Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Learning Tooth Etiquette

So this was another week of trying to teach the kids good oral hygiene habits. And for those without children, let me tell you… it’s an ordeal. I would put the expletive in but this is a family blog.

Seriously, for a simple task like brushing teeth you have a million little steps that you need to teach. The small things like “don’t suck the toothpaste tube,” and “Don’t suck the toothpaste off the brush and hand it to me” are only the tip of the teeth cleaning iceberg. There’s also “don’t chew the brush” and the ever nasty “try to spit at least once.”

But, the Dental Society of America has developed new, super cool tools to help me focus the children’s brushing habits. They created this blue goo-juice stuff that will turn plaque blue. There are few things as uplifting as thinking that you are doing a good job cleaning your childrens teeth, and then having their entire mouth turn blue after you are done.

Anyway, we tried the blue stuff a while back and haven’t tried again until recently. I mean really, how hard can swish and spit be. Now, the bottle says that you should swish for 30 seconds? That time much have come from the fourth dentist who didn’t get his way on one of the surveys. I mean, really, what small child can swish for 30 seconds? None that I know, that’s for sure. So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to reduce the time to 10 seconds… and I would count them out loud. Simple enough… in concept that is.

The conversation went something like this…
Dad: Alright, we’re gonna use the blue goo tonight but...
Dad: Yes, yes but you can’t swallow the blue goo. Remember, we have to spit it out
Boy: YEAH! Swallow the blue goo!
Dad: No, no, no! Don’t swallow it! Spit it!
Boy: YEAH! Spit it.

Side note, based upon this stellar start I should have quit while I was ahead but the engineer in me said, oh no. I can over come this.

Dad: Ok. The rule is, I count to 10, and then you spit. Got it!
Dad: Come on! Do you understand? I count to 10, and then you spit.
Boy: Ok Dad. Got it.

So, I filled the Dixie cup with a few drops, handed it to the Boy and I swore he drank it on the spot. He didn’t, but I thought he did. ANYWAY, I started to count…
Dad: Ooonnn…

And so, the Boy spit it all over the sink. Now, for reference, I have the generic tan sink… not that you would know because he managed to cover every square inch of porcelain with blue goo and spit.
Dad: Boy!? What was that? I was going to count remember?
Boy: Sorry Dad. I’ll do it this time.
Dad: Ok, let’s try again. Remember, I count to 10 and then you spit. AND don’t drink it.

So, I poured another tiny amount into the Dixie cup. Again, I am convinced he drank it, but I started to count.
Dad: One, Two, ...
Dad: BOY!!! What did we just talk about?
Boy: (Eyes down, and speaking very softly)I don’t know.
Dad: Remember, I count to 10?
Boy: (Even softer if it is possible)Sorry Daddy. I'll do it this time.

Now, I’m more worried about poisoning the kid that anything else. This is going to be the third cup of the goo that I have given him. True, it hadn’t been in his mouth more than two seconds and based upon the blue coating all the walls I was confident he didn’t swallow any but still. So, one last try.
Dad: OK. Let’s review. Do you swallow the blue goo?
Boy: No.
Dad: OK. What am I going to count to?
Boy: 10.
Dad: That’s right. And, will you spit before I get to 10?
Boy: No Daddy. I won’t.
Dad: Ok. Last time then.

So I poured the Dixie cup, and started to count.
Dad: One, two, three, ffffooouu...

In conclusion, the Boy's lucky to be alive.