Brusha Brusha Brusha

I need parenting advice.

Isabella refuses to cooperate when it comes time to brush her teeth. She loves to hold her toothbrush and suck the toothpaste off of it. She’ll go through the motions in her mouth, barely moving the bristles over her little chompers. But it’s not much more than that. And if I try to help, she screams, runs, wiggles and cries.

I read an article that said if your child needs a stool to see in the bathroom mirror, then they need your help brushing their teeth. *sigh* So I can’t just let her do it and call it good.

I’ve tried everything. Singing (belting out the “brusha” song from Grease), treats (if you let mommy help you, you can have an extra stuffed animal sleep with you!), threats (if you don’t cooperate I’ll take away your oobie!), teaching (look at mommy do it!), the gross factor (ooh look at those cookies in your teeth! Better get them out!), imitation (look at Elmo brush his teeth. Don’t you want to do that too?) and force (grabbing her and holding her still while I brush away). None of them have worked.

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It’s getting to the point where I dread bedtime because it means a fight. I’m afraid she’ll pick up on my negative feelings about it and start hating it too. CJ hasn’t had any better luck. My mom says she’s a little angel for her but I think that’s Grandma painting a rosey picture, as grandmas do.

I don’t want her to end up with bad teeth like me. Anything that can go wrong with a mouth, I’ve had. Braces 3 times. 3 root canals. Several pulled teeth and cavities. They even wanted to do that surgery on me where they break your jaw, realign and then wire it back shut for many weeks. I said no to that one.

I don’t want my daughter to go through all that too.

So, anyone have tips or advice for me? Anything that worked magic on your kid? Am I over-reacting?

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