood*. Some people are more prone than others. but basic hygiene and heath in my house are not negotiable.

Dove - posted on 07/05/2016

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Does she have any mental/emotional health disorders? If so... speak to her therapist about the best approach for her.

If not... brushing her teeth is something she should know is absolutely not an option to not do. She got that many cavities w/in the past 6-12 months from her last dental visit? My son used to fight getting his teeth brushed... then he had a couple of cavities when he went for his first dental visit at 3 years old and he hasn't fought it in 5 years. Gets stubborn and distracted and can take longer than he should to get it DONE, but he knows he is prone to cavities and that brushing and flossing is the best thing he can do to try and prevent them.

Unless your daughter has delays she is more than old enough to understand she has to brush her teeth... no exceptions, no excuses. If she does have delays... like I said, speak to her therapist.

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