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my husband has quite an obsession with brushing his own teeth. He's had a history of cavities and brushes his teeth multiple times a day.<br><br>
I have twin 29-month-old twin girls and he FORCES them to brush their teeth, like against their will, where they are screaming and I'm sorry but it's like pure abuse to me. ME I think at/for their age *ONE* time makes me happy (when I am caring for them I just have them do it after dinnertime and they don't resist and are totally happy and compliant no problems)<br><br>
please if you all could give me links to articles or info WHY the *forcing* to brush teeth is not appropriate for their age. I feel there is permanent damage going on here. They are terrified of when it's time to brush their teeth (with him). They cry and cry like I've never heard before to the point of they can't calm down. He's home at lunch "helping" me by making them brush their teeth and they are hysterical when he goes back to work and I have to soothe them this is an everyday occurence<br><br>
he always says they have to either go to a time-out or brush their teeth, and when they don't brush their teeth he LITERALLY forces the toothbrush in their mouths with his hands against their will and brushes it for them<br><br>
I am shaking because I am at my end with this
 

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Hugs to you - this is awful and you really need to have a heart to heart with dh - I don't know any resources off hand, but perhaps some input from your dentist? He is surely creating some powerful, negative associations with toothbrushing that risks staying with them.<br>
When you are both calm I would try having an open and honest discussion with him - start by agreeing with him that you feel oral hygiene is important - but life time habits are what you want to establish - we are born with baby teeth for a reason <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> and these are not the teeth they will have for the rest of their lives. If he forces them and makes it traumatic they may be more resistant to developing good habits when they are older.<br><br>
To get them to brush their teeth try a more positive approach - follow teethbrushing with a really desireable activity - one that can only happen when their teeth are brushed (play doh? water play? special books?)<br><br>
I would also get some good children's board books that stress the importance of clean teeth - my dd had one at that age but I can't remember the name of it - it had animals or a shark or something?<br><br>
She was really resistant at that age as well and I am with you - once a day was all we could handle - after dinner/before bed - In fact we didn't move to 2x a day until she was 5? (she's 6.5) But they did brush teeth (sometimes?) at her day care....But I didn't force it for the reasons I stated above - I didn't want the trauma and negative associations.<br><br>
Good luck and if you can, I would really put my foot down and tell him his forceful methods are just not working, nor are they acceptable.<br><br>
HTH
 

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I don't have any articles to send you, but I wanted to ask how you've approached your husband about this. Obviously if the kids are crying to the point where they can't calm down, his approach is doing more harm than good. And as much as I hate to say this, the fact that you're not really able to step in to protect them (without going against their father) isn't good either.<br><br>
There is definitely some information out there about learning to use good practice in brushing our teeth (the importance of keeping them clean, etc), but there's just as much information (if not more) to prove that keeping the baby teeth clean (ie. cavity free) is not as important until the adult teeth come in. Now is the time to form the habit - NOT to obsess about keeping them clean.<br><br>
I would do some research on why over brushing can be just as bad as not brushing enough, and discuss this with your husband, as well as the negative association that he's creating. I certainly wouldn't want my kids brushing out of fear... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Also, I don't have good suggestions for you, but I know that there are some really fun songs or games that will help encourage children to brush. Maybe you can discuss specific times with your husband (like after large meals and right before bed) where he can practice these?<br><br>
Taking them out to buy their own special toothbrush right now might also be a good thing (to remove any negativity with their old brushes). Maybe even a little electric one (do they make those for kids?).
 

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I admit that around that age I did have to occasionally force-brush my daughter's teeth. I know friends' kids who have had to have baby teeth pulled as a result of bad toothbrushing habits and I didn't want that pain for my DD.<br><br>
Playful parenting worked most of the time, however....brushing her stuffed animal's teeth first, pretending to brush her nose instead of her teeth or any other body part, etc. Usually I let her hold the toothbrush to help me or allowed her to brush her teeth by herself afterwards but I always brushed her teeth at that age. Also we got a musical toothbrush and that helped too.<br><br>
It doesn't sound like a good way to get kids to LIKE brushing their teeth by forcing them and having them flip out all the time IMO. Perhaps if you suggest to your DH that you'll brush their teeth in the morning and at bedtime to start good habits, then you could try one of the approaches above. If he still insists on doing this then perhaps you could suggest the playful parenting approach to him.
 

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The tooth brushing is important to me, too. Very. So as soon as my daughter got a tooth, I let her chew on a toothbrush with some "practice" toothpaste twice a day. Then I would say "my turn" and poke around a bit, then let her play in the water or whatever. We've always done it and now, at four, she does not fight it and never has.<br><br>
I would suggest you tell your husband something like, you know, I am really with you on this tooth brushing thing. I think it's important. I'm afraid that with them being so uncooperative, they're not getting as much actual BRUSHING as they should. Then see if you can get him to help you "start all over" so they'll build up to being more cooperative (I had to do this with hair brushing and it worked, I just had to totally back off and take the fight out of it, get it worked in as part of our day, and then slowly take over).<br><br>
Take them to pick out brushes, get some some Little Bear or Thomas practice tooth paste, pick out some cups. Come home, let them put the toothpaste on and then let them take over, twice a day, for like a week. It takes the fight out and lets them get ok with it. The power struggle is gone. Then YOU, not him, can let them play (I have an hourglass timer thing I got from Target. She "brushes" for that long, then I brush for that long, then she gets to rinse and spit. Apparently spitting is the most fun thing in the world. She turns the timer) and then do whatever works best with your kids. It can be, brushing their teeth so the other can watch, tickling their teeth, whatever you need to call it.<br><br>
I think at this point, it's one of those things - they're scared and he's impatient and it's just a big STRUGGLE. Back off and reset.
 

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Back off and reset is awesome advice.<br><br>
After we eat at the table, we always say, "Hands, face, teeth," when the kids ask to be excused. And they head off to the bathroom to clean up. It may not be a good job, but at least it gets done 3x a day. Now that dd (5yo) is getting older, I have her come back for me to check. Frequently I have to send her back 2 or 3 times, but it's low key and she's learning the habit.
 
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