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.
2 hours ago