Home > Uncategorized > She’s three… how white do her teeth need to be?

She’s three… how white do her teeth need to be?

A few weeks ago, The Child decided that the teeth-brushing part of the nighttime routine was loathsome. Suddenly it was screaming fits and kicking and whatnot when we tried to brush her teeth. Not every time, no that would be easier to handle, but often enough that The Husband (who handles that part of the ritual) was getting very angry.

One morning I decided that we were going to do something about this. My usual thing to do when the Child has gotten something into her head as a control issue (which this clearly was) is to redirect and reframe the argument.

“Okay, Kiddo! Let’s you and I go find a special toothpaste and a special tooth brush just for you! We’re going to CVS!” I said it like I would say “let’s go to the circus!” or “lets go get a big pile of chocolate ice cream!” and she caught the enthusiasm.

So off we went on a special errand for her new toothbrush and new toothpaste. And there, standing in Aisle 11, my brilliant ploy hit a wall.

There was no toothpaste for her.

Oh, there was a WALL of toothpaste, hundreds of variations, if only about four or five brands: Crest, Colgate, Kiss My Face (!?), Sensodyne, and Tom’s of Maine. And every single one of them had “with whitening!” scrawled on the box. Even the Tom’s of Maine.

Now, I hadn’t really done a lot of research beforehand — it’s friggen toothpaste, for the love of God — but I did know that whitening isn’t recommended for kids. BUt I couldn’t find any.

Well…. I live in a city. There’s a drug store on every corner. So off we went to the RiteAid. No joy. The CVS in Porter Sq.? Nope. The Star Market in Porter? Yes… but it’s the brand we always use, the only box that’s non-whitening on the shelves. Since we were looking for her very own special toothpaste, that wasn’t going to work.

(I will add here that I discounted the candy-flavored, special-for-kids, hyper-branded Dora or Elmo stuff. I don’t do licensed characters, dammit. And it’s wrong to brush your teeth with super sweet bubble gum flavored anything.)

Finally, in Harvard Sq., I found one box of Tom’s of Maine fluoride-enhanced baking soda toothpaste that isn’t whitening. Four stores to find the only box in the greater Comberville area.

Am I the only one that thinks that’s ridiculous?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Juliet Bravo
    March 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I feel your pain. It took me 35 years to find a toothpaste that I didn’t hate (I generally hate all toothpaste), and now it is being discontinued 😦 It’s not whitening either, so the boy uses it and I don’t know how he will react when we run out in a few days.

  2. elcynae
    March 28, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Hmm… now I’ll have to check. I just got Tom’s of Maine kids toothpaste, because I like the brand, and assumed that kids toothpaste would be good for kids. But it’s hard to believe that wasn’t anywhere, I see it all over. It is strawberry, but it’s not actually that sweet, I’ve tried it. I never thought to check whether it said whitening.

  3. March 28, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    my youngest uses a plain colgate cavity protection paste that is marked ‘suitable for children under 6, use a pea sized amount’ it comes in a small tube, wich she can handle herself and IT’S HER TOOTHPASTE. no one else is allowed to use it. that helped, it being all hers.

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