OK, so it may not take 27 steps to brush a toddler's teeth but close enough! Every time my daughter and her family are here, I try to help with the kiddos. We have two very active grand-daughters who are 2.5 and 10 months so when it comes to baths, hair brushing, and teeth cleaning, I try and lend a helping hand.
When I first tried (not did, but tried) to brush Pri's teeth, it was like brushing the teeth of an orangutan! ....make that a toddler orangutan!
She squirmed, clamped her mouth shut and did the head turning thing. The only thing that was accomplished was getting toothpaste in her hair....sigh...what's a grand-mother to do?
Last week, I put her on the stepping stool at the sink, got my toothbrush ready and put a rice grain size bit of toothpaste on her brush (this size is recommended by the paediatric dental association), let her wet her brush, put more toothpaste on because toddlers must wash all of the first applied toothpaste off, and then we proceeded to both brush our teeth. When I finished mine and told Pri that Nanny was going to finish helping her brush her teeth, all I got was a “No, no, no!” and a clamped-mouth toddler and the “look” that said, “I’m two and I’m not going to let you brush my teeth!|
I had to think quickly so I told Pri that I was going to show her how I brushed Marcie’s teeth (Marcie is our little cat and no, I do not brush the cat’s teeth!!) Pri opened her mouth and I proceeded to brush while telling her that this was how Marcie had her teeth brushed and saying things like, “You and Marcie will have pretty teeth now, right?!” (Disclaimer: yes, I know I’m lying here but I was desperate and had to bring out the big ammo!)
Well, that tactic worked for a few seconds but we were on a roll! I wasn’t able to brush her teeth really well due to the angle she was at. (when you become a grand-parent that’s when you realize you’re not as flexible or agile as you used to be!!)
Tactic #2: I said that Nanny needed to finish her teeth while she lay on the bed and I was at a “dentist” angle with her mouth open. …..NOT! Let’s see….how to get Pri to open her mouth again? So I said that we should sing like an opera singer and it worked!!! We both were belting out notes (Pri does this anyway) and I was able to finish her teeth like never before!!! Happy Dance!!!!
So there you have it folks! Use these simple step-by-step instructions and good luck….because you’ll still need that to brush a toddler’s teeth too!
The one with teeth.
Pay, the one without teeth (but as of today, she had her first one break through!!