Do you "make" your kids brush their teeth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It would be such a fight every day if I made my 3 1/2 y/o brush her teeth. She does it when she wants to. Her teeth are perfectly fine but I worry sometimes.

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#2 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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Yes.
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#3 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:36 PM
 
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Yes.

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#4 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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I do but I forget sometimes. I'm only human.

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#5 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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Yes, I do. I don't care how much he protests, his teeth are being brushed. I'm mean that way.
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#6 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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i had this battle with my dd 6 (she is older now but it started around 3) till i got one of those kid eletric toothbrushes now she dont have a problem with it. for the record she is always in there brushing
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#7 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Yes. Twice a day. We've had periods when it was a struggle, but mostly it goes fine.
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#8 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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yes, 2x a day and definitely not negotiable. i know folks here aren't big on rewards and/or charts, but we keep one for brushing teeth, they get a sticker on the chart each time they do it. once the chart fills up (we make them big so it takes a loooong time) we have a family fun day like going to see a movie or going out to eat or on a picnic. makes it a fun time instead of a struggle, and reward time is a good excuse to do something fun as a family
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#9 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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I won't say I "make" them, but I do want them to. Twice a day I say "time to brush teeth!" and we tromp to the bathroom and make a good effort. My oldest always liked to do it, my little guy, not so much. My husband is no help he keeps saying how their teeth all fall out anyway!!!

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#10 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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Yes, and we go for the "fun" toothbrushes as well. Right now, that means battery-powered anything. My kids don't use flouride and have very good teeth. I think brushing is a big part of that.
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#11 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Yes, of course.

There are some non-negotiable things (which we deal with gently, of course, but in the end the kids don't have much of a choice). They don't get to run on the road just because they want to. They don't get to poke the cat with chopsticks, just because they want to. They don't get to have rotten teeth and pain from cavities, just because they don't want to brush their teeth.
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#12 of 118 Old 05-17-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Totally agree with other posters.....
it's not negotiable in our house. Some things I just 'make' them do it. There were weeks where it was not a walk in the park with brushing...and then it slowly came around to where it was just part of our routine and they don't protest any more. I'm paranoid of cavities....we don't have dental insurance, my dh's teeth are awful and I just don't want them to have to deal with cavities. Maybe it is true that it's only their baby teeth...but it would be so much better (imo) if you got them started early on good dental hygiene. Good luck with it...it's not always easy. I'd aim for at least four to five good days of brushing at least once a day. Maybe you could even let your child 'play' with the toothbrush while in the car. I think it's better to have that toothbrush in their mouth even if they are not brushing in the most traditional way. It's a start.
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#13 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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Yes. And it's a fight every time with my 2 year old. My 6 year olds don't like it either, but they'll do it.
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#14 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Absolutely. Not negotiable. It's a life skill that pertains to their health and no exceptions in our house. My ds has horrible teeth. We don't and won't use flouride ever. Most people don't know that tooth caries(cavities) have to do more with your gut and make up, than with your dental hygiene, but dental hygiene is very important.

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#15 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 01:18 AM
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When ds didn't want to brush his teeth, I finally figured out he didn't like the toothpaste. I finally found a toothpaste he likes (Tom's of Maine, strawberry) and he doesn't fight about toothbrushing anymore. I also talk to him about how we want the dentist to say that he has clean teeth when I take him in for a checkup! He also gets to decide whether mom or dad brushes his teeth (when we're both home.)

I also buy him toothbrushes he likes. He gets to pick them out at the store.

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#16 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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Of course i would not make my child brush their teeth...i'm pretty shocked that everyone thinks that the right thing to do.

I think there are all sorts of ways to encourage a young child to brush their teeth without making it a "nonnegotiable"....my son went years with only occasional brushing...yes he had a couple of cavities, they've been taken care of, he's fine, his teeth are fine, and after his last dental visit he's made a vow to himself to be kinder to his teeth (he's 11.)

I think much of how one's teeth turn out is genetic....i brushed my teeth consistently as a child, went to the dentist twice a year like i was supposed to, had all the treatments recommended (flouride and all that)....and still have a mouth full of mercury. My son's father almost never brushed his teeth, and i think he's had maybe one cavity ever. Go figure.


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#17 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Katherine
: I'm kind of shocked as well. DH doesn't brush his teeth every day and has only had one small cavity and he is 30. I really think diet has a lot to do with it. If my 3 y/o ate candy, soda, sugary foods, and processed foods, then yeah I think I would have her brushing every day, but we mostly eat organic raw foods, rice and beans, etc.

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#18 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 05:33 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.
:

We do brush every night, but we have songs and such. It's not a chore nor a thing to fight over. If it were, I would try to find out why it's something the kids don't want to do -- as someone said maybe it's the toothpaste... or perhaps a cavity that bothers or some other item I may not be aware of.
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#19 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 08:11 AM
 
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This is the only thing that we enforce. DS has horrible, horrible teeth (we're praying his adult teeth are better). We've tried every trick in the book with him since he hates doing it but ultimately, it needs to be done. DD always does it willingly so that's no problem but DS likes to buck heads over e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
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#20 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 08:18 AM
 
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I don't *make* my trio do anything. But I can gently encourage them to make the right choice.

Jenny : Mama to Irish Triplets: Haley Ella : Ronin
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#21 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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Yes, I require it. Twice daily for my oldest, and at least at night for the younger ones. It's not optional, and if my oldest balks, I'll do it for him (he's 7). If my kids are acting funny about it, it's b/c they either have a canker, a loose tooth or something else inside their mouths, and I want to know about that. I

For my preschooler with sensory and other issues, toothbrushing isn't easy. We use a non-flouride toothpaste since he can't yet spit, and I do all the brushing. I never get more than 30 seconds of brushing, but it's important to me, and he's learning to care for his personal hygiene, which is also important. I allow them to choose their own toothpaste so they're using something they like, they pick out their own toothbrushes and it's simply part of our daily routine.

To me, oral hygiene isn't something I'm willing to allow my children to choose or not. If I let my child go to bed with food stuck in his teeth and that contributes to cavities, then I've fallen down on my job. If I gently enforce a simple 90 second event that prevents cavities, painful dental visits and money out of my pocket, and it works, then I've done my parental job well.
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#22 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 08:27 AM
 
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I do make my children brush their teeth. My older has had several cavities, and has had to have a tooth removed. Let me say that making them brush their teeth is easier than making them sit in a chair with only a local anesthetic and getting a tooth yanked.
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#23 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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We try every night. We usually get some brushing done every day. I think it's good to have that routine in place. That said, some nights the brushing time is very very short. Some nights we do it more thoroughly.

I do most of the brushing for my 3.5 year old at this point. Soon I will want him to brush on his own but he dawdles a lot! I think we'll change over when he starts preschool for him to do his own brushing. I'm hoping we can make it really fun and positive for him.
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#24 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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Yes, I do. My kids are young enough that the idea of cavities and dental work is extremely abstract compared to "I-don't-want-to-right-now." I don't want them to suffer for their ignorance.

Besides, if they need dental work, they aren't the ones who have to pay for it ...

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#25 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
i'm pretty shocked that everyone thinks that the right thing to do.
You've been around here for 4 years and you're still "shocked" that people would requite toothbrushing?



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#26 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Absolutely yes! at least 2x a day. It is a fight, but it's not negotiable around here. What I haven't gotten into the habit of is a flouride rinse... DS is old enough to handle it just fine (spitting out, etc) but we haven't gotten into the habit yet. Flossing we're also not great about yet. Although that's MY fault - the kids actually like it when I floss their teeth! go figure!
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#27 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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Yes. Dental hygeine is too important to overall health to let them think that brushing is optional.
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#28 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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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.
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#29 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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I make DD brush once a day. Probably should make her do it twice but I forget. I brush DS teeth once a day too. It's a struggle because he wants to do it himself somedays and others he won't let me in his mouth.

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#30 of 118 Old 05-18-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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poor dental hygiene 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.
Yes, this is why it's not optional here. Last summer, my FIL got bacterial meningitis from an infection in his teeth, and almost died. My father has had gum surgery several times. To me, this is incredibly important preventative care, along with a good diet.
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