Brushing Maddie’s teeth started off in style several months ago. She was always happy to get her teeth brushed. After bath time every night, the brush would come out and she would start giggling with anticipation.
At one point, Maddie was holding the brush and making a quick pass or two at her own teeth. All was well in the land of tooth brushing until something changed.
Somehow, the beloved toothbrush became public enemy number one. Where once Maddie considered tooth brushing a highlight, it has now become a federal offense. Now either Mom or Dad struggles every night for the honor of trying to brush those pearly whites.
There’s no screaming involved, Maddie just wants to grab the toothbrush and spike it into the sink or the toilet. She has decided that there is no need to brush her teeth and she will not stand for it.
Maddie also has no interest in opening her mouth. This makes the whole thing kind of funny because each pass with the brush ends up on her lips or on her tongue. Hopefully this is just a stage or our baby is going to have a mouthful of cavities some day!
The dentist advised us that we needed to start brushing all eight of Maddie’s teeth. This seemed a bit excessive since the baby is only 11-months-old. But since I’m obviously no expert on the finer points of a baby’s dental hygiene, we decided to let the games begin tonight.
Maddie came out of the tub with a wicked gleam in her eye. She knew that something strange was afoot and was ready to meet the challenge. Hah, that what she thought. First I started with a personal demonstration with my own toothbrush. Maddie knew I was faking it because she knows that my electric toothbrush makes a loud buzzing noise.
I continued with the show just before it was time for Maddie to feel the tingle of her brush inside her mouth. Keep in mind, this is a girl that will put almost everything she can find into her mouth. But when it was time for the tooth brush, her mouth slammed shut and for all purposes was hermetically sealed.
Her locked jaw and steely-eyed determination told the tale of the tape – the brush was not going to be an easy sell. The more we tried to brush the baby’s teeth, the more Maddie got her little lips brushed. This was stunningly cute, but horribly unproductive. Brushing Maddie’s teeth is obviously an acquired taste – but we are already working on some new strategies.