Pre-School and Daycare

My DD is terrified of rinsing after brushing

This is ridiculous that she is almost 4 and she is terrified.  She did it at the dentist fine, but at home she sobs and cries.  The toothpaste is safe enough that she doesn't spit it out, but I am at wit's end.

If either of us even mention that she needs to rinse, her eyes well up and she is obviously panicking and freaked out.  My husband tries to get her happy by joking around and letting water dribble out of his mouth onto his shirt, and she laughs, but she won't try.  I've also had my aunt try to get her to do it, but DD just starts crying and you can be in the bathroom for an hour trying to convince her, but she is basically a sobbing mess.

So ridiculous.. I can only hope it passes like the phase where she was terrified of bubbles in the bath!  BTW she is generally very outgoing, not shy or scared of stuff, she goes on scary rides at the amusement park and is one of the bolder kids in her class, so I have no idea how to handle this.

Re: My DD is terrified of rinsing after brushing

  • The only thing I can think of doing is asking her why she's scared. I mean, she'll probably cry but you really do need to get it resolved. The only person who can tell you why is your daughter. When Cayden was scared of the potty we would have to bribe him with an M&M. Sometimes it works to just bribe the to get them to do it. Once they do it they can get over the fear of doing it. If you don't want to use M&Ms you can use a chart and once she gets X amount of stickers she can pick something out of the prize chest. I don't do this with Cayden anymore, but my sister does it with her kids and she keeps it supplied with "breakable" erasers and other small things from FiveBelow.
  • will she just spit out without water? if so - then i wouldn't worry about it... Griffin spits out most of the toothpaste long before rinsing.

    have you tried ACT mouthwash? Griffin does really well with it - tastes like bubble gum... he swishes and gargles and spits it out... maybe the color/flavor of it will make it OK for her?


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  • If I were in your shoes, I would SO not worry about rinsing and spitting for a month or two.  I know this is a preschool board, but all kids below 4 are pretty much capable of sliding back into that quirky toddler mentality from time to time.  Who knows why kids this age get wigged out by weird stuff like this?  

    Just use a teeny smear of toothpaste.  Really, for a kid this age, the bristles are doing more of the work than the toothpaste.

    In a few months, like the anxiety over the bubbles in the bath, she'll forget this was ever a problem. Then you can reintroduce how to spit and go from there.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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