Friday, August 03, 2007

Wish she had a flip-top head

Turns out that brushing a two-year-old's teeth is yet another adventure in the live-action themepark called Parenthood.

We decided that last night was The Night To Start Brushing Zozo's Teeth. Don't know why that particular night, really, just did. Heck, she still doesn't even have all her teeth yet (she only has 10), but we figured what the heck, let's start takin' care of the few she's got.

She did very well, having closely watched Mommy and Daddy brush their own teeth for quite some time now. She is always mesmerized by what we're doing, and got huge thrills out of holding Mommy's toothbrush (she must be easily amused).

I'm a big tooth person. That is not to say I have large teeth, just that I consider teeth a pretty big deal. I take very good care of my own, brushing twice a day every day, and flossing probably more than the average person. I have only two fillings (I'm very proud of that), and whenever I go to the dentist for a cleaning I'm never there long as there isn't much build-up to clean off. That's fine by me, because who really wants to spend hours at the dentist? You could say I'm the poster child for good oral hygiene.

My parents shelled out a gob of money when I was in junior high to have my teeth straightened when there was plenty else on which they could have spent their hard-earned cash, so I still wear my retainers every night. My orthodontist told me that I'd have to wear them every night for the rest of my life to keep my teeth straight, so given how much money it took to get them straight and the fact that I couldn't consume caramel for 18 months while wearing braces, I've decided that I'd rather wear the retainers than go through that again. I can count on one hand the number of times I've skipped wearing my retainer since I got my braces off twenty years ago, because I remember that the last time I did, it hurt to put the damn things in the next night. My teeth had shifted that much in just one night.

Given all this, I figured last night it was high time to start my daughter on the same path to being OCD about her teeth. We got out her baby toothbrush and her baby toothpaste and prepared to start. M's question was, "How do we teach her to spit?" Yeah, not so much with the teaching her to spit yet, as it would be far harder to then teach her when not to spit. After reassuring him that her toothpaste is indeed made to be swallowed, we began.

It's rather hard to brush someone's teeth when all she wants to do is chew on the toothbrush.

Actually, she did really well given that she had no real clue what was going on. M was cracking up next to me, which made it hard for me to keep a straight face, which made it hard for Zozo to not laugh. Finally, I said, "Okay! Daddy's going to try now!" I think trying himself made him laugh even harder.

All in all I'd consider it a success, and we'll now add brushing Zozo's teeny tiny pearly whites to our bedtime routine.


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