Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hot Wheels

I've started to worry about Firecracker's teeth. As a baby she wouldn't let anyone near her mouth--a response to being intubated after birth. It took a lot of coaxing to start a brushing routine. For a while the electric toothbrush was a wonder, but then she started to dislike it's vibration, and the head is a bit too big for her mouth. Brushing sessions sound like this:

Me: Let Mommy brush your teeth now.
Firecracker: Do it MYSELF!
Me: Okay, but let me finish up.
Firecracker: NO! MYSELF! (proceeds to lick off toothpaste and chew on bristles)
Some negotiation later:
Me: Open wide! (I brush as gently as possible with a disabled electric toothbrush)
Firecracker: Ouch. Ow. Ouch.
Me: Just a bit more--open wide.
Firecracker: Ow. Ow. Ow. DONE!

The other day I thought I spotted two little brown dots on her upper teeth. Horrors! Since DramaQueen had to have two root canals at the age of three (I swear, I did brush them every day and I didn't give her lots of sweets!). I decided it was time to take more agressive action. Flouride rinse. Floss every day, not just when I can wheedle her into it. New toothbrush with smaller head.

So last night Dear Husband came home with a special toothbrush for Firecracker. It's a Hot Wheels toothbrush. The handle swerves like a racetrack and has a racecar at the bottom. You should have seen Firecracker's face light up. "Hu-way! Hu-way! Hu-way!" she cried, doing her special happy dance. I had to open it right away and brush her teeth. Several times.

I think she likes this toothbrush more than all her Christmas and Chanukah presents put together. She fell asleep with it clasped in one hand, and she was inconsolable this morning when she woke up and it wasn't there (Bad Mommy had put it away) until it was once again where it truly belonged--her hand.

I didn't know there were so many aspects to dental hygiene.

9 comments:

  1. loved this :)

    some people inherit teeth with very thin enamel - it makes dental decay VERY hard to prevent. But root canals on a three year old? I've never heard anything like that here at all! Did it affect Drama Queen's permanent teeth? That would be my fear I think.

    As for Firecracker's pain when brushing... you might need to get it checked out if she says it again with her new HOT WHEELS brush. I think a brush with a small soft head is important- and then I used to soak it in warm water prior to using.

    Dental hygiene as you say - many aspects. Glad she loves the new brush.

    Oh and you are NOT a bad Mommy. !!!

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  2. The thing that persuaded my children that tooth cleaning was a good idea was a tooth brush timer...a penguin holding something like an old fashioned egg timer. The plan was to brush teeth for as long as it took the grains of sand to fall...simple, but effective. Just a thought.

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  3. Lorna: Our dentist told us that unfortunately crowns and root canals on kids are not that uncommon these days. As you might expect, there's sugar in almost everything. It won't affect her permanent teeth. A root canal is a relatively easy procedure on a small child because they are baby teeth that don't have much root. I've always wondered if her daycare was giving them something particularly sugary--too much juice in the sippy cups perhaps. Her best friend had to have the exact same procedure on the exact same teeth. DramaQueen also has molars that have gaps at the gum line but are quite tight at the surface. I thought I was flossing, but in fact I wasn't getting all the way to the gum. Kind of hard to tell when your working with a reluctant child and your hands feel huge compared to their mouth. Now that she's bigger it's much easier to see what I'm doing.

    Kathryn: I have a feeling that anything as cool as a penguin timer would end up squirreled away in one of Firecracker's hidey places. It's amazing what I find.

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  4. I loved this! Makes ME want one of those Hot Wheels toothbrushes!

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  5. Hang in there! I never went to the dentist until I was 13, and I am nearly phobic about going now.

    As you know from a recent post, my view of dental health has a lot to do with the supernatural.

    I enjoyed this post.

    Please let me know if there is anything specific I can pray for you and your family.

    --CS

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  6. I can relate. When I was preggers with The Child I asked God to give her my metabolism and her father's teeth. She got the metabolism but then God laughed and gave her my teeth, too. She's had fillings in baby teeth. She's had braces (and will have more in a year or so). And once she fell off a retaining wall, nearly knocking out her 4 front bottom teeth which had to be wired back into her head. We got a miracle on that one...none of the teeth died. Yet.

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  7. My son has had baby teeth fillings too. And absolutely YES on the character toothbrushes. I was determined not to give into this silliness and use the perfectly serviceable brushes our dentist always give us, BUT oh boy! the magical power of a Pokemon toothbrush is a wonder to behold. We went weeks with no brushing time battles.

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  8. My last two babies have had a lot of tooth trouble. My 5 year old had extensive work done under anesthesia. That was horrible! I felt so guilty, and my two year old has a few teeth with cavities, but it's like Lorna says, some people inherit teeth that decay easily. Mine were voracious nursers, day and night, that's the only thing I can figure that I might have had some control over.

    There is just no end to the sources of guilt for mothers is there?

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