Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Sleep Deprivation, USA
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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.