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Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

old-school-gent-262x350This morning I took LTD for his regular dental check up and cleaning. After fighting traffic, school buses and construction we were only ten minutes late (after I left the car double parked because the lot was full). Perhaps it was that he sensed I was in the weeds or it was just that he is awesome, but the boy put on a clinic for the dental staff. We are talking, the perfect gentlemen. He sat in the chair made small talk and opened wide. The hygienist asked him what he was doing in school and he politely replied, “I can’t answer because your hand is in my mouth.” He was behaved for the pokey tool, the brushing and the fluoride. And while he kept swallowing instead of spitting he was a perfect gentleman the entire time. When the dentist came in for the final review, he informed her that she looked like one of his teachers and again opened wide. It was insane how smooth things went, if you built a perfect dentist visit machine he would have pulled a John Henry and beaten it. What is my point for bringing all this up am I just bragging? No, my point is that after this display of insanely good behavior I am waiting for the other shoe to drop and his head to start spinning around as he informs me that Satan is his father now. But until that happens I will take credit for being the great parent that the entire dental office thought I was.

Info on Avoiding Halloween Candy Tooth Decay

The Natural Dentist Provides Tips on Avoiding Halloween Candy Tooth Decay Scare Away Tooth Decay With These Tips

Halloween can be a real horror for parents concerned about their children’s teeth. The average American eats 25 pounds of candy annually, with a high percentage of it being eating on Halloween. Candy usually contains sugar, which the bacteria that cause tooth decay dine on. So eating a food loaded with carbohydrate or sugar feeds that bacteria. To avoid negative impacts from candy, The Natural Dentist offers the following tips to scare away tooth decay nightmares any time of year.

* Limit Candy Consumption: To avoid some of the post-holiday excess, ask kids to sort their candy into piles: one for the treats that they don’t like much and the other for the sweets they love. Then consider giving the candy in the pile they don’t like to a nursing home, local food kitchen, etc.

* Lessen Amount of Time Sugar is Present in Mouth: Eat the candy quickly in one sitting to decrease the amount of time it is contact with the teeth. Avoid eating any candy slowly over an extended time or over multiple sittings.

* Avoid sticky candy such as taffy, gummy bears, caramel, etc. Sticky candy adheres to teeth and causes decay.

* Consume the candy with a meal. This is important if brushing right after consuming candy is not possible. The increased saliva production while eating will help wash the sweet off the teeth.

* Chew a sugarless gum (especially those containing xylitol) after snacking on candy. The increased saliva from chewing will help wash the sugar off the teeth and xylitol gums help control the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

* Pay attention to what toothpaste/mouthwash your kids are using. These products should not contain alcohol or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The Natural Dentist has a wide array of toothpastes that are free of paraben, dyes, flavors, colors, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The mouth rinses are also free of artificial flavor and color and do not contain alcohol.

Product Review – Natural Dentist

Now that the little guy has taken to tooth brushing, The Mommy and me have applied the same basic food rules to all the other things going in his mouth. Okay, really we just expanded the mostly organic try and be healthy to include toothpaste. Natural Dentist makes a pretty sweet Fluoride paste that doesn’t have a lot of junk in it. The paste comes in Berry or Grape, which comes in handy since LTD considers tooth paste something that goes on the teeth right before you eat it. The paste doesn’t have any Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and while I have no idea why SLS is bad The Mommy is against it, which means my war on SLS will never end.

The toothpaste presents only one challenge for our almost two and half year old and that is volume. Since LTD is firmly entrenched in ‘do it myself’ land, he wants to be the one who puts the paste on the brush. Since the tube is a little big for him we have to carefully monitor the amount coming out. This is one of those situations where you literally can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Thankfully, he does allow us to assist with the brushing itself or we would be answering the eternal questions, how much tooth paste can one toddler actually eat?

Paste

When LTD points at the bathroom and declares ‘paste’ he is announcing his desire to have someone get his toothbrush, wet it, put toothpaste on it and then give it to him. I know what you are thinking, why doesn’t he ask for ‘brush’? Well, the answer to that question is actually simple. He doesn’t really think of the toothbrush as a way to clean teeth rather for him it is merely a toothpaste delivery system. That’s right folks, the little guy just sucks down the strawberry flavored children’s toothpaste and when that is gone he sucks out the water leaving his teeth, brush free. The Mommy and I are then forced to treat him like the dog and brush his teeth the best we can.

The only bright side to our son not understanding the concept of the tooth brushing experience is that the Earth’s Best Toddler Toothpaste is pretty natural so when he swallows it, it isn’t really a big deal with the exception that his teeth never touch the stuff and therefore remain unclean. However, I will say there have been a few times when the light bulb goes on and does seem to get the brushing part down. And if he never does we can always move on to set number two in a few years.

Book Review – Pony Brushes His Teeth

After a long day of getting iced out at the playground for being a dad, it’s nice to come home to a book that gives a little credit to fathers. Michael Dahl’s 2010 book Pony Brushes His Teeth fills many of my book criteria. First of all it is a big solid board book, which is important, as LTD has made it his new mission to exploit any structural weaknesses or tears in books and use them as an opening to destroy them. Secondly, it is a simple quick read with one sentence on each two-page spread. Lastly, the book promotes proper dental hygiene. We have always felt that if you take care of your teeth, they will take care of you.

The easy to follow story focuses on Pony learning to brush his teeth by watching his horse dad. The worst kept secret in the animal kingdom is that horses have big teeth and so make excellent brushing subjects. And again, in keeping with the Beyond the Car Seat policy I won’t give away the ending except to write that while Pony learns to take tooth brushing seriously he doesn’t take himself seriously.

Jaws Part II

Welcome to Beyond the Car Seat’s Body Part Week. Today we turn our attention to the mouth. LTD has long used his mouth to explore and to vocalize loudly (especially in the library) and for the last few weeks he has been using his mouth to vent his frustrations. He has turned his gaping maw into a living weapon and focused his rage on my arm, the couch, the coffee table and just about anything else that gets in his way. That’s right, I’m talking about biting. LTD is growing up and getting in touch with his emotions unfortunately he is also getting in touch with his teeth and my pant leg.

It is interesting to watch why he bites as it is clearly not done out of malice, but true frustration. It’s not like conflict resolution is going to help here, he can’t just ‘use his words’. Thankfully, the little guy doesn’t do all the time and he seems to understand enough to stop when we make him. However, occasionally when I hold him and he is trying to be funny he will lean his head back, get a crazy look in his eye, open his mouth wide and drift forward to chew on my face. I guess they really are making every movie 3D these days.

Eruption

LTD hit his first year and so now his first year is hitting back. Welcome to first year molars and the little guy is not happy about it. When his front teeth came in he was in pain, but powered through it and his teething episodes didn’t last long. Well, things have changed. The front teeth with their shark shape cut through relatively quickly and with a certain aerodynamic flare. The molars, however, look like Mt. Everest and seem almost as big. When I look in LTD’s mouth and see the new tooth/mountain range forming my teeth start to hurt.

LTD usually gets a low fever when he is teething, but Tylenol seems to help. Another side effect of the teething process is LTD’s desire to bite and chew on anything that comes near his maw area. We definitely have a Jaws situation starting to occur and we definitely are going to need a bigger boat. Lastly, he wakes up for short periods for brief crying spells through the night. All in all not a big deal except when I go put his pacifier back in at three in the morning he goes right back to sleep and I’m up for another hour. Perhaps I should watch the Dwayne Johnson movie, The Tooth Fairy, I’m pretty sure that would put me right to sleep.

Product Review – Tooth Tissues

A wise man once said that with great power comes great responsibility. An even wiser man said, if you take care of your teeth they will take care of you. LTD sports eight little chompers now and since he can’t take care of them, The Mommy and I must do it for him. Sadly, I confess that I have transferred my forgetting to floss my own teeth to forgetting to clean his. We have this little rubber thing that goes on your finger that looks like the thing that helps you sort office papers, but he bites down on it crushing your finger and you have to wash it after each use. When we do remember to clean his pearly whites, we use Tooth Tissues by My Dentist’s Choice. These disposable wipes were designed by two parents who happen to be…wait for it…dentists. The wipes are fluoride and paraben-free because some research has shown that babies shouldn’t’ have too much fluoride; instead the wipes use xylitol, known as nature’s little cavity warrior. I think because they are wipes we remember to use them. Since we spend so much time wiping different parts of the little guy, it fits nicely with the pattern. The next step is taking him to his first dentist appointment. I’m excited about it since kids and dentists go together like floss and me forgetting to.

Can’t Find it Grind it

When you take care of a baby 60 hours a week every moment can easily turn into an adventure. Some of the escapades can be fun, some can be scary and some can be just grim. The introduction of yogurt to LTD’s diet has had an unintended side effect. He has taken to grinding his teeth. He makes this horrible noise mostly when he feels that I haven’t had a headache in a while. I can’t stress enough how creepy it is when a baby grinds his teeth. First, you think he is hurting himself and when you realize he’s not you can’t do anything else but focus on the grinding noise and in the end all you can do is tell him to stop which has the same effect as if you told him to take a calculus test entirely in Dutch.

Thankfully the grinding isn’t harmful to his teeth, but the only treatment is waiting for him to grow out of it. I said this already but I think it bear repeating, just to make it perfectly clear to everyone, that the grinding sounds brutal and awful. Additionally, I will again also stress that it sounds creepy as well.

Book Review – Doctor De Soto

desotoDoctor De Soto, first published in 1982, by Newbery Honor recipient William Steig tells the saga of dentist to the animals, Dr. De Soto and his assistant wife. The De Sotos are mice, but they treat all animals big and small. All animals except cats and other mouse addicted creatures. Of course there can be no drama without conflict and one day a fox with a bad toothache asks for help. Against their better judgment and to honor the Hippocratic oath, the De Sotos pull the fox’s tooth and agree to make him a new one to be put in the next day. We hear the fox’s thoughts and he is totally going to eat the two mouse members of the dental practice after they fix his tooth. The thing is, the De Sotos totally know it too, but feel obligated to finish the job. While Dr. De Sotos solution to the problem isn’t really sweet revenge, but it comes close.

The book reminds us of the important Godfather lesson, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Steig also has fun with the old fable of the Frog and the Scorpion. He deals with the nature of animal instincts and turns it on its head to show us a better way then the cold embrace of death. Finally, an important lesson about the importance of mercy is delivered reflected in the way the De Sotos chose to resolve the hidden motive of the fox. We all knew that mice made great dentists, but I didn’t expect them to be so clever as well.