I have defamed the Tooth Fairy.
Since the girls were little bitty, we’ve brushed their teeth. At first we used a soft silicone brush that they couldn’t impale themselves on. (We tried one of those impale-able ones first, and the girls insisted on grabbing them, and we could see the potential for injury, so we switched to the silicone ones.) Then after a while, the girls insisted on brushing themselves, with Mama and Dada doing a follow-up to get any missed spots.
But now they are growing and not so docile (if they ever were!) and insist on doing it themselves. We’ve now graduated to regular toddler brushes, so we supervise closely. The only problem is, they miss a heck of a lot of spots.
Zanna doesn’t mind us going over her teeth afterwards, but Halle passionately detests it. So how do I explain that she’d like it even less when the dentist has to fill her cavities, or worse, has to pull out her teeth? And not have her be a screaming wreck at her next dentist appointment, even if her teeth are fine?
So I dragged the Tooth Fairy’s good name through the mud.
Since they seem to be ok with the existence of the Garbage Fairy (that’s the one that lives in garbage cans and takes offerings in her ‘in-box’, and all dropped food on the floor is her rightful due, as well.) I told them that the Tooth Fairy is attracted to dirty teeth. She likes to take dirty teeth and that would be “Owie”. So that is why we have to do a good job brushing, so Halle will be safe and the Tooth Fairy will stay away.
We weren’t making much progress with that, until I took the girls on a shopping trip to our local Target store. It’s six weeks before Halloween and the shelves there are now full of related products. As we were wheeling our cart past, we must have set off a motion sensor, because suddenly a 6ft tall witch came to life, cackeling and scaring the daylights out of all of us. As I beat a hasty retreat with my girls, I had the presence of mind to say “THAT’S the Tooth Fairy! And she’s going to take your teeth if you don’t brush very well!.”
The girls were quite shaken after that encounter, but shook it off soon after. After that, though, Halle, while still protesting, allows us to do a final go-over with the tooth brush, to make sure there’s nothing left to attract that nasty Tooth Fairy!
I don’t like scaring the girls, but in this case, it’s not something that we can just wait until they’re older to get through to them. I really don’t think they’d handle well, being strapped down an administered a hypo and having the dentist work their teeth over with his drill.
Lesser of the two evils, I guess.