Probably a month ago, we started to brush Emma's and Andrew's teeth. Lisa found these little toothbrushes and baby toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. Her idea was much better than my initial idea of putting Comet on a toilet bowl brush.
Initially, I thought the kids would hate having these bristles rubbing all over their mouths, but then I remembered two words: Farmer Dick. The kids LOVE putting things in their mouth! Silly me. Plus the toothpaste has a fruit punch taste so it's almost like having an additional dessert before bedtime.
The kids have their own way of dealing with the
teeth brushing. Andrew pretty much lets you have your way with his mouth (...damn you, Farmer Dick...). He doesn't fuss and just goes along for the ride. As for Emma, once you get the toothbrush in her mouth she purses her lips and starts sucking. I'm pretty sure she's trying to get all of the fruity toothpaste into her mouth. Either that or I'm going to be an awfully worried Papa when she goes out on her first date.
When the doctor first told us we needed to brush the kids' teeth twice a day, the first thing I thought of was, "What a waste of time." I mean these teeth are just going to fall out anyways. Why take the time to take care of them, right? Unfortunately I have this rather faulty reasoning with many other things regarding the kids: Why buy shoes when their feet are going to grow? Why buy them toys when they're going to get bored of them? Why look for the kids when they're going to get lost again?
And then the second thought I had was my own personal experience with the dentist. When I was a baby, my pediatrician told my mom not to worry about brushing my teeth. Sadly, I drank a lot of orange juice and the acid from the juice ate away at my enamel. By the time I was four or five, I had to have quite a bit of work done on my teeth. My pediatrician also told my mom not to worry about cleaning my ass, and by the time I was four or five, I had to...well...you can fill in the rest.
Back to my teeth, my mouth ended up being full of silver caps. Every time I smiled I looked like a poster boy for Reynolds Foil. My experience with the dentist was further worsened when he actually strapped me into the chair because I was moving around so much. I had a Nazi dentist. It was like a version of "Marathon Man" for PBS Kids.
After my childhood flashback ended, I got my senses together and realized it is important to teach the kids good dental hygiene. Although it can be a nuisance at times, they only have a few teeth and it takes hardly any time at all. And that is why after every breakfast and dinner, I strap the kids into their high chairs, play "Triumph of the Will" on DVD, and start brushing away at their teeth. Perhaps my early dentist experience still has a little too much influence on me...