Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Swamp mouth

Anybody have any idea what it costs to put the tin grin in your daughter's crooked-as-a-picket-fence mouth?

Let me share: About $2,500. That doesn't include the bi-monthly visits to make sure everything is just hunky dory. Add that cost to approximately three years of listening to Wild complain about the metal in her mouth and how much she hates it and you'd think the resulting straight, beautiful smile would be worth it all in the end, right?

Well...right. Kind of. Her smile is gorgeous. Beautiful straight teeth that make a momma proud and should make her want to flash that grin at everyone.

Except she absolutely refuses to remember to brush them. And she refuses to remember to wear her retainer. So, those $2,500+ teeth are now becoming crooked again and they have an attractive fuzzy yellow hue adorning their should-be-pearly surface. Talking close to her smells a whole lot like my Dumpster on a hot summer day. There was one incident during the brace face days when she managed to get a whole peanut stuck beneath the metal gridwork in her mouth. And it remained there for nearly two weeks because she was too lazy to get a toothpick. The stink was incredible. I thought something had died in there.

How in the hell am I supposed to convince a 15-year-old how very important oral hygiene is? Huh? How? I can't hold her down and brush her teeth for her, like I do with Unruly. I can't force her to wear the retainer every night, because she'll just end up taking it out despite my most noble efforts. I don't even know if the darn thing fits any more because it's been so long since she's worn it and her teeth are no longer nice and straight.

This is so very, extremely frustrating. I feel like I'm talking and she's just nodding to keep me happy. I'm thinking just tossing that money into the fireplace last winter probably would have been more productive.

Any suggestions to convince a teenager (who knows it all, just in case you were wondering) to brush her own freaking teeth? Public humiliation doesn't work, I've tried and she just throws the famous eye roll in my direction. I've tried telling her no boy is going to want to get ANYWHERE near her toxic mouth and she doesn't seem to mind so much. Begging doesn't work and I feel like a fool doing it any way. Daily reminders don't work because as soon as the words come out of my mouth, she's already forgotten.

I'd hate to see those teeth just rot and fall out, but I guess at least they'd fall out in a nice, straight line. *sigh* Oh, what's a mom to do?


nell said...

Oh, sorry, no great advice here. I'm not looking forward to those days with my own girls, and I remember what it was like to have a mouth full of metal. I brushed, but I did "forget" to wear my retainer often enough that my teeth are not as straight as they should be. Feel free to tell her I totally regret it now, and that I have even considered going back and re-straightening.

Dorky Dad said...

Try this: stop brushing your own teeth. Tell everybody around you, loudly, that oral hygiene is totally overrated. Convince your husband to do the same.

Then find some real cool relative to talk to your daughter in private about how silly you guys are for not brushing.

That'll work.

Wendy said...

I get to give advice about something I know nothing?? Cool!

I did headgear, braces and retainer (I did brush) and I have a kid....SO

a. tell her she'll have to pay for restraightening if she stops wearing the retainer. Show her the bills.

b. take something away for not brushing -- allowance? taking her somewhere for fun (I'll tell Kid we can't go until she sits on the potty--would this work for teeth brushing too?)?

c. has she had fillings? if so, remind her of the needle! if not, exaggerate the needle!

Good luck! Makes 3 look easier, thanks!

Beth said...

We've had similar problems with our 10-year old who needs to wear deodorant and continually forgets to put it on. We have told her and told her to no avail. So we figure that some day, someone will tell her she stinks and that will probably do the trick. Maybe one of your daughter's friends will tell her that her breath is awful and she'll realize she needs to brush!

Jeff said...

Ah I know that smell well. I'm having the same problem with my daughter and so far everything I've tried had failed to get results.

Sorry I'm no help but since misery loves company I thought you'd like to know someone else shares your pain!

Jenn said...

DD, ewwww!!! I would gross myself out! But, it might work...hmmm...

Wendy, she had to have MANY teeth pulled just to get the braces...I should remind her of that particular pain.

Beth and Jeff, what is it with kids completely lacking any desire to NOT be stinky? Its almost like the "grunge" look has moved to hygiene as well...the pits and mouth must smell as bad as the clothes look? I dunno.