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Monday, February 15, 2010

Saving up for therapy.

When Anna was a teeny infant, just months old, she exhibited numerous signs that teeth were about to pop up any day.  She drooled buckets, she was cranky at times, even her pediatrician said she could tell some teeth were going to pop through at any time.  Dang, I thought I had a prodigy on my hands.  Teeth at 3 months?  Who would've thunk it? 

Month three came.  No teeth.

Month four came.  No teeth.

Month five came.  No teeth.

Month six came.  No teeth.

You get my point.  My child looked like this guy:



Finally, around 1 year (I can't remember when, and since I'm so fabulous, I don't have it written down anywhere), I noticed a little white shard of something coming from her gums.  Was it a tooth?  Was there hope for my child?

It WAS a tooth.  In fact, two or three teeth came in at once.  This was lots of fun for me AND her crib. 

Ok, we have teeth.  Now what?  Brush them?  Great.  Brushing the teeth of a toddler - I'd rather eat a hot glue gun stick than brush the teeth of a screaming, wiggling ball of terror.

My mother-in-law gave Anna her first tooth brush, so I dove in and started teaching my child about dental hygiene.  It all started out wonderfully.  I made up a cute song.  Well, I just sang the words, "Brush, brush, brush."  Talk about creative.  She enjoyed taking control of the toothbrush and brushing her own teeth.  This made me happy since my attempts at it made her gag a little. 

Then I did the unthinkable - I switched toothpaste flavors.

That was all she wrote.

From that moment on, my child hated having her teeth brushed.  I even bought her the same flavor she had the first go 'round, but it didn't matter, the damage had been done.  My child's mouth had been tainted with the flavor of bubble gum - a flavor that, for reasons unknown to me, she found repulsive.  All toothpaste flavors now trigger those foul memories.  My child suffers from PTTSD - post tramautic toothpaste stress disorder.  There is no cure. 

I don't want to have a 5 year old with meth mouth, so what's a mom to do?  I have now resorted to holding her down while I brush her teeth.  Methinks this is probably doing some long-term mental damage that will one day need to be remedied by therapy.  This is why I've started putting $20 a paycheck into a mental health fund for Anna's therapy. (Just kidding - the $20 a paycheck is going to MY mental health fund.)

I would appreciate any suggestions you may have to help remedy this situation.  I've used a regular toddler toothbrush as well as the one that I put on my finger.  She hates both equally.  She's an equal opportunity toothbrush hater. 

HELP!

10 comments:

The Martha Complex said...

Not sure if they still have them, but I remember my daughter had a toothbrush that played music while you brush. Can't remember exactly, but I want to say the music got louder the harder they brushed?

HG said...

Avery didn't get teeth until after a year either.
She also hated brushing her teeth... until I did it while she was in the bathtub. Now, at night, I just brush her teeth right before she gets out. Location Location Location I guess?
Other than that, I'm out. Hope something works soon!

Victoria said...

LOL I'm in the same boat so I'm glad you asked this!

Leslie said...

I always brush my daughters teeth in the bath tub while she's laying down (when the water is too shallow to go in her ears.) She doesn't fight this way. My pedi said letting her chew on it would work as well if she really resisted but I haven't had to use that alternative yet. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I brush DS teeth in the tub...he loves it. I also have a banana shaped toothbrush that is rubbery (not like a normal toothbrush) and he can chew on it. They sell it at BRU. You might even want to give her the tooth brush and let her 'try'. We do "mommy first and then you." I think that helps a lot as well. Good luck

Anonymous said...

i don't use toothpaste, no resistance...but am i missing the boat on the toothpaste? love the meth mouth comment.
-Amanda F

GAMZu said...

Try without toothpaste. I heard that you shouldn't use toothpaste until the child is able to spit it out anyway, so we don't use it for babies. Maybe if there is no taste whatsoever she will be more accepting? What about taking a short break and not brushing for a week. Would that help her calm down?

One Pork Chop said...

I guess I should clarify that it's not adult toothpaste - it's the toddler gel stuff that is safe for babies. :)

The Tucker Family said...

LOVE your blog! I am now a "follower" 

I own a blog/design/scrapbooking/photography/WAHM forum I'd love you to join called My Great Retreat (link is below). Can't wait to keep in touch!

Meghan
http://tuckerstaketennessee.blogspot.com
www.mygreatretreat.com
http://mygreatretreat.blogspot.com

Mrs E said...

I don't know if I have any helpful tips...Connor just watches us and wants to do it... although, when I try to do it he freaks... I know he's not really cleaning all too well, but he's gotta be hitting at least one tooth per brush, right?

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