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4.5 year old immensely stubborn and brushing teeth a nightmare - help please

4.5 year old immensely stubborn and brushing teeth a nightmare - help please

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Parentof2irish

4.5 year old immensely stubborn and brushing teeth a nightmare - help please

Hi all

My 4.5 year old.

Brushing teeth - she doesn’t say no but keeps adding different preconditions to it such as “let me ask Mommy something” and “let me finish talking, you’re not listening to me”. I try to let her do these tasks before brushing teeth but often they seem never ending, just a way to try to avoid brushing her teeth. She will then say how i can’t speed it up, only she can.

1. Is this normal?
2. Any advice offered?
3. I used to brush her teeth for her and let her watch cartoons while I do. Shall I revert back to this? Why not? Is her independently brushing her teeth at 5 or so really worth the heartache?

Thanks!
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Taylor-RO

Re: 4.5 year old immensely stubborn and brushing teeth a nightmare - help please

Hi @Parentof2irish,

Thanks for sharing your issue. It sounds really frustrating to have your toddler come up with different ways to avoid brushing her teeth. Please know that you aren't alone, this is a common struggle for parents.

Our forums are for parents of teenagers aged 12 - 24 who are facing mental health difficulties. As your child is young, we encourage you to seek support from your local doctor, especially if you are concerned about the development of your child. One strategy that might be helpful is challenging your child to brushing their teeth. For example, you could see how quickly they can brush their teeth and if they can cover all parts of their mouth. You could also try to link brushing teeth to other activities. For example, 'Let's brush our teeth before we _____' and insert another chore that they prefer doing to motivate them to get it done.

Please feel welcome to keep us updated!
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Nat82

Re: 4.5 year old immensely stubborn and brushing teeth a nightmare - help please

Hi… all I can say to you that my two step children doing same thing over dinner. They get down from table 5 times for different reasons (pee-pee, poo-pop, nose running, forgot something etc. lol) I guess totally same situation but I had to toughen up and end it. Go to bathroom before dinner or hold it (except poo of course) and constant warning to be quiet and keep eating, no more conversation starting. One of them seem to found out that “how was your day” works best to keep on talking and she never miss out on it anymore…  because toothbrushing IS important in their age as well. The little boy (8) has bad teeth, several, because hasn’t been attended by parents before I got into pic. Dentist said “there isn’t weak teeth, but there is bad toothbrushing” so just keep up the good work and you gotta say “no more of that!” to her! Remember: you are the boss