Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dentist

Along with excellent health, thanks to the various biomedical interventions we have done under his doctor’s supervision, Alex has also been blessed to have strong, sound teeth. At his current age of 18½, he has never had a cavity. His healthy diet, daily calcium supplements, and cooperative attitude toward brushing and flossing his teeth have contributed toward his not needing any fillings. In addition, we have been fortunate to have worked with two dental groups specializing in pediatrics and special needs patients; both have provided him with wonderful care.

We began taking Alex to his first dentist when he was three years old. This dentist was a very sweet and gentle man, who patiently coaxed Alex to open his mouth by telling him he needed to count his teeth. Since Alex loves numbers, he was willing to cooperate. His staff members were very understanding of Alex’s sensory issues, allowing me to sit in the chair with him during x-rays to hold his head still. They would also adjust the exam chair and then have him climb in it because the movement bothered him. In addition, they had him wear sunglasses during the exam and cleaning so that the bright light wouldn’t bother him. The only criticism I had of them was that they gave Alex a grade for his dental hygiene. Since I was brushing his teeth at that time due to his fine motor delays and sensory problems, this was a critique of my work, not his. Nonetheless, Alex cried when we got a C one time. After that, I never looked at the grades, nor did I show them to him. I just told him that they didn’t give grades anymore.

When Alex was in his teens, his dentist moved his practice to another city, so I looked for another local dentist whose practice included special needs patients. While this dentist isn’t quite as warm as the other, he exudes a confidence that reassures me. He’ll tell me, “Now, Mom, we’re not going to worry about that unless we need to. He’s doing fine.” Moreover, his hygienist, who has a very pleasant demeanor, is fantastic with Alex, calling him affectionate names and complimenting him on how cooperative he is for her. Because Alex has had such good experiences throughout the years at the dentist, he—unlike most people—really enjoys going to have his teeth cleaned and checked. For instilling a positive attitude in Alex about going to the dentist instead of dread and fear, I’m very grateful to both dentists and their staffs.

“For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.” Psalm 81:10

4 comments:

Etoyoc Rebmos said...

Pam, its great to see these.

BTW, oddly enough, Kirsten enjoys going to the dentist as well. Of course, she was traumatized about sugar bugs when she was in preschool and has been lucky to not have any cavities yet.

K. C. said...

I know plenty of adults who are terrified of the dentist. Good for Alex and his great attitude! (I hope you didn't cry about the C, too, Pam!) :)

Tammy Hofer said...

Pam,
I just got done reading your entries. I think it was your sister-in-law who said how blessed
Alex is to have you and Ed as his parents. I couldn't agree more. I love how Alex will only rate what
God does as 100%. I am going to
share that with my family. Thank you for sharing this. You, Ed, and Alex are quite amazing. I admire all of you a great deal. Tammy

Pam Byrne said...

Hi Guys!
Coyote, glad that Kirsten likes the dentist, too. Hope that she continues to be sugar bug and cavity free! :)
Feef, I'm not crazy about the dentist myself--had to have a filling replaced this week and worked myself into a stew over nothing. BTW, I didn't cry over the C, but I was ticked! ;)
Roomie, thanks for your sweet note. I can't tell you how much I've appreciated being able to come whine to you, but I always leave our chats laughing. That's why you're so good at your job!