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14 year old son refuses to brush teeth - why?

(40 Posts)
bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 08:15:44

Sorry if this seems a little trivial, but I have just had yet another stressful morning as DS refuses to brush his teeth.

It's the same everyday. He'll say goodbye and his breath smells. I'll ask if he has brushed his teeth and he'll say yes, but he's lying!

I will even check his toothbrush and it's dry as a bone. I will literally have to give him a good old telling off in order to get him to do it. I've tried asking him why he does this, but he just grunts and slopes off.

Wtaf??! This happens every single day. I work from home and by the time he leaves, I'm thoroughly stressed out, and he probably is too.

Is it a rebellion thing? Laziness (he has a swanky electric toothbrush) or that he just doesn't like it?

It's bloody emabarrassing, as he had to have fillings because of this last time we saw the dentist. She gave him a right telling off and looked at me like hmm.

Does anyone have this problem?

Sorry for being a bit ranty, but I seriously dread the mornings!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 12-Jun-13 08:20:31

I guess he can't be bothered and has better things to do.

Try sitting down with him and googling tooth decay images, that might kick start him.

Good luck.

starfishmummy Wed 12-Jun-13 08:21:50

Because he's 14 and he can......

bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 08:25:11

Thanks Life, I haven't tried the google images, so that might give him a jolt.

DP and I have tried talking about how he doesn't want to be known as the person with stinky breath a school! We have also tried explaining that rotten teeth look completely minging and unnatractive. Also, once he is working, dental bills could end up costing him a small fortune.

He needs to see the orthadontist at the end of the month. It's likely that he will need to have teeth removed and a brace fitted. The dentist explained that he will have real problems once the brace is fitted, if he doesn't start brushing his teeth properly.

bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 08:27:09

starfish, that probably sums it up. Is this a common teenage boy thing? I vaguely remember my DM giving my DB a massive bollocking once, because she found out he had cleaned his teeth twice in 3 months.

TrinityRhino Wed 12-Jun-13 08:32:19

just a thought but I struggle to brush my teeth some days as it makes me retch sometimes and that makes me panic.

or he could just be being rebellious or lazy smile

Bonsoir Wed 12-Jun-13 08:34:18

Withold meals unless he is clean

TanteRose Wed 12-Jun-13 08:38:15

my 14 year old DS is the same - although he does give them a cursory brush at night.

They are yellow shock <grim>

I can't make him do it, so he will have to live with whatever the consequences

its minging, and its one reason why I am not getting him braces (he does need them) - if he agrees to see the orthodontist before he is 18, I will pay, if not, then he can pay for any teeth-straightening that needs doing when he is an adult.

choose your battles...

mrssprout Wed 12-Jun-13 08:38:38

My DD is younger but needs a palate expander then braces & the orthodontist said she wouldn't start treatment until DD was brushing properly as it was harder with a mouth full of metal.
Is he interested in girls ? Have you suggested girls don't like stinky breath & slimy teeth ?

bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 08:39:15

Interesting point Trinity, although I personally think that the two minutes it takes to brush his teeth is too much of a bother for him. I also thik he enjoys getting a rise out of me.

What can I do though? I can't just let it go, especially not now he will have to have braces.

Bonsoir, he already refuses to have breakfast most days. So, witholding that would be an empty threat. In fact, I have given up on that particular morning argument topic.

Teenagers, delightful aren't they? wink

TanteRose Wed 12-Jun-13 08:39:16

Bonsoir shock

you are HARDCORE grin

<makes notes...>

Bonsoir Wed 12-Jun-13 08:40:11

It works with (greedy) DSS2!

TanteRose Wed 12-Jun-13 08:40:13

"I also thik he enjoys getting a rise out of me"

^^ this


bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 08:41:08

No, DS is not interested in girls! He recently came out as being gay!

TheFallenNinja Wed 12-Jun-13 09:52:54

I'm pretty sure that gay guys prefer minty fresh breath.

gamerchick Wed 12-Jun-13 09:57:52

It's just pure laziness I think and not really that high up on their list of priorities. I have to stand over my 13 yr old while he does them so not sure of an answer to that particular dilemma.

WhyMeWhyNot Wed 12-Jun-13 10:00:31

One of mine was like this for about 3 years. They looked awful. It all changed one day and personal care took over. Couldn't get him out the bathroom. It'll pass when someone catches his eye in the love dept I'm sure !

FernieB Wed 12-Jun-13 10:27:25

You can get disclosing tablets from Boots which will stain the plaque on his teeth blue. You could try getting him to chew one and then he can see how much gunk is on there. He'll have to brush them really well to get rid of the blue as well.

Alternatively, remove all electronic devices until teeth are clean and keep removing them when he fails to clean them. This is my standby for my kids and even the threat of it works wonders now (after one of my DD's was without anything electronic for 2 days, they know I mean it).

Don't get cross, they do seem to enjoy winding up their parents, so I try never to get cross (at least in front of them), although I do fail miserably at times. My DH has installed a punchbag in the garage for him to use for exercise - I think I use it more now my DD's are older!

differentnameforthis Wed 12-Jun-13 10:49:32

The dentist explained that he will have real problems once the brace is fitted, if he doesn't start brushing his teeth properly

No self respecting orthodontist will fit a brace if he isn't cleaning his teeth. If he starts to clean his teeth just to get the brace fitted, but then tails off, I have known orthodontists to remove braces due to teeth not being clean!

What is the point in having nice straight teeth, when they all have holes in them?

Tell him that bacteria around his mouth is likely to eat into his gums & cause recession, therefore he will lose his teeth prematurely. Therefore needing dentures. No self respecting dentist would fit him with implants & he won't have any bone to hold any in, in any case.

Girls/boys (whatever he is in to) won't kiss someone/be interested in someone with bad breath.

High levels of plaque in the mouth can cause other medical conditions.

Plaque eventually hardens into calculus & can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist.

decay, once under the enamel spreads very quickly, therefore he could be in bad pain before he even notices that he has holes in his teeth!

Does he go out without showering/using deodorant? Because it is pretty much the same thing. Except eventually he WILL lose his teeth.

Google dental decay

(Qualified dental nurse, worked in orthodontics - just so you know I come at this from experience)

bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 15:55:34

Thanks for your input everyone.

I've just had a word with DS. He wasn't impressed when I showed him Google Images results for tooth decay.

I shall persevere though.

differentname, I told him what you said!

MuchBrighterNow Wed 12-Jun-13 16:51:16

My ds are just the same ... I keep little inter dental brushes in the car and when my Ds' are captive being driven somewhere, I hand them out and they sit their cleaning their teeth.

I tried the plaque capsules but annoyingly the worst brusher had the best results confused

Turniptwirl Wed 12-Jun-13 16:59:27

I was like this as a young teenager actually, even with braces (the removable retainer type) and I believe my sister had s similar phase. Under my brace was truest minging at times!

All I can say is he should grow out of it, hopefully before any long lasting damage is done.

Maybe drop it for a while, sometimes teenagers will resist more strongly just because its a none if contention with mum, when mum stops nagging they decide to do it all on their own.

As we get older we get used to the idea that we have to do more and more boring, seemingly pointless things just because we have to do them. Teeth cleaning is one of them!

Turniptwirl Wed 12-Jun-13 17:00:18

Ps. I do now brush my teeth properly! And neither me or my sister has any fillings

bettycocker Wed 12-Jun-13 18:15:58

MuchBrighter, I'm glad it's not just me then. Funny that the worst brusher would have the cleanest teeth. Maybe they are super efficient? grin

Turniptwirl, arrgh, did you have brace cheese? shock You could well be right about dropping it for a while. DS and I seem to be butting heads a lot right now. I know it's the way it goes sometimes with teenagers, but he's a good lad and it's nice to actually connect to each other as people. Everything is a blooming battle at the moment.

Turniptwirl Wed 12-Jun-13 20:41:36

I don't even know what I got stuck under there sometimes! I remember bagels in particular for some reason! I grew out of into a normal, tooth brushing adult and I'm sure your ds will too!

Maybe one of his mates will start hinting that he needs breath freshening mints or something ;)

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