We’re trying to instill a sense of good personal and dental hygiene in Ethan by teaching him how to brush his teeth. Since he cut his first tooth, I’ve cleaned his teeth with a plastic finger brush (and sometimes with just a washcloth), but this is becoming extremely dangerous because now our boy tends to BITE! ….And when he does, it is really really REALLY OUCHHHH!!!!
So I bought him his first toothbrush a couple of weeks back and tried to brush his teeth with it. We do it before his bedtime bath. His first reaction to the toothbrush? He kept his mouth tightly shut and turned away when he saw the toothbrush. So I let him hold it himself in the hopes that his curiosity would get the better of him and he would start brushing himself. No such luck. He just fiddled with the bristles in a confused manner and threw the toothbrush into the bathtub instead.
So, what to do?
Last resort: Leadership by example. I brushed my teeth in front of him and coaxed him to do the same. First couple of days, he watched me, transfixed and in awe. Then he began to experiment and brushed his teeth…well, somewhat…. Pete and I looked at each other and smiled. “Progress!” we thought.
Well, that was a few days ago… now it’s back to the throwing-toothbrush-into-tub game again. SIGH. I hope we’ll be able to train him to do it real soon.
One thing good about our “Leadership by example” routine though. He lets out such adorable giggles when I gurgle and rinse my mouth. It’s a wonder how simple things amuse babies, eh?