My child is resistant to teeth brushing. I have tried modeling the activity, and making up fun games and songs, which only worked for a short time. I am concerned because it is a health matter, yet I don't want to force compliance or use rewards. I was hoping you might suggest a gentle approach or mention what you did with your children. Thank you.
Dear concerned parent about brushing teeth,
I don’t know your child’s health, age, diet, breastfeeding habits, your diet (if breastfeeding) and other factors that would determine if he actually needs his teeth brushed.
Breastmilk protects the teeth. Acidic fruit is harsh on the teeth as well as sugar, bread and other grain foods. But these external factors are less crucial than your child’s natural tendencies. Does he tend to have cavities? If not, I wouldn’t brush his teeth. After eating acidic fruit, you can breastfeed, give water, cheese, or wipe the teeth with some butter.
With my children I did nothing. No teeth brushing. No other animal brushes teeth, and I am sure caveman didn’t, other than maybe chewing certain leafs and cleaning between teeth with little branches. Toothpastes are toxic. Teeth are meant to serve us and be healthy.
Our children saw us brushing our teeth daily. When our oldest was eight he had his first little decay spot. I took him to the dentist who took care of it and explained about brushing and flossing. My son came home and started brushing daily. His brothers imitated him. Non of them did a very good job. For a while my youngest asked me to brush his teeth and I did. They had a few small cavities in baby teeth. They have healthy teeth and no cavities as teens and adults.
The child’s diet and the diet of his mother through pregnancy and breastfeeding are crucial for his teeth and health. If your child has tooth decay, there are natural cures like Novamin, Oxygen treatment, and diet changes.
Protecting your child’s trust and his peaceful connection with you is more important than brushing teeth; specially when the benefits are doubtful for most children. However, if your child is one of those who has lots of decay, I would be able to assist you in finding gentle ways to inspire him to clean his teeth, if I knew a lot more about his/her nature, age, how verbal s/he is etc. If you would like to explore these possibilities, you can sign up on my site for a phone consultation.