This is unusual for me really as this is more of a moan than it is an informative blog post but I thought, if I had a chance to write about it I might calm down by the time I reach the end of this post (I will let you know later)…
My daughter (Ella) is almost 4 years old and attends a local Crèche 5 days a week. The Crèche are very good at educating all the children about the importance of Dentistry.
Only 3 weeks ago Ella visited a local Dental Clinic with her little friends and was delighted to bring home her certificate as she pointed in her mouth for the entire evening and repeatedly told me that she had ‘No Sugar’.
At the Crèche the children sleep for an hour in the afternoon and before they go to sleep they all clean their teeth which I think is a simple but fabulous educational idea.
Last week I was away for a few days. Ella stayed with her grandparents who did the run to and from Crèche. The Crèche asked if nanny would purchase a new toothbrush and handed the old toothbrush which in my father’s words “looked like she had been hammering nails with it!”.
Nanny took Ella to the local supermarket in search of a new toothbrush. Even though Ella is only 4, she takes great delight in choosing what she would like and this is something I try to encourage.
There is Ella looking at the children’s selection of Toothbrushes all with bright packing, covered in favourite cartoon characters.
Ella is…how can I put it… very fond of Peppa Pig or if I am honest she has a complete obsession with the little pink character and most things pink!
So you don’t need to read the next bit to know that she choose a pink Peppa Pig toothbrush complete with a pink toothbrush cover. Nanny left the store less 15 TL in her purse and Ella left the store very happy!
My mum called me to let me know about all things Ella and explained about the new purchase. At first I queried the price as I thought it was expensive compared to the adult toothbrushes. My mother informed me that she thought the price was reasonable as it did come with a plastic hygiene cover. Noooooooooooooooooooo!
I spent the next 5 minutes explaining to my mother that the cover was in fact not hygienic and she should dispose of the cover and only keep the toothbrush. My mum, being smart and seeing the potential tantrum that lied ahead, suggested she would leave the job of explaining to me when I arrived home. Great… Something to look forward too!
On my return I was greeted with the little darling that is my daughter who after she said she missed me, proceeded to tell me about her old toothbrush and the new pink Peppa Pig Toothbrush complete with pink cover. When she mentioned the pink cover I knew this was going to be a challenge.
We went upstairs to the bathroom and I explained that it was not good for our teeth if we kept the cover. I said “it is best we put the cover in the bin darling”. Trying to be clever, I left the word pink out of the sentence. After 3 seconds of thought (which is a long time to look at a heartbroken 4 year old) I had the never ending question…
I said “because naughty bacteria will get under the cover and sit on your brush” another few seconds of thought followed before Ella asked “but why Mummy?”. I knew I was losing this battle… Tears I can deal with but tears over Peppa Pig and the pink plastic cover I was just not ready for!
So we came out of the bathroom and we sat relaxed on the bed looking at the Peppa Pig toothbrush and the pink plastic cover and I explained that Peppa Pig was good and we like Peppa Pig but the plastic cover does not have Peppa Pig on it to which Ella agreed. I was finally getting through…
I explained that the naughty bacteria had disguised themselves and used her favourite colour pink to trick us. With those words, Ella got off the bed, looked at the pink plastic cover for a few more seconds (while I waited holding my breath) before she said “I am going to flush the naughty bacteria down the toilet Mummy”. Normally I would have said this was not a good idea but on this occasion I agreed. We both stood over the toilet in silence, without any tears or fears and flushed the pink cover into oblivion.
And now for a small but stress relieving rant…
I find it very annoying that the facts surrounding a child’s dental hygiene get completely pushed to one side for the mass marketing idiots to see nothing but money from a cute character and the colour pink on a children’s toothbrush.
I went back to look in the store where my mother purchased the toothbrush and it is clear to see that none of the adult toothbrushes have covers. Approximately 70% of the children’s toothbrushes do. Blue for Boys and Pink for Girls in most cases.
Now… I have had a chance to write it down and I do feel slightly better. I am sure when I wake up tomorrow I will feel better still. Maybe when I am in a clear frame of mind I can think of an educational programme or something to raise awareness of this topic. I am sure a post with the title ‘Naughty Bacteria V’s Peppa Pig is not going to reach millions of people or the idiots responsible for marketing children’s toothbrushes!
P.S. If you are in the sea or sunbathing on a beach someday and you discover a pink plastic toothbrush cover, I apologise. I do care for the environment but I care more about my daughter’s oral health and I can safely say that if I had to do it again I would.