Staying up all night and remembering retainer


Katie Robles
 

My 11 and 13 year old daughters like to stay up late together.  However my 13 year old has consistently been forgetting to put her retainer in before heading to bed.  I usually get them a snack, give her before bed medication and ask them to brush their teeth before I head to bed around 11pm (the younger kids wake up early no matter when they go to bed).  The 11 and 13 year olds sometimes want to eat later and so they don't want to brush their teeth but then forget after I'm already asleep.  I need help with ideas, especially to help my husband, as he's concerned about how much we spend on dental work and orthodontics. 


Annie
 

I know for teens and tweens it's very easy to get caught up in what they are doing and then just head to bed once they are tired without remembering to do the routine things like brush teeth. At this point those things are not a priority for them. If they are important to you, find ways for it to be easy for them to remember to do it. You could put her retainer on her pillow, for example, so when she goes to bed she sees it, and remember to clean her teeth and put it in. Some kids like a checklist or things to do, or there might be others ways you can set up a reminder before you head to bed. Chat to them about what would work for them, and try some things. Over time they might develop their own routine to get all those 'before bed' things done - my younger two, who like to stay up much later than me, are now very structured in the way they clean their teeth, brush their hair, do a few other things before they go to bed, no matter what time it is. I used to help set them up for getting everything done, and now they are able to, and want to, do it themselves and have found what worked for them.


Sandra Dodd
 

Don't pressure her to the point of shame and resentment.

You could suggest might be her wearing the retainer while she's up late playing.  You could ask her sister to remind her (but don't make it "her job."  

Maybe put a sticky note here or there with "retainer" on it, and move it from day to day, for fun.

 

BUT REMEMBER, if you bug her so much that it harms the relationship between you, you will lose more than if her teeth are a little less straight than they might have been.  The money has already been spent, on that orthodontia.  Help her a bit, but don't see yourself as a dental technician whose job it is to MAKE her do what her parents paid for.  

 

Priorities!  Relationship.  Learning.  Peace.  

Be sweet, and that's better.

 

Sandra
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(This doesn't look like Sandra Dodd's e-mail, but it is one.)


Katie Robles
 

We're still giving some of Annie's suggestions a try. 

I am usually the one doing the reminding because my husband is sleeping at that point, however my husband is feeling very concerned.  We've already had to replace one retainer because it broke when she had forgotten it was sitting out, and my 11 year old has extra dentist appointments for gum disease that isn't covered by insurance, so he's feeling like brushing when we ask should just happen. 

I don't know how to balance the different relationships (me and husband, daughters and me, daughters and husband) as well as I could in this situation.


Sandra Dodd
 

Retainers and teeth don't know whether a kid is unschooling or not.  A young friend of ours went out to eat, when my kids were in the 12-yr-old range, and she threw her retainer out, at KFC.  She had put it on the tray.

We went through a bunch of trash and found it, as I recall, but what if we couldn't have?  Those things DO happen; it's not because of unschooling.

-=-We're still giving some of Annie's suggestions a try. -=-

Instead of going down a list and trying things one at a time, read more about unschooling so that you understand the principles we're talking about and you can apply them to all kinds of situations. 

Here are some things Joyce Fetteroll saved, from discussions about teeth, and unschooling:

https://www.joyfullyrejoycing.com/cleaner-teeth

They're not suggestions to try; they are ideas to absorb.

On my site, some, too: 

https://sandradodd.com/dentist

Sandra


On Tue, May 11, 2021 at 10:27 PM Katie Robles <paigekitten@...> wrote:
We're still giving some of Annie's suggestions a try. 

I am usually the one doing the reminding because my husband is sleeping at that point, however my husband is feeling very concerned.  We've already had to replace one retainer because it broke when she had forgotten it was sitting out, and my 11 year old has extra dentist appointments for gum disease that isn't covered by insurance, so he's feeling like brushing when we ask should just happen. 

I don't know how to balance the different relationships (me and husband, daughters and me, daughters and husband) as well as I could in this situation.


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(This doesn't look like Sandra Dodd's e-mail, but it is one.)