Do you "make" your kids brush their teeth? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Isn't it interesting how many people brush religiously yet they still have cavaties? Even children!

This leads me to believe brushing twice a day as we have been told all our lives is not the answer. IMO....it is mostly in our diet.

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#62 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lachingona1 View Post
This leads me to believe brushing twice a day as we have been told all our lives is not the answer. IMO....it is mostly in our diet.
Our (holistic) dentist tells us that it is the synergistic effect of brushing, diet, and genetics that account for dental health. You can have genetically great teeth, but if you eat Ho-ho's and drink Mountain Dew and never brush, you can get massive cavities. You can have genetically poor teeth but eat well and brush well and have many fewer cavities than you would if you neglected your teeth.

Our dentist tells us that the toothpaste you choose is irrelevant. He brushes with baking soda because he likes the way it makes his mouth feel but he says that brushing with water is fine, too. It's the brushing that loosens the gunk and gets it ready to swish away.

Honestly, to me it seems like a no-brainer that brushing teeth is a good thing.

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#63 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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Yes.
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#64 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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Yes, it is non-negotiable around here as well.

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#65 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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I've never had to "make" DS brush his teeth. He's seen his father and me brushing our teeth all his life, and at one point (before he was a year old) he made it clear that he wanted to do it too. So while my DH or I brushed our teeth in the morning or at bedtime, DS got a little toothbrush to chew on, and then DH or I would brush his gums and teeth a little.

Now, at age 3, DS brushes twice a day, with no fuss. He gets to choose his toothbrush and toothpaste. He brushes his own teeth while I brush mine, then I finish the job for him. I use those Glide flossers to floss between his teeth at bedtime.

I just think it's a good habit to get into. I know that, personally, I like how my mouth feels when my teeth have been brushed, and DS seems to agree since he will ask to brush, sometimes, because he says his mouth feels dirty.
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#66 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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i don't make DS do it but he hardly puts up a fight. i do think it's something that needs to be strongly encouraged as it is something that could permanently effect their future health. he's responsible for the morning brushing and we do the evening brushing.
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#67 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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No - he *loves* to brush his teeth!
Guess I just got lucky.

Carly [29] + DH [27] + DS [9]

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#68 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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I'm shocked that people wouldn't make their children brush their teeth. Seriously. If you as an adult know the ramifications of your child not brushing their teeth and you still don't require it? I find that shocking. I find it shocking that you would allow your child to engage in a behavior that could have long term health ramifications - poor dental hygeine is linked to a whole host of health issues - inflammatory diseases, heart disease etc... I think it's hugely irresponsible to not require your child to learn proper dental hygeine.
I'm with Michelle on this one. This is just not something to be so lax about. Our children depend on us to do the right things for them when they are too small to know how to do them or to even know that they need to be done.

Having been through a very traumatic dental history with my 6 y.o., I wish I had been more adamant about it when she was still a nursling. She had dental surgery at 18 months old, including 3 caps, one extraction and fillings on all her molars. We have had at least 2 more novacaine dental visits since, and at least 3 cap replacements.

If I could have prevented it with more/better toothbrushing I would have tied her to a chair to brush her teeth.

To not require your children to brush their teeth at least once ,if not twice a day in my opinion is really negligent. So, yes, we make our children brush their teeth (even the baby), whether they want to or not.

DD now likes to do it herself, because she now understands the connection: better dental hygiene = fewer visits to Dr. M. and no sleepy juice needle.
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#69 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 05:54 AM
 
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No I have never made my DS brush his teeth. I'm with queenjane on this one. The thought of holding down a toddler and brushing his or her teeth leaves me : Or punishing a child for not brushing or whatever...

I have always encouraged my son to brush and guess what? He does.

I was never made to brush my teeth and yet I always have. I also knew my aunt sat on my cousin to brush his teeth! I wasn't going to be so ridiculous.
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#70 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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Yes.

DD has been put under general anesthesia several times and been through a number of other miserable, scary medical experiences already. There is no WAY I am going to put her through dental work at her young age if I can possibly avoid it.

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#71 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Of course i would not make my child brush their teeth...i'm pretty shocked that everyone thinks that the right thing to do.
When your child has 10 cavities at the age of 2 1/2 and needs the work done under GA, it seems pretty important to get the organic, no sugar food, off his teeth before going to bed each night.

Not only is it a lot better to be coerced by a loving mama, imo (who doesn't "make" him do anything else like cut, brush, wash hair or even go to school) than to undergo scary medical procedures with strangers but it is a lot cheaper than the thousands of dollars of anesthesia bills that weren't covered by insurance.

I do everything possible to make it pleasant, used every trick in the book and made up some new ones. One thing that worked when things were at the worst was video taping ds while we brushed his teeth with the viewer flipped to him so he could watch. Why this worked better than a mirror, I don't know, lol.

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#72 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 10:44 AM
 
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Wow, what a long thread. lol

I didn't make my kids brush, but they brush/brushed enough that of 4 children share one cavity. (Although we did have to remove from one, at age 5, a baby molar because it was literally half rotted. We still wonder why the child never complained of pain. She never again got a cavoity, and she is almost 16, so it was some kind of fluke, probably from not brushing enough. lol). I am pretty sure that had I been more careful with brushing at that point, she would not have had to have it removed. That wasn't fun.

I think diet and genetics has a lot to do with dental health, but in our current society, brushing seems helpful. If I lived a traditional life, with all traditionals foods, perhaps brushing would be moot. My family and I do not eat a tradtional diet in the way our ancestors did, and we still have excellent dental health. Removing the dregs of modern life and modern foods from our teeth each evening seems to contribute to our good teeth, or at the very least, has not harmed us. I personally don't want to experiement with not brushing or flossing.

So Make , no. But encourage, facilitate it by putting a little Tom's on the brush for them, do it if they wanted me to, sit and chat in the bathroom to keep them company, help them make a game of it, yes. Buy cute toothbruses or let them use my electric one ... all of that.

There is a vast middle ground between never brushing one's teeth to sitting on someone's torso & shoving a toothbrush into their screaming, protesting mouth.
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#73 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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And my statement about having such a lack of authority.....was directed at those who do say their kids scream and cry so they just don't require tooth brushing.

2 words. Sensory issues. It isn't always about authority. It is hard enough for some kids to put food in their mouths let alone a toothbrush.

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#74 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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If I lived a traditional life, with all traditionals foods, perhaps brushing would be moot.
I think this over-romanticizes things just a bit. Living in an area that has an intact indigenous population (small as it may be), they don't have great teeth and they eat a traditional diet and have access to traditional medicines and herbs.

The non-indigenous locals in the small, rural mountain town where we have our farm ... 99% of the people our age (30s and 40s) either had all their teeth pulled and now have dentures, or they just don't have half their teeth.

Many indigenous cultures included different herbs, powders, sticks, etc for the specific purpose of teeth cleaning. Throughout time and geography, cultures have come to recognize the link between healthy teeth and health/longevity, and have developed ways to clean their teeth. Diet and genetics alone won't protect your teeth.

We went through some horror times with our daughter in which tooth brushing involved both of us, and a lot of screaming. Were we going to just shrug our shoulders and say, okay C. you win, we won't brush your teeth tonight? No way. Sorry, but my job is get my kid through childhood healthy and hopefully happy. But, there are always going to be things that I as a parent have to do that she won't like. But, too bad. My job is not to appease my child through her childhood. It is to care for her, feed, clothe and shelter her, love her and use my love for her to get her through to her adulthood as physically and mentally healthy as I possibly can.

Thankfully, our efforts are paying off, and we are holding our own now against her dental problems. She has an electric toothbrush and SpongeBob toothpaste, and wants to brush her teeth 3 or 4 times a day. Her permanent teeth are coming in now and you are nuts if you think I'm not going to be reminding her every morning and every night that she must brush her teeth!
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#75 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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Cavities are caused by a specific bacteria that is passed from person to person. S mutans. http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct02p164.html On top of that is genetics- some people have a mouth that allows that bacteria to flourish-probably based on pH. On top of that is diet. If you are lucky and your kid does not get the bacteria and has good genetics and a decent diet then cavities will be infrequent/rare even with poor oral hygiene. Once your kid has the bacteria and the gene combination it is a constant battle to prevent cavities. My son had 12 cavities at age 4.5 to 5.5. We went through 12 fillings-mostly between teeth where the toothbrush does not reach. We now brush and floss twice daily every day. He will probably still get cavities. He has always had a healthy diet with no juice, no soda, no dried fruit, no candy, no cookies, plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, etc. He breastfed until age 5. It did not make any difference. For us tooth care is just a necessary chore.
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#76 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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If your kids don't brush doesn't their breath stink?
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#77 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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If your kids don't brush doesn't their breath stink?

It probably depends on what kinds of bacteria are thriving in their mouths and what they eat (spicy foods?). My ds very very rarely has stinky breath even though we just brush them once at night. My dh has horrible morning breath and my dad's breath always smelled like parsley, lol. Neither my dh nor dad were prone to cavities, either.

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#78 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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How exactly can you have good dental hygeine without brushing your teeth? I would love to see just one study that suggests there are ways to care for your teeth that don't involve brushing.

And holding down a 7 or 14 year old? Seriously? I can not imagine being so permissive that I would ask my children to brush their teeth, they would say no and I would say "Oh, well, ok then" Seriously. Parenting. What I say goes in regard to serious health issues. You will wipe your behind after poop, you will brush your teeth, you will bathe. These are givens. They are not options. I can't imagine having such lack of authority in my own home that I would tell my children it's time to brush their teeth and they wouldn't.
Some things are nonnegotiable. I see tooth brushing and health care as right up there with "making" my children wear a seatbelt. Maybe they won't mind, maybe they'll hate it and fight it the whole time, but I'd rather my children have the "discomfort" of brushing their teeth than the "discomfort" of drillings, fillings and root canals. I've been there. I will do everything possible to make sure my children will not end up in the same position.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#79 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I think this over-romanticizes things just a bit. Living in an area that has an intact indigenous population (small as it may be), they don't have great teeth and they eat a traditional diet and have access to traditional medicines and herbs.


!
LOL I wasn't 'romanticizing'. I was speaking on behalf of brushing and flossing in modern society.

I love the pick and comment posting without comprehension. Clearly, you didn't even read the whole thread.

whatevah.
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#80 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If your kids don't brush doesn't their breath stink?

One of the most common factors for cause of bad breath is the type of food that is eaten. The bad breath caused by the food can be formed in two ways, one is in the mouth by the bacteria and other is by the food that goes into the digestive system.

Take a raw foodist then take an average American on processed, sugary foods and compare teeth and breath.

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#81 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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Brushing teeth twice a day is non-negotiable in our house, along with holding hands when we cross the street, wiping after going to the toilet, and wearing clothes when we go to the store. There are just some things in life that I as a parent have to insist upon, and teeth brushing is one of them.
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#82 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Yes, twice a day.
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#83 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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Some things are nonnegotiable. I see tooth brushing and health care as right up there with "making" my children wear a seatbelt. Maybe they won't mind, maybe they'll hate it and fight it the whole time, but I'd rather my children have the "discomfort" of brushing their teeth than the "discomfort" of drillings, fillings and root canals.
That's my POV, too. The boys and I have been genetically gifted with good teeth. At 29, I still have never had a cavity & the boys seem to be following suit. Still, daily tooth brushing is non-negotiable for us.

There have been a hand-full of times where I've had to physically brush a toddler's teeth for him.... just like there have been a hand-full of times where I've had to physically wrestle a toddler into his carseat. But those are rare exceptions. Mostly, it's a family affair: we all brush our teeth together in the morning, we all put our seatbelts on when we get in the car, etc. After about age 3, I've never had to "make" the kids do those things.
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#84 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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It's either "make" them brush their teeth or "make" them get cavities filled.

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#85 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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Usually I'll read the other replies before posting mine, but this one is so clear cut there's no reason.

YES! You have to make your three-and-a-half year old child brush her teeth. And you have to make her sit in her carseat. And you might consider keeping her out of the path of oncoming vehicles. Even if she has opinions to the contrary. YOU'RE THE PARENT!!!

I think my position was clear, huh?
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#86 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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Yes, I do. I'm hoping that eventually the repetive nature of the excersize will just become a part of thier daily routine.
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#87 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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Basic hygiene is non-negotiable in our house.
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#88 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
The thought of holding down a toddler and brushing his or her teeth leaves me :
If you think holding your precious child down for two minutes to brush is tough, try holding him down for half an hour while a dentist and two assistants give shots of Novacaine and then fill and cap his teeth. Now that's a real picnic.

And, by the way, cavities are sneaky little suckers. Brushing isn't enough for most people even if you eat tofu and organic lettuce all day. You really have to be flossing your kid's teeth, too. Cavities form between the teeth, where your toothbrush can't reach.
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#89 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I have to MAKE them put the brush away cause they love brushing their teeth too much.

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#90 of 118 Old 05-19-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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2 words. Sensory issues. It isn't always about authority. It is hard enough for some kids to put food in their mouths let alone a toothbrush.
But I don't think most people are dealing with sensory issues. That's a whole different game then the most children. Heck I'm an obsessive tooth brusher (3 times a day, and whenever I leave the house) and when I was pregnant with dd I strived for once a day. My gag reflex was so bad it just wasn't worth it because I would throw up and then really not be able to brush.

That said, yes, I absolutely make sure my kids brush their teeth at least twice a day. Dd has been flossing since she got her first tooth. Occasionally I've had to fight her on it, but that's tough for her. Ds has had fillings and crowns and his mouth is a mess, even with my careful attention to his teeth. I don't play with teeth.
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