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For my son, brushing his teeth is similar to the movie Hostel

November 16, 2012

For those who have not randomly watched the movie Hostel at 2AM in the middle of a sleepless night, it involves American backpackers who are kidnapped so that a bunch of sadistic people can pay to perform gruesome medical experiments on them. It is a pretty terrible movie but for some reason I was compelled to keep watching. Anyhow, my guess is that Baby Zachary feels like he is one of those American backpackers when we try to brush his teeth. I am positive that he looks at us as if we are trying to perform some sadistic medical experiment on him. He hasn’t really trusted us ever since his Bris. When we first started brushing his teeth I would use a finger brush and it went surprisingly smooth.  It has gotten increasingly difficult and the last two months have been a nightmare. Every brushing session goes the same way. I lure him into the bathroom and let him play a short while. I then bust out the tools of torture, a finger brush and a regular toddler toothbrush. Zachary sees these items, starts screaming and banging on the bathroom door in an effort to escape. I try to brush his teeth but he fights me off grabbing the toothbrush from my hands and biting on my finger when I use the finger brush. He screams the whole time much louder and with much more fear than those American backpackers from Hostel. I try letting him hold the brush so he can try to brush himself but he insists on putting the other end of the brush in his mouth and chewing on it. I try to brush at the same time as I brush him but he does not feel any more inclined to comply. Even when I get his mouth open he guards his teeth with his tongue somehow. I have tried singing songs and giving him toys to distract him but neither has worked. And, forget about using toothpaste with Zachary. I tried different brands of toddler toothpaste with fun flavors and he would just spit it out like I had just put dog poop in his mouth. Eventually I will have gotten the brush over his teeth once or twice and call it a “good enough” session of brushing torture. Of course, we do this twice a day every day which is such a joy. I sometimes think, “hey, he is going to lose these baby teeth anyhow, can’t we just start brushing when he starts getting his adult teeth many years from now?” I really hope Zachary starts giving in on tooth brushing because it is consistently the worse part of my day and probably his as well.   

Side note: A friend was over and wanted to see us brush Zachary’s teeth after I told him how horrible of an experience it was. Oddly enough, Zachary just let my friend brush his teeth and seemed happy about letting him do it. I am thinking of paying this friend to come over twice a day to brush Zachary’s teeth. What do you think the going rate for this should be, $10/session?

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