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Brushing Teeth

I overheard some parents chatting in the dentists office about how hard it is to get their young children to brush their teeth. They discussed a few ideas that included bribes and threats and alot of tears.

Thinking about all the things we need to teach our children, all the ways we mamage behavior. i thought, hmmm, there are just some things that are non-negotiable.

Personal hygiene is one of them because it is crucial to healthy life.

This what I would do if my child was fighting tooth brushing...

First I would sit down and talk to her when she is calm and there is no argument going on. I would explain to her why it is important to brush your teeth. How important our teeth are so we can eat, and speak and smile. That everyone in the family brushes their teeth, and it is her job to take good care of her teeth too.

Then I would tell her that I am not going to fight with her about it. “I am only going to ask once from now on. It doesn’t matter to me if you like to do it or not. My job as your mom is to teach you to keep your teeth healthy. So I am going to do my job. I will give you a five-minute warning, and then when I ask you to go brush, I will expect you to do that. If you do not, I will pick you up and take you into the bathroom and brush them myself.”

Later, when it is time for her to brush her teeth, I will give her the five-minute warning. When the five minutes are up I'll ask her to go brush her teeth. If she goes I will say, "Thanks for brushing your teeth and taking good care of them so we can eat yummy foods and stay string and healthy. What book would you like to read now?' If she does not go brush, I will pick her up, carry her to the bathroom and place her in front of the sink. I will ask her to please brush, if she still will not, I will place the toothbrush in her hand and brush her teeth with her to get the job done. Then I will thank her for helping me take good care of her teeth.

There are some topics where there just is no room for argument (i.e. you don’t touch the hot stove, you don’t bite people and you do brush your teeth)

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