Parents have to sink their teeth into a daily struggle
I’VE finally ticked something off my ever-growing guilt list of neglected tasks: taken the kids for an overdue dental check-up.
When I say ‘overdue’, I mean about five years overdue for my five-year-old son – yes, I had to sheepishly admit to the dentist that this was his first time.
Thank god she didn’t ask me the dental floss question.
Have you ever tried flossing a small child?
We spend an alarming amount of time maintaining our choppers.
Apparently the average person uses 38 days of their lifetime brushing their teeth.
And if you look after children, say add another three days per child until age six for brushing or supervising care of their pearly whites.
I’ve got three kids, so that’ll eventually be almost seven weeks of my life expended on our dentition.
When they’re babies, they gum the toothbrush and just swallow or spit the paste.
Youngsters steadfastly refuse to open their mouths as you unreasonably attempt to get in there to clean.
Older children still require constant vigilance and nagging.
At bedtime the words roll into one … “all right everyone … teethandbed!”.
It can escalate to the threatening – “if you don’t brush your teeth, they’ll go black and drop out” – or the passive-aggressive – “if you want to have yellow teeth and bad breath that’s up to you”.
Not for the first time do I curse that fairy – like when she fails to show up, or when she increases her per-tooth payout.
If only she were just a figment of our imagination.