Tooth Brushing War!

Desirae - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My daughter hates brushing her teeth! I let her go long enough without brushing just to see how nasty it feels and she broke down and brushed them herself without being told one time. Otherwise I have tried letting her pick out her own stuff, rewards, consequences, and everything I can think of. Those solutions only last for about a week and then the war is on again. Currently, and for the last few years, I let her brush as well as she will and then I go over it again to make sure she is getting an adequate brushing and flossing. She hates it, and as she is getting older, she is starting to be able to physically stop me. The dentist who capped all of her molars, at the age of 6, claims that he brushed his own kids' teeth until they were 10 years old. Not only do I not believe him, because I cannot see a 10 year old saying "Ok Dad... time to brush my teeth... come on!", but by then they should comprehend the importance and know how to do it on their own. Does anyone have any ideas short of tying her down to get it over with?

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Tamra - posted on 02/07/2010

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Get some of those pills/rinses like they have in the dentist's office that stains the un-brushed parts of the teeth. Use both reward and restrictions. For example, have her use the stain- and then when she brushes she earns ___ (you fill in the blank). You can then see when she's brushed well. Tell her for every time she doesn't brush she loses ____ .
I wouldn't try physically forcing her ... it will only lead to more problems given her age.

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Cindy - posted on 02/15/2010

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Forcing only creates rebellion - however I am an advocate of forcing kids if nothing else works. Some things just HAVE to happen. But if you have an incentive that works, then she will be brushing because SHE wants to and the ultimate goal will be won easier and more solid. If she doesn't brush, she doesn't eat. When she gets hungry, she will brush. You have to use an incentive that hurts without damaging. As long as she is getting water, she is not being damaged. If she goes 4 days without eating and still doesn't brush, then she gets to have food that she really doesn't like. She won't sit long watching everyone eat after missing a meal or two. If she is schoola age, you will have to send her a lunch of course or you will be accused of horrible things, but make that apples, carrots, and crunchy good teeth foods. As a nurse, we have mom's calling the clinic all the time worried and in a panic because their kids are sick and won't eat. We don't really care if they are eating. If they are drinking, they will be fine for at least 3 days. Seriously...it's okay. Try it but don't start if you aren't going to stick with it. Oh, the other things is, don't make her use toothpaste. Honestly, it isn't critical and it will mess up the flavor of her well earned meal. Baby steps...add toothpaste after you establish a good habit in her. Good luck.

Lyne - posted on 02/10/2010

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I'm sorry to hear you have a disability, don't let the dentist make you feel bad. You have obviously done everything you can! The rest is really up to her. I do have one last bit of advice, explain to her that the only things she can eat and drink without harming her teeth is water and cheese! Maybe after of day of no juice, fruit, cereal, treats! She may rethink her whole thing!

Good Luck!!!

Desirae - posted on 02/08/2010

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I even got her a hello kitty electric toothbrush with a timer on it... tried the flashing ones, brushing with her, brushing her first and then letting her do it, I even tried a toothbrush that plays music in your head while you brush.

***The biggest problem is that she doesn't want to allow me to finish brushing for her even though I've watched her do her best.

I bought that kids mouthwash that turns all the plaque blue and you have to brush it off... she let me finish for her and get all the blue off for about a week... then she insisted that she was doing well enough on her own to the point where she went to school with her teeth half blue. I had to take the mouthwash away and buy her one that wouldn't leave her looking like she ate a marker...lol

She does a fantastic job on her front teeth... it's the molars (which she will have the longest) that I don't want to get to the point where they have to be pulled.

I am not physically capable of holding her still enough to make her let me... I need ideas to psych her into letting me do it. I'm out of ideas. Right now I am trying the tooth brushing chart again. She gets one free pass for the week if she forgets, but must let us help her every morning and evening... Then the square is filled in for that am or pm... If all the squares are filled, then, on Friday she gets 25 cents for 'popcorn Friday' at school.

Jessie - posted on 02/08/2010

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have you tried using an electronic tooth brush?My son hated brushing his teeth until I got him a sonic care. Now not only does he love brushing his teeth but he is doing a much better job because of the tooth brush itself.

Isobel - posted on 02/08/2010

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I use the blue mouthwash before brushing that stains their teeth...then use the timer from one of our board games...they used to hate it but now it's kind of like a game...good luck

Jeru - posted on 02/08/2010

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My daughter has issues with brushing as well. she is 6 years old and about a year ago she had to get 7 baby root canals because she lives with my parents and they were letting HER brush her own teeth! I can only control when she is with me and I let her brush her teeth after I give them a veeeery good once over with the brush. I am probably going to take her to see my dentist (my girlfriend's dad) and have him give me suggestions about her teeth sometime in the future, and maybe ask him what he did for my girlfriend while she was growing up. she has amazing teeth and I'd love for my daughter to have nice teeth too. mine are not so good but I've definitely improved my dental health over the last few years to try to be an example to my daughter.

Desirae - posted on 02/07/2010

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I would love to have the capability to hold her down to do this, nevertheless, my partial disabilities do not allow me to... She has gotten strong enough to leave me stuck on the floor when I get a flare up trying to hold her down... Thursday morning was one of these moments... I need a bouncer... or some duct tape... lol

Lyne - posted on 02/05/2010

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Unfortunately, when they don't want to brush, you have no choice but to do it for them. I have had to forcefully hold one of my kids at any given time to brush and floss their teeth

Desirae - posted on 02/05/2010

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lol... Melissa, Rena has 'Popcorn Friday' at school. They bring a quarter, get a bag of popcorn with a surprise in the bottom and the money goes to the school... I wont give her a quarter on Fridays if she hasn't cooperated with me all week... but my plan is failing too. If I come up with something that works I will be sure to share it with you... good luck on your end. I'm there too hon.

Melissa - posted on 02/05/2010

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My son is 7 and our New Years Resolution was to conquer this teeth brushing business. I downloaded one of those brush teeth charts that has a sun and moon on each day of the calendar, and I started brushing for him every day, morning and night. I wanted him to feel it done correctly and figured we better start over from the beginning. At the end of four weeks of just allowing me to brush his teeth, he would get a reward (he is really in to coin collecting and he would get $10 to go to a coin show.) When we were down to three days left, things went bad. He was flinching and pulling away, and I had enough and told him to brush them himself and walked out of the bathroom. He followed me and said that one little word..."NO"

I took his arm and pulled him back in to the bathroom and brushed his teeth while holding him between my knees while he screamed in pain. For good measure I then washed his face a little more intently than was called for. I have been beating myself up for over a week for loosing my temper. The cute chart went in the trash and I told him we could try again, when I wasn't so upset.

I hope he makes enough money to but dentures when he gets older because I am loosing the battle. If you want to try the chart Chuck E Cheese has one that you can turn in for tokens.

Lindie - posted on 02/05/2010

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Gosh sounds like an awful battle for you daily!! my kids are only little but at bath time I give them each a toothbrush and I get mine and while they are in the bath we all brush our teeth together. Maybe doing it with her might help. Or, she should just about be old enough to understand that it has to be done every day twice a day and give some different suggestions and she has to decide how and when to do it. I would also say keep up with the reward thing consistancy is one of our very few weapons we have when we battle with our children. I f it only works half the time to start, thats half the battle won! eventually it will become a habit for her as it has done for all of us! Try to pick a tactic, keep it simple and stick to it you may have fighting for a month or so but then it should be part of her routine

Desirae - posted on 02/05/2010

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I've done the timer and I am adamant about it... It is just that when I try to brush them for her, she literally fights me off. I am somewhat disabled so it was much easier when she was younger to just make her let me do it... I need ideas to get her to do it herself or to let me do it. Preferably ideas to let her do it herself and then for her to accept my help.

Tammy - posted on 02/05/2010

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I've heard that parents are supposed to brush their child's teeth until they're in 3rd grade. Something about the child not being able to brush in circles well until then. Somehow I think 3rd grade related because they are learning cursive writing and would be able to brush better.

I have a 5 and a 3 yr. old. They have their teeth brushed after breakfast and before bed. Sometimes they brush their teeth themselves once a day, but they always get brushed by a parent once a day too. Anytime we've gone to the dentist or orthodontist comments are always made as to how nice their teeth look.

Have you tried setting a timer?

Desirae - posted on 02/05/2010

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My daughter is six years old... Jessica is right on with the not brushing long enough thing... I even got her a hello kitty toothbrush with a timer on it... tried the flashing ones, brushing with her, brushing her first and then letting her do it, I even tried a toothbrush that plays music in your head while you brush. She has seen pictures of tooth decay... She even saw how miserable I was after having one pulled and that it did not grow back (bad teeth run in my family, hence the reason I am fussing so much over it). We have a morning and evening routine... she knows she has to do it... but I watch her slack off with it and she refuses to let me finish it for her. I know she remembers how miserable she was when she had all her molars capped at the same time... That memory doesn't seem to phase her stubborn ways either though. Leanne... I have heard the 7 year rule too... and I agree with it. I am unable to force her to hold still long enough anymore. She is strong and I am injured. I am at a loss here...

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I bush my daughters teeth, then she 'brushes'. She is only 2.5, and she likes how the toothpaste tastes. She just started to spit after brushing

Leeanne - posted on 02/05/2010

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I work for a dentist and we reccomend that the parent help brush until atleast 7yrs old. How old is your daughter now?

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2010

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The rule that I heard was if they can brush their hair correctly then they can brush their teeth. We are very strict about brushing in the morning and at night. Maybe try either you show mommy that you can brush your teeth or mommy is going to do it. Our biggest problem was they weren't brushing long enough so we got toothbrushes that flash for the min. amount of time that they should brush. Or maybe try showing photo's of what could happen. Good Luck. And I belive your dentist did it. My 9 yr old stepdaughter wasn't brushing her teeth like she should (and we only control when she's here) sdo I had her feel her teeth with her tongue then I brushed her teeth and had her feel them again. Routines are always good.

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