“I’m a little bit grumpy mummy.” Sitting on the bottom step, the arms are folded, the mouth is on full pout.
Why’s that then? I ask, but the drooling chin, the sodden T-shirt and the chewed hand tell their own silent story, of teeth that refuse to greet the world.
After three years of corrective braces I can, on some small level, share his pain. In the spirit of being right about everything, as teenagers always are, I raged against them, not fully appreciating what a mess my teeth were in. In my head they were fine. In the mirror they looked like someone had thrown some tombstones into a bag of pink cement. They may still not be pretty, but at least I can now talk without whistling.
Raffie got most of his teeth early and very quickly, but the last big molars have taken at least six months to make an appearance, leaving a trail of drool and misery in their wake. How many teeth is he going to end up with? I wondered, as at this rate he’ll be at university by the time they finish. Probably studying dentistry.
Raffie has been teething for so long that we took him for a check-up just to see if all was well and it turns out teeth can keep struggling through until the age of three.
Happily, dentists these days seem to be toddler friendly. Ours came up with some helpful suggestions to make Raffie’s visits more palatable:
• Get your toddler used to opening his mouth
• Ask him to show you his teeth
• Help him to count them
It seemed like a tall order but after some persuasion it worked.
Friends also recommended the Peppa Pig book after it worked for their toddlers (you can find it here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Peppa-Pig-Dentist-Trip-Ladybird/dp/1409301931) and Raffie enjoyed it too.
After saying ‘ahhhhhhhhhhhhh’ whenever I mentioned the dentist during the previous week I was a little surprised, though only a little, when he clammed up in the dentist’s chair.
While I did some impromptu handwringing Daddy came to the rescue by tickling him so the dentist could get a look inside his mouth. It’s not in the Peppa Pig book but it worked a treat.
Raffie even got a Toy Story sticker for his trouble which he wore proudly for the rest of the day. And hopefully it won’t take much more than that and a full set of molars to put the smile back on his face, with any luck sooner rather than later.
Here’s a blog which has some tips on taking toddlers to the dentist, http://www.strocel.com/you-can-take-a-toddler-to-the-dentist/ and a video showing how easy it can be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAxIQv6CgJ0
This blog also has lots of advice about how to help the teething process, and you can find out more here http://blogs.babycenter.com/tips_and_tricks/642013-6-ways-to-help-soothe-a-teething-baby/