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Old 12-24-2018, 08:57 PM
57 posts, read 20,245 times
Reputation: 91


Brushing teeth. You do it before bed, when you get up, or whenever you see fit to do it otherwise. When my son is home he brushes his teeth. It's part of our routine. When he goes to his moms, on the other hand, there is no concern for brushing among other things. It's like he goes there to occupy his older brother while mom is doing bbn other things. I know saying that is a stretch from her not seeing that he brushes, but it's a reflection of her parenting style otherwise to (she used to call me "a one man show" when we were together because i...parented!).

Anyway sorry for the rant but it's frustrating that theres nothing I can do to make sure he brushes his teeth while there. I dont want to **** her off. Even the most gentle "brush" on the topic and she will get defensive. So basically, it's impossible to get her "on track" with seeing that he brushes his teeth at least nightly. Hes 7 years old btw and goes to her every other weekend and all summer. He was going there ALL holidays for the first two years and that just ended thank goodness (that was granted because I "kept her away for 2.5 years-yeah right").

Shes responsible for half medical and dental that my insurance does not pay but, of course, never pays. So I get stuck with it all. Even the disappointed looks from the dental hygienist (as if I'm playing the blame game (I did do that once- deservedly so). Now I'm just looking like a lousy dad in that area i suppose after realizing "it is what it is" and that's a kid with bad teeth and I'm the parent.

Has anyone experienced this with their child and other parent?
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:05 PM
Location: planet earth
3,488 posts, read 1,233,254 times
Reputation: 7705
The only thing I can think of is that seven is "the age of reason," so your son should be able to dictate his own behavior for his own good on this subject.

I would outfit him with every kind of tooth brush/floss gear (in a shaving kit, maybe) and put a little chart in there and tell him that every time he brushes, you will reward him upon his return.

That's all I got.
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Old 12-25-2018, 12:59 AM
57 posts, read 20,245 times
Reputation: 91
Santa just delivered what you speak of! A timer tooth brush with lights and sound! Theres also some fancy tooth paste included. Accountability! "It's on him now." I'm going to go with that. "I will help you with the dentist bill THIS time son, but...." Seriously, you're right. He CAN step up with the "goods" and leave others to worry or not worry about their own teeth. Thank you.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:49 AM
Location: Minnesota
1,743 posts, read 654,543 times
Reputation: 3106
Find some me pictures on the internet of rotted out teeth and let him know, hey when you turn 18 look forward to a life time of spending thousands upon thousands per year to hold on to teeth. Then show him picture of dentures. Not everyone can afford the $30,000 for full month implants.

Also, besides proper brushing no more soda. That stuff really rots teeth. Eating a apple actually kind of cleans your teeth.
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Old 12-25-2018, 02:52 PM
3,588 posts, read 3,390,597 times
Reputation: 9209
It's always really difficult when you have a child who lives in two households with two sets of rules. And yes, he could wind up paying for his mother's neglect with bad teeth, pain, and expense for a lifetime of dental decay. Usually the answer is, different houses, different rules - such as no food in the living room, bedtime at 8 instead of 9, whatever. But in this case, it's neglect. No seven year old is going to take care of his teeth without adult supervision.

Missing out on brushing his teeth every other weekend will not ruin his teeth, especially if you have sealants put on his molars. But an entire summer of neglect will leave evidence. Run this by a custody lawyer first, to see if they think they can use this. Take him for a cleaning right before he goes to his mother for the summer. Have the hygienist document the good state of his teeth and gums, along with pictures. Do not remind him to brush his teeth at all while he is there over the summer. Don't bring up the topic at all. Make an appointment to take him back to the dental hygienist the minute you get him back, and have them document the (presumably) bad state of his gums, with gingivitis and plaque, have them take pictures, and then do a cleaning. You now have ammo to reduce the time he spends at his mother's in the summer.

Then file to take her back to court for her failure to pay her share of his medical and dental expenses, and for medical neglect over this, with a proposal that he visit her for one day every weekend, with no overnights, so that he can maintain a relationship with her and his half brother, without putting his dental hygiene at risk. The court will order her to pay you the medical and dental expenses she owes you. I doubt you will win on the change in visitation so that he never stays with her overnight again, but you WILL make her realize that she will eventually have her visitation limited if she continues to neglect him when he is there with her. At the very least, she may take better care of his teeth the next summer.

An alternative would be to give him a smartphone, and videocall with him every morning and evening, for you two to floss and brush together via videochat all summer. But I doubt that she would stand for that kind of intrusiveness during his time with her.

The reality of the situation is that you're going to have trouble coparenting with his mother for the next 11 years and even afterwards.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
5,175 posts, read 4,969,407 times
Reputation: 12052
This is a huge case of pick your battles. OP, you must have a good deal of time and energy, and your kid must be good and compliant. There are so many more pressing issues that many have to deal with that tooth brushing hardly registers.

Not that I think it's a good thing but let it go. Have the kid brush at your place and concentrate on making him/her a good person.

There are many people with much bigger issues so take this as it is - you are lucky to have such a little deal with your kid.

Best of luck.
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Old Yesterday, 09:12 AM
5,020 posts, read 4,766,115 times
Reputation: 9334
Crest toothpaste and hard-bristle toothbrushes are the reasons why my mouth is full of gold, porcelain, and other metal and polymers. Our dentist told my parents that we should use Crest and hard-bristle toothbrushes, and you'd have thought that those instructions had been inscribed on a stone tablet and delivered by Moses. I really HATED the taste of Crest, and the hard brush hurt. My father would try to convince me that the Crest tasted good, and that if the brush hurt, I should brush harder. Of course, that strategy failed, and later, dentists said that the brand of toothpaste didn't matter, as long as it contained fluoride, and that a soft-bristle toothbrush was recommended. Too late for me.
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Old Yesterday, 06:23 PM
15,460 posts, read 17,110,724 times
Reputation: 15160
My autistic grandson brushes, but not well. However, he likes the water pic and uses that and his dentist says that is even better than brushing. He calls it his water brush and he really likes it.
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Old Today, 06:52 PM
6,459 posts, read 9,634,138 times
Reputation: 10784
Nana053 has a good idea... send him with a water pik, or electric/battery toothbrush. He might like using a "gadget" to brush.
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Old Today, 06:57 PM
Location: Minnesota
1,743 posts, read 654,543 times
Reputation: 3106
FYI, the best electric toothbrush is the Oral B, with the round head that rotates, IMO. The ultrasonic ones kids don't like so much, they work really well but the vibration bothers some kids. The crest electric ones the bristles are too hard and are too tough on gums, the up and down motion doesn't work so well.
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