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ellieka
ellieka asks:
Q:

How to get my daughter to brush her teeth?

My daughter will not brush her teeth when we wake up or at night. I have to repeat myself. "Go brush your teeth" it turns into a fight almost every day.
In Topics: Dental health
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi ellieka,

You didn't mention how old your daughter is. My kids are young (4 & 7) and I used to have a hard time getting them to brush too. They're so busy that they never wanted to stop what they were doing to go brush their teeth. Their dentist told me that it's not important for them to use toothpaste when they brush which means they can really do it anywhere. He said it's find to let them brush while they listen to stories or even just lay on the couch or watch TV. They'll brush for a long time - and even let me brush their teeth for a long time - if they're not just standing in front of the sink trying to get it over with.

You can also set up a star chart. Give your daughter a sticker for every day she does a good job brushing morning and night. When she reaches a certain number (maybe a week?) she earns a treat like going to get a new book at the bookstore with you or something else exciting for her (probably not a sugary treat...that might send a mixed message!)

Finally, it can't hurt to keep talking to your daughter about how important it is to brush her teeth. Remind her that if she does, she'll stay healthier, get less cavities, and keep her beautiful smile sparkly white.

Hope this helps!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi Ellieka,

We used to have this problem with our daughter too. Here are some of the tactics that worked for us:

>Make a big deal about buying her own 'special' toothbrush and toothpaste that only she gets to use. We bought cartoon-character mechanical brushes, as well as pink standard brushes -- and she really liked that no one else had one like hers (often reminding mommy & daddy not to touch her toothbrush).

>Go with her into the bathroom and brush your teeth at the same time she brushes hers. I noticed that my daughter would watch closely how I would brush my teeth and then model the behavior herself.

>Verbally praise her for brushing her teeth, and explain why it's important. In our daughter's case, her father is missing a tooth in the front of his mouth because he didn't get good dental care as a child (he grew up in a poor rural village of Indonesia). We were able to show her what happens when we don't take good care of our teeth through that example, as well as through the many fillings in my mouth (from eating too much sugar and not brushing well as a child).

>Visit a pediatric dentist. Our daughter was very impressed after her first visit to the pediatric dentist, and very encouraged to brush her teeth. She also got to hear the dentist tell us that if she didn't brush her teeth herself, that we should brush her teeth for her (that thought was really motivating for our daughter and could work for yours too).

>We also incorporated mouthwash into the teeth brushing ritual. That was a huge hit for our daughter. Start with a gentle flavor or a children's mouthwash if the standard Listerine is too strong for her.

>We also created a daily To Do chart of all the things she needed to do throughout the day (get ready for school, after school, bedtime ritual, etc.), and included three tooth brushings in it. For every day she completed all of the items, we gave her a reward (a dollar, stickers, extra 1/2 hour of TV time -- whatever was convenient and motivating for her on that particular day).

Good luck to you -- I hope some of the ideas you receive in JustAsk work out and your daughter becomes an avid tooth brusher.

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Well, one thing you can do is order a coloring book from the website below. You can also order posters too. Dental hygiene is related to so many other illnesses. If she flats out refuses to brush, then I would suggest you brush them for her and tell her there is no other alternative.

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
A ton of resources on the site listed below. Printouts and home education!

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Brazil
Brazil writes:
hay ellieka,


take her to the dentist and get the clean and tell her when she does not brush her teeth she would have to go.
> 60 days ago

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simmer
simmer writes:
Hi, as parents we often struggle to find ways to keep our children motivated to brush their teeth. So make toothbrushing appear as a fun activity as they are missing out on.I do the same for my kids, since they have got the toothbrushes of their own choice of Dr fresh fire fly company.They are very cool toothbrushes.
> 60 days ago

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simmer
simmer writes:
Tell your child that how important is brushing teeth everyday. For making her do brushing you have to make toothbrusing a fun activity for her, as she is missing out on something. Never force her.
> 60 days ago

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ppop
ppop writes:
Tell her if she doesn't, all her teeth will fall out. And she will look old. In a bad way.
> 60 days ago

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popprincess
popprincess writes:
Don't ever bribe your daughter into brushing her teeth, because soon that would turn into a habit.  Try brushing your teeth with her, or showing her kid videos such as Sesame Street, or Blues Clues on how to brush your teeth, and how it is good to.
> 60 days ago

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shon
shon writes:
Hi I just wanted to share my comments on your blog. Keep changing the toothbrush frequently to keep the child intrested in dental hygiene.
I have been using a blinking/musical toothbrush for my child,called Firefly.
It's great, I would reccommend for anybody having a hard time getting your child to brush his teeth. I think it's available at most drug and grocery stores.
> 60 days ago

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DSFitzgerald
DSFitzgerald writes:
So far making a game out of it has worked really well. Make a score sheet for brushing different parts of the mouth and assign higher values to problem areas that the dentist says are being missed.

Also there is a new brush coming out that uses sensors to tell where it is in the mouth. This information is then sent to a game on your smartphone that translates the brushes movements into commands in the game.

It effectively turns your mouth into the play space for the game.

Here is a link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/grush-the-gaming-toothbrush-for-kids

Hope that helps
> 60 days ago

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NAT13
NAT13 writes:
Hi
Had the same problem with my 3 yr old daughter.
Have downloaded this brushing time app and now she really enjoys brushing with my two older sons. Its funtime for them as they sing dance and brush along with the song!
The best part is they get stars everytime they finish brushing and they can shop with stars earned to dress their 'nurdle' as they like.

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