Monday, February 9, 2009

Foaming at the Mouth

We have a 12th tooth. Top right, in front of the molar.

With this tooth, Grace now has almost all of her right teeth, and none on the left. It is kind of funny. Luckily, the general public cannot see the imbalance because I am sure that it is just one more thing that every senior citizen at the grocery store would want to talk to me about.

The arrival of the dozenth has been much more pleasant than it’s younger sister, #11, but with 12 we have instituted a whole new routine that isn’t going very well yet.

Tooth brushing.

It’s not problematic because Gracie is fighting it. Oh no. Just the opposite. She L-O-V-E-S it. To the point of not wanting to give up the toothbrush. Ever.

Grace has always been fascinated with tooth brushing. Even at weeks old, she was always fixated on the motion of Matt brushing his teeth. Whenever she is around, he bends over to show her how to make the little circles.

I know we should have been brushing her from birth. Everything you read says to use a little finger nub to brush and massage gums.

Are you kidding me? Really? Really?? Like I don’t have enough going on, I’m going to worry about brushing her gums??

Pediatric dentists say you should bring your kid in by the time their 1 for their first assessment. Normal people say 3. The normal people also have been saying though that you should be brushing baby teeth as soon as they come in.

OK, so we’re a little behind the eight ball on this one too, but give me a break. Better late than never, right?

For all the things and topics that people love to give advice to on, how come I have never heard one peep about tooth brushing?

This battle, our battle, is Gracie’s desire to brush her teeth until the end of time.

I putt a little dab of mixed berry flavored fluoride-free toddler toothpaste on her miniature brush and it begins.

- She smiles and lets me make little circles for about 3 seconds.
- Then she grabs the brush, sucks the toothpaste off and hands it back to me.
- I try and brush the back molars.
- She grabs the brush again and tries to make back and forth brushing motions while chomping on the bristles.
- I get the brush again and try for the other side.
- Grace takes control once more and dips the brush into the tub, picking up some bubbles on the way, and stuffs the brush back into her mouth.
- I am handed the brush and she smiles so I can make little circles on her front teeth for 3 more seconds.

And it goes like this for 15 minutes, or until the pry the brush out of her hand – wherein she realizes that I am taking her beloved toothbrush away and starts screaming – so I then try to distract her with the big, noisy Winnie-the-Pooh bubble blower that is stuck to the side of the tub.

It’s exhausting. It’s only been a week, but something has to change. I cannot do tub battle every night.

Maybe if I find a cute egg timer we can set up a system where she knows that she brushes for 5 minutes and then it is over. Hmmm. That might work. It also might come in handy for when she starts to decide that she DOESN’T want to brush her teeth anymore too.

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