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Anyone else constantly struggle with getting their LO to brush their teeth?

My son just turned four and we are still having huge struggles to get him to brush his teeth. I thought this would just be a phase and didn't fight with him too much over it, well it has been over two years now and nothing has got better. I have tried so hard to make it a fun routine that we do every night. We have done songs, used stuffed animals as dummies to practice on, everything. He still screams and fights if I just bring up brushing his teeth. There have only been a few times in his life when his teeth were thoroughly cleaned, and that is when I had to force him to have me brush his teeth. I am SOOOO fed up with this. He has already had several cavities. I don't know what to do with him anymore, he just refuses to brush his teeth. DH and I both have good teeth hygiene and bring our son into the bathroom with us to watch us brush our teeth and try to get him to do the same.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:32 PM on May. 23, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (4)
  • Gosh i'm sorry! My DS is 3 and loves to brush his teeth! Sometimes twice before he goes to bed. maybe you could buy some mouthwash, like a fruit kind, that he could rinse with. At least that might help with the cavities. Stop giving him sugar untill he brushes his teeth on a regular basis. Show him some pictures on line of rotten teeth. Maybe it will scare him!

    Answer by forevermom75 at 5:54 PM on May. 23, 2009

  • Well we dont have that problem really with our 5 year old but every night we have to hold our 20 month old down to brush his teeth and it sucks every night it is a screaming fit and I am afraid of what it might do when he is older if he might hate brushing his teeth my kids have never had any cavities but I am terrified of them. The only suggestion I can give is take away treats until he is ready to take better care of his teeth my kids have never had any candy or soda so it wouldnt really work for me but the other day my DD wasnt brushing her teeth like she was supposed to and when I walked in and caught her she got grounded form treats for a week no fruit snacks cookies or pop cycles and I can tell you this her teeth have been very clean every night since LOL! Good Luck

    Answer by BellahMom at 5:58 PM on May. 23, 2009

  • I used to have a bit of a problem with my son when he was younger. He didn't want to brush his teeth but it was never a production. My son got really good about it after they talked about 'sugar bugs' in school. They talked about how when you eat, especially junk food, the 'sugar bugs' come and eat at the food that's left on your teeth and make little holes. they also talked about them feeling fuzzy. He is now all about getting rid of the 'sugar bugs' Also have you tried the Agent blue stuff? It turns the teeth, well, the plaque blue and you have to brush it off.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:27 PM on May. 23, 2009

  • I would use positive reinforcement. Make a toothbrushing chart and hang one in the bathroom and one where dad/mom can see. everyday time he is requested to brush his teeth and he does give him a star(or whatever emblem) on the chart. once he gets 14 stars (2x a day for 7 days) he gets a reward. the reward should be something he REALLY likes whatever that is. explain this to him and how he can get the reward. If he doesnt brush dont take them away just dont give anymore stars. In addition to this praise him every chance you get. that is why the other chart is there so whoever sees it can say something POSITIVE like, "I am so proud of you that you are brushing everyday. That makes me very happy" "wow, your teeth look beautiful what have you been doing" "I need to wear sunglasses to look at those teeth. they are so clean!" try to avoid saying negative comments about his teeth. that may hinder any progress he makes.

    Answer by ollu2006 at 4:41 AM on May. 24, 2009

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