Friday, June 12, 2009

The Dentist

Wednesday Amelia had a dentist appointment. She used to be terrible at these appointments, or any medical appointment at all. The dentist my teens go to asked us to go somewhere else a few years ago because Amelia screamed and resisted. The place they suggested as being good for special needs kids had an interesting method-- get mom to hold the child down. We only went there once.

I then saw an ad in a newspaper for a children's dentist that had video games in the waiting room, TV's with cartoons in each exam room, and worked hard to get the children comfortable. I took Amelia, and her first time was terrible- as expected, but the hygienist was patient and soothing. We went back 6 months later and she was three years later she walks in, plops in the chair and opens her mouth. I am sure a lot of it is that she is older and more mature, but wow what a difference! On Wednesday she let them x-ray her mouth. She had to stand while this machine circled around her head. We had tried it last December and she freaked, but she did well this time and it was able to be completed.

Amelia does have some cavities, and they do need better x-rays. The dentist wants to use an Operating Room with anesthetic to get Amelia done all at once, but it is expensive. The hygienist also tried to convince me to bring her in every three months so she'll get more comfortable and have cleaner teeth. (She even tried peer pressure on me and said lots of their patients with DS come every three months.) I said no, because of the cost. My insurance does not cover all of the cleanings as it is, and this place is more expensive because their quality of care is higher.

Instead, I have resolved to do better at home brushing her teeth. To that end, I have labeled three cups with "Amelia", "Sunny", and "Micah", stuck their brushes in them, and they are on the windowsill over the kitchen sink. They now each brush their teeth-- with assistance --after each meal. It is a new habit, but I am determined to keep it up.

Speaking of Sunny, Tuesday has been her only down day. Wednesday she was once again living up to her name. Just now she was sitting on my lap as I type, but left me for the twice-baked potato Zach made for her lunch. We walked to the library yesterday and she enjoyed reading books and coloring.

Dante is yanking my arm, and since he pounds the keyboard I need to go to him instead of letting him have a turn on my lap...


Leah said...

On brushing and Down syndrome. My Angela is 13, and her fine motor skills just don't allow for very good brushing! That, and she really does not like Mom helping her! Ugh! The past 3 or 4 years she hasn't been getting very good check-ups from the dentist. No cavities, but lots of tartar. Now she has braces, which adds to the problem. Well, about 3 months ago I bit the bullet and bought her the Oral B electric toothbrush. I've used the cheap spinning brushes before, but they don't last very long. The oral b was expensive, but I figured at least with the head spinning all she'd need to do was get the brush to the right area. WOW!!! I can't believe the difference in her teeth! We just has a braces check up and they were impressed with how clean her teeth were! I guess it was worth the $100! Oh, and it comes with several heads so she and I both use is, just have to change the heads.

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

Sounds like a great dentist office. We have tried a few and haven't found the right fit yet.

I'm happy to hear Sunny is doing well. Sweet little thing :)

KellyL said...

Thank you for that suggestion Leah, it is a great idea and a justifiable expense!

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