There was once a time when getting Babe to clean her teeth was no hassle. When other mums talked about their struggles in this area I was silently smug. But someone, something knew…smug little cow, we’ll sort that one out. And sorted it is. Every blooming morning and evening Babe and I have this battle of the wills over whether or not her teeth will get cleaned. If any aspiring Nobel prize peace winners want some training, they can drop round mine to work on the toddler teeth cleaning negotiations.
To make my life easier, we haven’t yet fully advanced to full proper cleaning. I’m talking about the sink based, scrub and spit. Instead I settle for scrub on the go and swallow. I only put a tiny bit of toddler toothpaste on the brush so I don’t think it does her any harm. But recently I’ve been struggling with this. My little madam will scrub anything but her teeth with the brush. Our nice Mountain Buggy looks pretty gross at the moment, with white scrub marks all over the bumper bar. In fact anything gets it, furniture, carpets, walls and even the toilet seat ewwwww!
I do the consequences thing mostly
Ie we’re not going out until you’ve cleaned your teeth. This has stopped working, as she knows I’ll go insane unless we go out. And sometimes replies with “I stay home with mummy”. Noooo I need a rest, I need to get out! At night-time I explain that she won’t get her Num Nums (bedtime mummy milk) unless she cleans her teeth. OK so she’s happy to wait until I’m exhausted, dying for her to go to sleep and ready to beg her to have Num Nums. Sod the teeth, I want sleep!
Then there is the strategy which involves telling her that other kids will think she is smelly unless she cleans her teeth. I feel kind of bad about this approach. It’s not a good practice and it’s not something I want to get in the habit of doing. But if you have stinky breath it is true. Anyway that worked a couple of times, but now she has realised the other kids don’t actually give a damn if her breath stinks of garlic, as long as she doesn’t honk of poo they just don’t care.
Last week I did adapt the strategy slightly and introduced the big girl teeth cleaning process (scrub and spit). This worked perfectly first time around, but now all she wants to do is spit, with no scrubbing before.
I’ve done the new tooth-brush thing, which again lasts a day or so.
But what next, where too now? Ideas much appreciated.
- Teething Toddler and Thoughts of Chicken Pox (nurturingcareermama.wordpress.com)
- Dental Health Care for Children: Tots, Tweens, and Teens (children.webmd.com)