Monday, September 22, 2008

Need Advice, PLEASE!

Houston, we have a problem.

Mitchell refuses to brush his teeth.

Not getting dressed on Saturday - fine, as long as we're not going anywhere. Wearing your Batman cape to The Shops at La Cantera to buy new shoes - great, you're unique. Telling everyone you're 25 - fabulous, I look fantastic for being ... uh, older.

But, NOT BRUSHING YOUR TEETH?! That is just disgusting.

I've tried every tactic I can find on the Internet and concoct in my tiny little head.

I've let him pick out the toothbrush and the toothpaste. We have a timer and a song. Occasionally we even brush our teeth outside, spit into the toilet or spit into my bathtub. We have a special cup for rinsing and a special towel for wiping. We've played "Simon Says" and been attacked by the tooth brush monster. We've looked at photos of decaying teeth on the Internet and talked about how we need to keep our teeth healthy so we can eat hot dogs and chocolate.

Today, after sitting in the bathroom with him for 7 minutes, 38 seconds, I pulled a new one out of my you-know-what (actually, I read it online this morning): I told Mitchell it was his choice but he should know that none of his friends like stinky breath or slimy teeth.

His reply? "We'll follow your rules tomorrow, Mommy. I'll brush my teeth then."

Part of me wanted to deny him kisses today because of his stinky breath, but I don't want to create a complex. (And, his breath doesn't stink ... yet.)

So, ye wise bloggers and lurkers, please let me know what's worked for you, for I'm at my breaking point - and I don't want my poor son's beautiful smile to turn brown and fall out.


jenboglass said...

Hmm. I don't know how old your son is (and I'm assuming it's your son and not a husband or boyfriend). Because if it isn't your son, then your problem are completely different. Have you tried just brushing for him? That's the other option I give my son. I've only had to follow through once on the me brushing his teeth for him. He now handles it himself. What about rewards? Is he motivated that way?

The Stiletto Mom said...

I'm with Jen. My dentist told me not to let them brush their own teeth until they were 5 or 6 and then make it a reward. "Congrats, you are so big and smart you can remove the plaque from your own teeth! YAY YOU!!"
That didn't work to terribly well at first and I had to go back in for a second round...but it was a good start.

tierd said...

We're lucky that Lainey lets us brush her teeth (Graham is another story, but he's still so little that we hold him down to do it).

She has a "spinning" brush that she thinks is really cool - I brush all of her teeth then it's her turn. Mitchell sounds like he's having a control issue, which is something we have with Lainey on just about everything else.

Maybe try a sticker chart - put it up in the bathroom and he can put a sticker on each number for each day and night he lets you brush ... then after like 7 days he can pick a place to go eat or a toy? Lainey really loves sticker charts that I make in Word using clip art. Right now we use one for getting dressed each morning.

Or just not moving on to the next part of the day until he does lets you do it. We've had some huge standoffs at our house (regarding handwashing, for example) and I've found that if I stand my ground and don't let her leave the room until she does what she needs to do, she does it the next time with no fuss, esp. if I remind her that it's "no biggie" and not worth crying and throwing a fit over like last time

GOOD LUCK ... three year olds are tough!