Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hey DS Parents, Dental question

Ok, if you don't have a kid with DS, you can put your 2 cents in too... I'm all about inclusion. (Ha...see that's a little IEP joke right there for ya.)

When did you take your kiddo for their first dental check?

If you haven't yet, were you given any info from anyone about when you should take him/her?

What was the reasoning for that timing?

How does tooth-brushing go at your house? Easy? A fight? Every day?

Anyone need to do sedation for dentistry?

I'm pondering how this is going to work for Braska, as she is so NOT into people messing with her mouth or putting anything in it.


  1. I'm not for anyone messing with my mouth either! They (you know, that unidentified "them") say that you should make the first dentist appt. at about 3 yrs old. So that's when Isaiah and Huston have gone (and they haven't really been back, I know, I'm a bad parent...)

    we brush one really good one before bed only. I'm sure 4 out of 5 dentist would tell you to brush more often! :0)

  2. I took my children around two, they got to take a ride in the chair and the dentist attempted to look in their mouth. He didn't try to push them too far, just kept it like a fun ride.

  3. I have one phobia ... I am terrified of the dentist. Yes, I'm a weenie. But, my kids go. Not as often as recommended, but often enough their teeth are clean and healthy. I first took Nathan when he was three. Alyssa is going this summer for the first time. She is 4, but doesn't have nearly as many teeth occlusion problems that Nathan has. We use the dentist at SLCH for my two kiddos with DS. They are AWESOME! The best part is that they encourage the parent to stay in the exam room with the child during the cleaning and any procedures that need to be done. For me this is HUGE. My 3 other stinkers that do not have DS go to a traditional dentist.

    We brush teeth together at night ... they do it alone in the morning. We sing a little song as we clean "Brushing our teeth everyday. Brushing all the plaque away. Up and down. Left and right. Round and round so they shine bright! Brushing our teeth everyday. Brushing all the plaque away!" It makes it fun (well as fun as teeth brushing can be.) For my two who don't like things or people in their mouth the best thing that's worked for us is to take them to Target and let them pick out one or two cute little toothbrushes. They also pick out their toothpaste from all of the fun kid flavors that are available now.

    Sorry for my rambling! Braska's got such a great smile ... I hope your dental worries are short-lived!

  4. We see a dentist as part of the DS clinic visit. So when did we first go there, like 15 or 18 months or something? But they don't do a cleaning, they just look. I asked specifically about cleaning (because William's dentist said we should bring her in, starting at 2.) The clinic dentist said it's okay to wait, as long as they're still seeing her. (Kind of weird, IMO, but, okay.)

    Tooth brushing is a huge fight here.

  5. I don't have any advice, but I like reading what others have done. Thanks for posting!

  6. Kennedy first went at a year old and now she goes every 6 months. She LOVES the dentist. They have TVs on the ceiling and they give her sunglasses to wear to block her eyes from the bright light. And of course she knows she gets a balloon when she leaves. LOL

    We did it that young because we were told that kids with Ds are more prone to cavities and we wanted to stay ahead of the game. So far so good.

    Kenn loves to brush her teeth. I do it for her first and then she does it herself. It's never been a fight. Kameron on the other hand was HORRIBLE when he was little. I would literally have to pin him down. It was awful.

    Me? I HATE the dentist! I just finally went back after 10 years. I know, I suck making my kids go when I wouldn't! LOL Now that I've been back though I promise to be a good girl and go every 6 months! LOL

  7. G saw a dentist early--10 months-ish--because we thought she might have a problem with tooth spacing (her gums had a funny--or so we thought--ridge)...turned out all was pretty much normal. She went back at 18 months and they pretty much just looked at them. We were supposed to go back at 2, but b/c G has such doctor anxiety I have canceled the appt 3 times (mainly b/c I don't want to deal). I had called and asked about sedating and to their credit they said they would want to meet the patient first, but I just keep thinking it's going to be a waste of time (I am not gung-ho about sedation either, but I don't think it's going to work any other way).

    As far as tooth brushing, it's pretty easy and we sing. We do once at night (when we remember--so bad, I know!!!!!!!!) We actually wrote it down on a check list to remind outselves which helps. It got hard at one point, but we found out it was because of a new paste that G HATED. I feel like we should be brushing at least 2x a day, but with the meds timing and everything else...ok. I am making excuses I guess.

    Oh. ANd the dentist we will see if I can ever bring myself to make (and keep) an appt. specializes with kids who have DS. Supposedly.

  8. Goldie hasn't been to the dentist. We use a toothpaste with xylitol everynight. I let her brush and then I "help". She doesn't like my helping her :) I wish I could say we never missed a night, but...

    My middle child had cavities from nystatin she was on as a baby. She had to be put under just before she turned 2 and had 7 cavities repaired. She hasn't had another one since then(7 yo now). She was afraid of the dentist (spit at anyone who tried to clean her teeth) until she was 4. I read her the book about Dora visiting the dentist. I asked her "where is the part where Dora spits at the dentist?" She looked at me like I was crazy. So, we talked about how it wasn't ok for her to act like that. She's been good ever since.
    I don't know how Goldie will act or how much she understands when I explain things to her. I'm not exactly looking forward to her first visit though.

  9. We took Kayla just for a quick look at age 2. She just started seeing the dentist regularly at age 4. We use a pediatric dentist who also sees special needs kids. When she needed to have a couple of small cavities filled, I basically had to hold her down (lie on her legs and hold her hands down). Actually we have to do that for cleanings, too. The dentist does have laughing gas, but we don't use it on Kayla.

    She doesn't like me to brush her teeth (she bites down on the toothbrush and doesn't let go!), so we get her teeth cleaned at the dentist every month or two.

  10. I think Joey was around 2... he won't even let us brush his teeth so we take him every 3 months to have his teeth cleaned.

    It takes 4 of us to hold him down...

  11. As you know we had IL Kidcare until recently and they don't even let you bring kids in until they are 3, that may be different with kids with DS. Anyways, we brush once a night and we have gone through times when it is a fight and times when it is fun. Maddy has gone once and the dentist was good with her and she did well, but she was scared at first. I think it is a definite plus to see a pediatric dentist, after all it is a scary thing for anyone and to have someone who is good with kids helps I think. Hope you find a great place with a great dentist. And I have heard that going earlier just to get them acclimated helps too.

  12. Thanks for including us non-DS parents! I started taking Lizzy (who turns 10 later this month!!) with me when I had my teeth cleaned when she was about 2. She would watch, and the hygienist would let her "help" with using Mr. Thirsty and other things. She probably got hers cleaned the first time about 4 or 5, but she was later getting her teeth in. I make two appointments back to back. I go first and the hygienist lets her help. Then she goes. We use a regular "family" dentist, not a pediatric dentist. Taking her with me and having her see me having a good experience at the dentist has been HUGE, I think. She hates new experiences, so to have her get to help, handling the instruments, makes a big difference.

    Brushing teeth has at times been a struggle, but mostly because she wants to do it herself, with varying results. She got braces a year ago so it's more difficult to get all the nooks and crannies, so I typically end up getting one or two problem spots after she's brushed. I let her brush by herself in the morning and check in at night.

  13. Connor went at 3 1/2 and it went well. All they were going to do was give him a ride in the chair and count his teeth. He did well so they went ahead and cleaned his teeth. We've been going every 6 months. Braska's enjoying counting so that may help. Prizes and stickers help a ton too! Good Luck!

  14. I don't like the dentist one bit. But we have taken all four of our kids to the dentist starting at a year old and we make it every six months.

    Tommy is no exception. We see a pediatric dentist here in town that is familiar with kids with special healthcare needs and specifically kids with Ds.

    The hygentist and I sit in chairs knee to knee and she has a pillow on her lap. We lay Tommy down on his back, his head is on the pillow on her lap. His feet on mine.

    I hold his hands down. No it's not pretty, it's VERY loud. But the hygentist looks at every tooth and we know exactly how they are coming in.

    I was more insistent about Tommy following our dental routine because I'm honestly afraid of the shark like sharp teeth that some kids with Ds get. Isn't that weird? I can handle open heart surgery, gtube issues, placement of the ng tube....but sharp teeth just sent me over the edge. To date, he has eight teeth. With four more just coming in. Only two turned out to be shark like sharp. And they have worn down nicely, whew!

    We brush their teeth nightly. At 27 months, we only let them brush for the novelty and routine. But we really get the brushings in.

    One last thing, I had thought that we needed prophylaxis measures prior to dental work due to his open heart surgery, but at our last cardiology appt they said not to worry. Dental work can be done safely without antibiotics prior.

    Take care!

  15. Kayla's never really had a problem w/letting us brush her teeth so we've been doing that for the last few years now...probably started after she really had some teeth. We also give her the toothbrush and let her 'brush' - although she chews on it more than she brushes.

    The first time I brought her to a dentist was around age 3. It was a regular ped. dentist but they weren't (as far as I could tell) very good w/dealing w/special needs kids. Kayla wouldn't do the xray - forget trying to ask her to hold that in her mouth!

    They didn't get to do much of an exam because she freaked out at having to be put in the chair with the big light shining down on her face and people standing over her with masks on their faces wanting to pry into her mouth! LOL That didn't go over very well; I think she felt vulnerable not really knowing what to expect. I finally held her in my lap and I think they were able to get a quick brush and tried to count her teeth. After that we were referred to a dentist who specialized in special needs kids. I was a bad mom and never made that appt while we were still in NM. I figured she would need to be sedated to have her teeth cleaned!

    I finally made her an appt since e moved here (again w/a dentist who has 30 yrs working w/kids w/special needs.) He was wonderful. Kayla didn't want to sit in the chair, so she sat on my mom's lap. Then he wanted her turned around so she was facing my mom and have my mom lay Kayla back so her head was basically in his lap and then he was able to look in her mouth and count her teeth and he kept reassuring her "you're doing so good Kayla." Thank you Kayla' and being really calm and talking to her. As soon as he finished counting her teeth she bolted up in to my mom's arms lol but at least we were able to do that much. we go back in a couple weeks for the actual cleaning and I imagine I'll have to hold her in my lap and do the same thing for that, but at least we're getting somewhere!

  16. Hi! I followed your link from the Dan Drinker page.

    It just so happens that I took Holdyn for this first dentist visit last week. He is 22 months old.

    First, they are adament about having a statement from a cardiologist if they have heart issues saying it's ok to work on their teeth. Dental work introduces bacteria that could be dangerous for a heart condition so they need the ok to do heavy cleaning or anything else.

    Second, since Holdyn is so young, I held him and the hygenist just brushed his teeth. A precursor to someone putting something is his mouth and getting used to it.

    Last, the dentist came in and Holdyn (amazingly) let him look at his teeth. He said the look great by the way! He goes back in six months and then he will probably get an actual cleaning.

    As for at home, Holdyn likes to mimic us. So I will sit him on my bathroom counter (it's large) and give a toothbrush. He "brushes" his teeth while I brush mine and then I finish off for him. He even tries to spit when I spit. Too cute!

    Holdyn has texture issues so we have been messing with his mouth since he was around 7 or 8 months old. I think that's helped a lot. The speech therapist showed us what to do. Good Luck with Braska and keep us posted on how dentist visits go!

    Oh and I was told to use the same time table as typical children, they tend to have the same issues with there teeth so the earlier the better. I was actually late in getting Holdyn started but he only had 4 teeth until he was about 19 months old and then all the sudden his molars just started popping out!

  17. The dentist we take Braden too is also the guy for Special Needs in our area - and he's right down the street from us.

    He told us that kids w/DS rarely get cavities. They have more ... something - antibodies? I don't know - in their mouths, to help fight germs.

    So, brushing Ruby's teeth is a fight, she just chews the brush ... but I try it.

    It's weird to me that Renee says kids w/DS are MORE prone to cavities. Is my dentist crazy?! (Yes. But that's besides the point). I know they're more prone to dental/tooth problems... but does that include cavities?

    Ru's never gone in to the dentist, I've just talked to the guy about her while I was there w/Braden.

  18. Melana does not have Ds, but she also has not been to the dentist yet. She is 21mo old with 12, going on 14 teeth. Her first appt is in September with a pediatric dentist and at that time she will be 26mo old.

    My boys, none of them went till age of 3, but from what the dentist says, kids should start going around age 2.


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