How to get someone elses child to brush their teeth in the morning?

Ariana - posted on 02/20/2013 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'm walking my friends child to school and I couldn't get the daughter to brush her teeth. I'm supposed to walk two of them but the one girl was sick. The mom was there too so I wasn't sure what I should do because she flatly refused to do it, and then her Dad came in (who sometimes can stay longer in the morning and sometimes can't, so today everybody was there). He tried to get her to and couldn't and then her Mom just said it's fine we won't worry about it today.

I'm not sure what I should suggest, I mean I want to respect the boundaries of it being there kid. I had tried to ask her to do it for just 30 seconds and then no more, and I tried explaining about how teeth get dirty, and I tried asking her if she wanted to sing the teeth brushing song. No dice on everything.

I mean I could tell her she has to stay in the bathroom until she's ready to brush them, but ultimately she'll have to get out the door to school. I might try to offer to read her a story after she's brushed her teeth, or I'm thinking I'll bring my own tooth brush and offer to brush my teeth with her.

Not sure if there are any other ideas or things I could do, I have to bring her and her sister, some days only her sister, who apparently also may not wish to brush her teeth, so I'm not sure if I should worry about it, or just ask the mom what I should do and if they do great and if they don't it's up to her what to do.

I'll try to offer to brush my teeth with her and a short story afterwards.

Also my friend had asked me to be there from 7:30 until walking them to school so I'm not sure if I'm just supposed to show up and walk them over, and not try to help, or if I'm actually supposed to be getting them ready. I thought I was supposed to show up and get them ready but I don't know, the parents are there so they're the main authority so I'm not sure how much I can do or what the Mom wants me to do.

I know what I would do if it were my kid but when I tried to ask her what do you want me to do she just said, it's fine etc. I just don't want her to think I can't do it, but also don't want to do anything she doesn't want done.

Who knew teeth brushing could turn into such a battle?

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7 Comments

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Dove - posted on 02/22/2013

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Oh... I knew about the bleach. I didn't take offense to that. ;) We're all good.

Kristi - posted on 02/21/2013

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Dove--

First, I'm sorry for implying that parents who don't make their kids brush in the a.m. don't care about their children's dental health. I did word that poorly. I know lots of people who only brush at night. I brush twice/day and my teeth are in terrible condition because of all the meds I have been on for so long.

Second, my last post was a total spoof on one of your comments in another community, not a come back to your reply. Remember the eye gouging and bleach from trolls? I thought I was being witty! Lol

Sorry for the miscommunication! ; )

Dove - posted on 02/21/2013

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Oh... they brush every night and go to the dentist every 6 months... since 3 years old. They just don't brush in the morning. ;) My son has had 5 cavities within 2 dentist visits, but ever since I started flossing them every night.... no more cavities for him yet either.

I just took offense (because I take EVERYTHING personal...lol) to the statement that not making your child brush their teeth in the morning means you don't care about their dental health. Not that I'm advising anyone to not brush their teeth in the morning... I do admit it is a good thing, but I am one that doesn't make my kids brush their teeth in the morning and yet I still care very much for their dental health. ;)

Kristi - posted on 02/21/2013

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Dove--

You were very lucky! Most kids teeth rot and turn brown when they don't brush, then they have to be **gouged out or bleached!**

**Please do not try this at home** : D

Dove - posted on 02/21/2013

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I would like to add that my children have never once brushed their teeth in the morning and the two oldest (who no longer have any baby teeth) have never had a single cavity. Not brushing their teeth in the morning does not mean that the parents don't care about dental health at all.......

Kristi - posted on 02/21/2013

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I would have a sit down with your friend during some down time, go out coffee or go for a walk...without the kids. I would tell her you're uncomfortable with the lack of boundaries and then just tell her what you just told us. You want to help but you don't want to over step. Tell her about your ideas to get her daughter(s) to brush her teeth. If she doesn't get on board, that's it, you have to drop it. It's unfortunate for the children if their parents don't care about their dental health but without the parent's back-up, you got nuttin honey. If nothing else, after the conversation, you'll know where you stand.

Good luck!

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