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Dear Lola,

I am having trouble getting my children to brush their teeth. I have tried everything that we humans have in our toolbox to coax kids into cooperating – new toothpaste that tastes like candy, actual candy, stickers, coloring books, even a new dress up costume. Nothing works! Every night is a struggle to the death when it comes to brushing teeth and I’ve been reduced to shrieking like a banshee. 

Sincerely,
Brushing Banshee

Dear Lola

Dear Brushing Banshee,

A struggle to the death, indeed. You’ve hit the nail right on the head and you don’t even realize it. First, let’s recap your efforts. Candy flavored toothpaste still tastes like toothpaste, I know this because no amount of ‘peanut butter flavor’ in my toothpaste makes it taste like the real thing. Bribing with candy… considering you cannot get them to brush their teeth, this really seems like a plan meant to fail spectacularly. Stickers and coloring books are fun, but unless they come with real-life dancing unicorns that can be ridden to school, they are not a suitable brushing bribe. The dress up costume was brilliant, but surely you understand that toothbrushes are harbingers of doom to those under 3 feet tall.

Madam, you have met your match in the Miniature Humans.

Thankfully you have a bulldog on your side. Let’s revisit our first thought, the struggle to the death – that’s how you get Miniature Humans to brush their teeth. You scare them with the pain of a slow, agonizing, smelly death. The teeth and gums are a portal to the body and must be maintained for survival. This is a five-part process that tackles all of the senses.

First we’ll use the popular building bricks of youth to build a case for brushing teeth.

Pun intended. Lay out a room full of Lego bricks and have your Miniature Humans walk across it. I know exactly what you’re thinking – it won’t hurt them because they are little. Of course it won’t hurt them, I’m not done telling you the plan yet! Strap a 25 pound backpack onto them and then have them walk across the Lego. They booby trap your walkways often enough, this is just a teeny taste of payback.

Next, teach the Miniature Humans using their sense of smell.

Prepare a smell test that will mimic the stench of rotting flesh. I recommend a stop at the local grocery shop in order to procure garlic, blue cheese, durian fruit, and a curry. Mix it together in a bag and let sit out in the blazing sun for three days. If they survive the smell, move to step three.

Moving along to taste, the actual reason that most Miniature Humans have for living.

You thought I was going to tell you to feed them that rotting flesh simulation from step two didn’t you?! You have crossed the line Madam and must not drink any more wine. Skip this step until you’ve had a proper nap. Then prepare an onion stew and serve it for an entire day of meals – that should dull the taste buds for a few days, leaving your Miniature Humans bereft of all other flavors.

A cartoon rendering of Lola sitting at a computer wearing glasses. The computer screen says 'How to get Miniature Humans to brush their teeth: shock and awe.'

Now we use the sense of sight to badger your Miniature Humans into teeth-brushing compliance.

Serve only green foods. Miniature Humans are adverse to green foods – it signals health and well-being, but also tastes disgusting. (My Mommybeast gave me green beans one time and I threw them up all over her brand new rug. She had it coming.) You need to serve green food for at least a week, until the Miniature Humans become anxious about their next meal and beg you to skip dinner and head straight to the brush. If the Miniature Humans have not answered the call of the toothbrush yet, it’s time for the final step.

Be warned, step five is likely to cause frequent urination and life long anxiety.

Blindfold the Miniature Humans – the sense of hearing is heightened greatly when the eyes cannot help. Drive them to a dentist’s office and seat them next to someone getting a root canal. Allow the sounds of the drills and tooth cracking to fill them with horror. Be sure to record these sounds on your telephone – if the Miniature Humans ever refuse to brush their teeth in future, play the video next to their ear right after they fall asleep.

Then change the bed sheets and hand the Miniature Human a toothbrush.

My Mommybeast is forcing me to put a disclaimer on this post – At no time should you follow any of the advice in this blog post. Following this advice can lead to lifelong behavioral problems and may even land you in jail. It will almost certainly involve the authorities knocking on your door to do a family welfare check. In my defense, I am an English Bulldog and am giving out the best advice I can. I am also threatened with the veterinarian when I protest having my teeth brushed – what’s good for the goose doesn’t seem to be what’s good for the gander when you’re crossing species. 

♥Lola♥

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