Without going into specifics for reasons of privacy and also covering my butt, my fantastic co-worker and I came up with the idea of having a Tooth Brushing Club here in our classroom. Why you ask? Here is the non-specific butt covering reason:
I have a friend who missed a crazy amount (lots, I mean LOTS) of school due to very poor oral hygiene that likely led to weakened immune system that likely led to illness. Unfortunately I do not feel confident that his oral hygiene is a priority at home, so I made it a priority at school. With 17 of his friends.
Our fabulous administrator went out and bought 18 toothbrushes for my classroom. No one asked her but she did it. And she didn't get the cheapo ones. She got the fancy Oral-B ones with Toy Story, Cars and Disney Princess characters. That's some cash.
This morning I scrapped our normal routine and had the kids watch a 5 minute Brain Pop, Jr. flick on teeth brushing, then introduced The Tooth Brushing Club. I said it's not mandatory and you only had to sign up if you wanted to. Everyone wanted to sign up except my little friend with the dirty mouth. (I keep thinking of Orbit commercials, hence the "dirty mouth.") Unfortunately I forced him into it, but sometimes we need tough love right? It truly was a , "come on! Everyone else is doing it!" Great lesson to teach, right?
The poor little kiddo clearly doesn't like brushing his teeth because it hurts. And it hurts because he doesn't brush his teeth. Ugh. That's the tough part of this story. One that has been keeping me up at nights since November.
The untough part is that everyone else is so enthusiastic about brushing their teeth, we actually are running into management issues. But you know what? There are worse things. We made a list of when we can brush, and how many can do it at once. I have no doubt that the wrinkles will iron out...
In the meantime, brush away kiddos. Brush away.