My daughter asked me to go with her to Marty’s first visit to the dentist–had to be done since dental health can be problematic for children with Down Syndrome. Due to hypersensitivity Marty likes limited touch so we knew this was not going to be a happy visit. Marty’s parent had already started a teeth brushing routine which included a bear hug to hold him down. He has progressed to the point where he is not crying too much.
Marty’s patients had chosen a pediatric dentist who came highly recommended. We were all nervous in the waiting room. Marty sped away at one point down the hall to the exam room–he is getting quite fast on his feet and I could not catch him–at least it brought smiles to the staff. Since he was unable to sit still in the waiting room, I thought if he kept this energy up, Marty would be climbing out of the exam chair very unhappy.
I noticed that no parents went with their children down that hall and worried that Marty would be led away with terror induced howls. His mom assured me though that Marty would not go down that hall alone–we were both going.
Finally his name was called just as he was losing patience with the confined arena. We were escorted to a small room with no question about our presence. Fortunately there were toys available as we waited for Dr Mak whose first name also happened to be Martin. He talked with Amber about her concerns while I played with Marty. The time for the exam came but there was no evidence of tools or strange chairs; we stayed right in that room. Dr Mak had Marty sit on Amber’s lap facing her then he tilted him backwards. Marty was not happy but his cries opened his mouth and the exam was quick and thorough.
No x-rays required–they would probably be useless anyway. The conclusion: Marty probably would not have canines on top or bottom–time would tell. His teeth and gums were in great condition. Return visit in 6 months.
Marty came into my arms after the exam and snuggled until the nurse brought him stickers–cookie monster and pluto. The smile came back and the tears ended. He was ready to go, a milestone completed with minimal disruption; at least nowhere near what I imagined.