Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There's something to be said for oral hygiene . . . but how do you convince a 6-year-old?

When I took Adam to our dentist last week they were amazed that his top front middle tooth (the one next to the one that was knocked out on the playground) was still in his mouth. It was apparently so loose that they thought a simple bump would probably take care of it. Here we are more than a week later, and that blasted tooth is still hanging on.

Adam has become rather adept at avoiding using that tooth at all costs. He has adjusted the way he eats and the way he brushes his teeth. After his poor checkup at the dentist where so many cavities were found, we invested in a bottle of Inspector Hector. It's this unnaturally blue stuff that Adam is supposed to swish around in his mouth so that all of his teeth turn blue. He's then supposed to brush, brush, brush until all of the blue is gone.

Great concept which, in theory, should work. However, Inspector Hector has never met my kid.

Knowing that Adam hates anything that is minty tasting at all because it's "spicy" to him (thus the brushing problem to begin with) I bought the bubblegum version and brought it home. I also bought him a new Sponge Bob rotary toothbrush to go along with the Power Ranger toothpaste (also bubblegum) that he had already been using. What 6-year-old boy would not be excited to brush his teeth with that set-up? I'll tell you who . . . my blessed little Adam.

The first night with the Inspector and Sponge Bob was great. The first morning was manageable, but not nearly as exciting. Somewhere between that second day and this morning, the battle line was reestablished. Apparently bubblegum is code for "fiery-hot, burn-my-mouth until I'm certain I will never speak or eat again." With each passing day the amount of Inspector Hector that makes it into Adam's mouth decreases. Adam loves the rotary brush, but he loves it the most when it's spinning outside of his mouth. He's scared that it's going to touch one of his loose teeth. As I was supervising the tooth brushing this morning, I was amazed at how well he is able to avoid that top, middle tooth (and the two other loose ones) while still getting the blue stuff off of every other tooth. As I looked at it closer I realized that there was a week's worth of food underneath the layers of blue stuff. If that tooth doesn't fall out soon, I fear that I am going to see it rot before my eyes.

The good (?) news is that with all of his cavities he's got several visits to the dentist on the horizon and I predict some more tooth pulling in Adam's near future. Now I've got to convince him of the upside to laughing gas, since he's already freaked himself out about getting a shot in his mouth and the anti-anxiety pill that the dentist prescribed before his last visit had no effect.


Melissa said...


I swear, Adam and Coltyn are secretly the same kid. Coltyn freaks out about mint and flouride. We have got to introduce these kids.