It Sounded So Easy...
"Oh, just take a wet cloth and rub his teeth after every meal. That's good enough for now. No need for a toothbrush at this stage." My hygenist made this suggestion and at the time, I was fooled into thinking she had just made something easier in my life. I tried it. It wasn't easier. Here's what she should have told me.
How to brush a one year old's teeth.
1. First, you have to catch the little sucker. He might be in your pantry shaking macaroni and cheese or in the den pulling on your landlord's blinds or standing in the hallway chewing with no food in sight. Sneak up and grab him. If you make a game out of it, he will either outrun you or fall and get a concussion. The latter will put you in the hospital for hours and then you will lose all desire to brush teeth he is going to lose anyway.
2. Once caught, sit him in between your legs on the floor and wrap your legs around his lower body so he can't escape. He will cry. He might escape and threaten to call Social Services...he's bluffing. Don't fall for it.
3. Pull his head back to one side of your body (away from teeth brushing hand) and secure head with a thumb tack (kidding, you might have to put your elbow on his forehead, though - don't worry, the bruising will heal)
4. Wrap non brushing hand underneath chin and squeeze (Mama Fratelli-style - Goonies).
5. Skip the cloth and toothbrush and go for a small bristled toilet brush (new of course). Pry open mouth and swish toilet brush around once or twice.
6. Repeat three times a day until he's 4.
7. Don't do any of the above steps in front of non-parents - they truly won't understand.
8. Don't actually do any of the above steps.
9. Instead, half-heartedly stick a toothbrush in his mouth, the two to three times a week you actually remember to brush his teeth, while he's in the bathtub and swish around while he wiggles out of your grasp. Pull toothbrush out once you realize it's not worth him drowning over. Say a little prayer that his teeth won't rot and fall out. Switch Dentists.