Brushing teeth

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    What is it about difficult children and brushing teeth? Tonight J refused absolutely to brush his teeth (he is never keen on it) - he has been coughing a lot and vomited a little with the coughing, said he felt sleepy (he doesn't have a temperature), so it was a kind of "special night" with him sitting in front of the fire and us not doing the usual routine; I think he was taking advantage of the specialness to push the not having to brush his teeth... Anyway, deciding to be a bit more conscious than just launching into all-out battle ("you WILL brush your teeth and I will make you!"), I attempted... not CPR but CPS. I established that the reason he didn't want to brush his teeth was because "it is long" (it takes a long time) and I explained - with him writhing about, not very interested - the reasons why I wanted to brush his teeth. He didn't have any solutions to offer so I came up with the compromise that he have chewing gum tonight and then tomorrow morning we will brush his teeth. This he accepted...
    This is such a battleground. Why? It takes a long time... is it an ADHD thing then?
    Not sure what to do about the coughing... if I take him to the doctor, they just say (probably rightly) that it is pointless giving antibiotics and it should just run its course. But the vomiting?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    1) sensory issues... makes dental hygene difficult. period. I still have hair-trigger gag reflex, and about once a week cannot complete a full tooth-brush cycle.
    2) motor skills issues (esp. fine ones) can make the task more difficult.
    3) fatigue... makes sensory and motor skills issues worse.
    4) Really, its harder than it looks... try something more fun... like a battery-operated "electric" toothbrush... they do a GOOD job, with way less "work" (still takes 2 minutes, but you just have to move the brush around to all sides of all teeth... no actual "brushing")

    I'd have done the face-cloth "brush" at least... on top of the gum thing.

    Try brushing "after supper" rather than "before bed", to cut back a bit on the fatigue effect.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    From my experience - chewing gum helps, but I have had many, many tooth problems and I would say... Don't let him have chewing gum in lieu of brushing teeth. For one night - won't hurt. But he may try to use that against you! LOL

    I loved dental floss. Maybe this would make it more fun? Can you get "kid flavored" (bubble gum, etc.) toothpaste there? A light-up or musical toothbrush? Anything to make it more fun. I would brush my teeth with Jett sometimes, dance around, make funny faces. It helped, some... I don't think it's the ADHD. I think he was trying to push your buttons - no, toothbrushing is NOT fun. But lemme tell ya - if he doesn't - OW! (I got to the point where I could call my dentist and say, "Hey Jane, it's Step, I have another abscess, can you have Dr. M call in amoxicillin 300 mg 30, 3xday for me, and next Friday can I come in?" and they'd do it, no questions asked. THAT BAD.

    Does J have allergies? Post nasal drip sometimes can make me vomit. Also a dog hair on the back of my tongue...
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks IC. Good practical suggestions as always. Yes, sensory issues... I have to say that J seems to be getting more sensitive to sensory input as he gets older. Food becoming more of an issue than it was, for example; I spent a long time on Sunday making lunch only to have him take one mouthful and start crying and refusing to swallow, saying he was going to be sick...
    The tooth brushing consists, I should point out, of him doing a token brush and then me doing it properly - he always protests and wants me to finish during the latter... Yes, I should renew the electric toothbrush; did have one and then it broke and I haven't renewed it. When the next pay cheque arrives :)
    Good ideas too, Step - thank you. I think it will appeal to J if I say "okay, because you don't like brushing teeth we are going to get you a special toothbrush, special toothpaste that you can choose". And the dental problems are of course my reason for wanting him to brush and I explained about painful fillings, etc, but it's all meaningless to him at this point.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ditto all of the above.
    difficult child brushed his teeth voluntarily the wk after Christmas last yr, because one of my sisters bought him an electric toothbrush. Then he backslid, and just this a.m., brushed his teeth on his own because ... he has a girlfriend. He's 14-3/4.
    Fingers crossed ...