difficult child (15) not brushing his teeth

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MICHL, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    Prior to a month ago, difficult child was brushing his teeth most nights (not well), but now it's like he doesn't even bother. It doesn't matter how much we remind him, he will lie and say he did it. I take him in every 4 months for a cleaning, and i imagine that will change to 3 months soon. Looking to the future, i see many problems due to his negligence, and i'll be darned if I'll be shelling out thousands of dollars for root canals, etc, etc... In the past i paid for two years of ortho expanders to fix his underbite & cross-bite, however, due to his "mouth breathing" his underbite is back completely. I can't do braces due to his not brushing or caring. I will be telling the dentist "pull it!" in the future if they even think about telling me he needs a root canal or $$ whatever!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lack of interest in hygiene can be one of the consequences of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. My son is the same way only it's hello just getting him into the shower. Sometimes he is very ripe, but he doesn't care and nobody makes fun of him, at least not to his face. Sometimes Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids just don't care about social norms or what other people think.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    As a recipient of at least tens of thousands of dollars of dental work (root canals, bridges, surgery, crowns...) I can say this:

    Tell him what the consequences will be if his teeth go bad.
    #1 Girls will be disgusted by his mouth. Not to mention his breath. I do not know a single person who LIKES bad oral hygiene.
    #2 PAIN. There is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that will make you strung out like a toothache. Especially an abscessed front tooth. And then when he smiles and it oozes blood and pus - ugh, ugh, ugh.
    #3 Medication. Antibiotics all the time. It got to the point for me I could call my dentist and tell the office manager, "Hi, it's Step, tell G I need more amox" and they'd call it in for me. Many times it will make you sick to your stomach, too.
    #4 Pulled teeth. I agree, don't pay for the major work if he's not caring for his teeth. "Redneck gaps" are pretty unbecoming.

    BUT... Please, please, find out WHY he is not brushing. Instead of reminding - let it go for 2-3 days - then ASK him... Is there a reason you're not brushing? (I lied to my parents - because it HURT to brush.) If he's in pain due to mild gingivitis or a sensitivity, try Sensodyne or other toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Seriously.

    If it's just a control issue - his problem. Your annoyance, but not your problem. And - I go every 6 months for a cleaning... Don't make it more often without reason. Not brushing is not really a reason till he hits the PAIN.
  4. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    I will ask him about pain today... however, i don't think that's it, as he usually is pretty good about telling me about any type of pain. Also he will go for 2-3 weeks with no shower and it's very hard to get him to actually take one.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    MICHL, same here. And telling him the consequences didn't work. He says 1/"I don't ever want a girlfriend. They're too much trouble." 2/He doesn't think beyond today so talking about the future is a lost cause.
  6. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Toothbrushing with my difficult child who is 10 has ALWAYS been a problem.... He constantly has to be reminded and still doesn't always brush. We have changed brushes, toothpaste, etc.... He goes every 6 mos for a check up and has NEVER had a cavity ????? I have noticied he is not having to be reminded to take a shower anymore and is using deodorant and cologne and even is cleaning his ears and clipping his nails but will not brush consistently. You can be as clean as a whistle but if you have rotten teeth and bad breath it doesn't matter. I wish I had some good advice but sadly, we have the same problem.
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My 16 year old came late to hygiene. He now showers every day and actually came back for his deodorant earlier as he is spending the night at a friend's house for a birthday party. However, I can't get him to brush his teeth unless he does it without letting me know, which given his gfgness would not surprise me. Nonetheless, he has never had a cavity and doesn't even need braces. My easy child daughter on the other hand, brushes, flosses, uses the rinses, etc. and always has cavities, etc. A lot of dental stuff is genetic.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had good teeth as a kid but needed braces. I took very good care of them until I became an adult and lost dental insurance and then my depression issues kicked in, medications kicked in, life kicked in...I got lazy. My teeth went to hell. Now I have awful teeth.

    I tried desperately to get the boys to keep their teeth up well. Cory worries about his and works hard to keep them nice. He is pretty much a clean freak unless he is just hanging out. He always wants to be dressed just right, hair just right, etc. Jamie is sloppy off work. He is embarrassed about his teeth because his front teeth have these brownish stains on them from floride in the water I made his bottles with. It was beach water and they put too much floride in it. Caused these light brown stains on the adult teeth. Add to the fact he has a slight overbite it makes it a bit pronounced. His boss actually said something to him about it not long ago! I thought that was crass unless they are willing to pay for veneers. He has tried whitening tooth paste and it doesnt work.