Thursday, January 14, 2010

No, you don't have to brush all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my kids seem to have inherited cavity-prone teeth, and try as I might to warn them of this malady, some of them have not yet figured out that their pitiful attempts at brushing and flossing are not helping, and usually results in less than perfect checkups.

My sister came up with a great idea to bribe her kids to take better care of their teeth deny the dentist the great pleasure of sucking the life out of her pocketbook. She told her kids that if they have no new cavities at their next dentist appointment, she would give them each 20 bucks.

Liking that idea, I promised my kids the same thing. This way my kids get a reward for taking better care of their teeth and I have just saved myself an obscene amount of money that I can use to pay the next pocketbook sucker. (I really do love my dentist. He takes great care of us!)

Each night and morning when I send them off to brush their teeth, I remind them of our new motto, "20 buck for no cavities!" This has caused some excitement and I can see improvement in their efforts to be better brushers and flossers. The other night, however, Brooklyn was asking if I had money and I couldn't figure out why. I was only halfheartedly paying attention until the end of the conversation.

Brooklyn: Mom, do you have any money?

Me: Umm hmm.

Brooklyn: How much?

Me: Not much.

Brooklyn: Like not even 100 dollars?

Me: Probably not.

Brooklyn: Like 19 dollars or something?

Me: Yeah, something like that.

Brooklyn: Oh boy, guys. Don't anyone brush or floss your teeth tonight. Mom doesn't have enough money and she would have to give you 20 dollars. So. don't. do. it.

Way to protect the bank account kiddo!

I just wanted to crawl into her little mind and check out her child-like reasoning. I don't think she grasps the idea that money comes and money goes. Sometimes I wish my understanding of life could be so simple.


Alexis said...

The title of your post made me laugh. Whenever my kids teeth brushing abilities seem to relax and show less than desirable results, aka food stuck in teeth, teeth that seem to glow and ugly dingy yellow in the dark... we all sit around the computer and I Google 'rotten teeth'. Gasps and gags, "oh Gwose!" and barf sounds fill the air. Everyone runs for the bathroom and fight over the tooth paste. "Remember to brush your tongue and cheeks and gums too. You don't want those to turn black and crusty either!" I shout down the hall. Their oral hygiene improves 100% every time.

stephanie said...

Addie struggles with brushing her teeth. I could totally hear her coming up with the same conclusion as Brooklyn. My boys, however, love brushing their teeth. I have to take their tothbrushes away from them and say they are done

Here at home said...

It's amazing that we ourselves as little kids didn't have more cavities with the way we brushed. They must have Rob's teeth. :)

Abby said...

Children's minds amaze me. However, I have successfully invoked fear into my children that if they didn't brush their teeth, they would all fall out and look like Grandpa Bailey's. That was enough to get them scrubbing.