When I decided to foster three children, I knew that all of our lives were going to change. The two brothers and their younger sister had come from a very rough environment. They were suddenly orphaned due to senseless violence, and I knew I had to step up and help so they were not separated. When they moved in with me, they were very polite, but they had no good hygiene habits. When I asked them that first night if they were ready to brush your teeth, they told me that they don’t do that very often. Talk about something that can break your heart instantly!
Thankfully, I am used to having overnight guests, so I was prepared with plenty of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. The kids knew how to brush their teeth, but they had never used floss even once in their young lives. I let them just brush their teeth that night, but we had a talk the following day about the importance of keeping up with their oral hygiene. I explained that it is much more than just trying to keep their teeth looking nice. It is also a very healthy habit to get into as well.
I was surprised that they had never had any dental issues, but I was also thankful that they were blessed with such good genes. After our talk, they actually wanted to brush their teeth several times a day. They knew what the teeth of the adults in their lives had looked like before, and they finally realized that would be them if they didn’t take care of their teeth by brushing and flossing. That was nearly two years ago, and they all still have perfect teeth. I know this because they are now my adopted sons and daughter. We may have not started out as a family, but we are tighter now than most families we know!