Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Theodore amazed me today at the new dentist. We went to Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Fayetteville and visited with Dr. Cosmina Nolan. He did great!
With his autism it’s hard enough to get him to sit for an exam. We had visited my cousin Dr. Nestor Herbowy but for all the help we had gotten from him and his staff, they are not equipped for special needs kids. He actually recommended Dr. Nolan (and we are apparently related). The hygienist was able to count Theo’s teeth, and quickly.
So I had no idea what to expect this time.
I wasn’t expecting much.
Rocking to Laurie
This morning Theo knew something was up. After all, why was he climbing into my van, and not into his bus with David? As soon as I buckled him in, he started rocking and was upset. I popped in his new favorite DVD (actually it’s from his Auntie Maire’s former collection) featuring the Laurie Berkner band. He calmed down, started humming along, and enjoyed the early morning chilly, but very sunny, ride from Canastota to Fayetteville.
Back in Business
As soon as we pulled in the parking lot, Theo was ready to go exploring. We entered the building and checked in…and Theo headed right for the door to the exam rooms. He really just wanted to get this over. I was able to coax him into the boat housed in the waiting room (he loved the steering wheel). A few minutes later we were called in. Theo took the scenic route, exploring other rooms until we found the one Dr. Nolan would see him in.
After some questions from the assistant Dr. Nolan came in and he looked away, and smiled (oh boy…here comes the charm!). I was able to get him into the exam chair, but he didn’t last long. So, instead, I sat on the chair and put him on my lap facing me. I then tipped him backward and my lap became an exam table. Dr. Nolan basically had Theo’s head in her lap during the exam. I rocked him a bit, sang to him when he started to cry, and had to hold his hands.
The restraining…not good. But he tolerated it. Hey, at least he didn’t bite anyone!
Tipping him back made him open his mouth, which was PERFECT since we were at the dentist anyway. She counted his teeth, said they looked good, and even cleaned some plaque off — but was not able to brush his teeth. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, his teeth (and our caring for them) was at level 3.
I was pretty pleased.
Plan of Action
A few things came up that we will have to tackle next:
- Even though he takes a bottle at morning and night, Dr. Nolan said she is OK with that because he takes it all at once and does not snack on it all day.
- She is glad we can brush his teeth at night, but would like us to add brushing in the morning. We’ll start that next week.
- One we can get those back teeth clean, a few weeks down the line, we should use an electric toothbrush.
- We should aim to get rid of the bottle by the time his permanent teeth come in. So we have some time to work on that one.
- We should also try to discourage him from sucking his thumb although Dr. Nolan knows it’ll be hard to do. Good news is he seems to only do that when he is really sleepy.
- She is glad we are using a cup. She would like him to use it more but less juice, more water.
- The biting of non-food items (wood, plastics, etc.) could be due to his molars. Seriously. Even though they may not come in for another year or two, he may be feeling some pressure now, driving his need to bite non-food items. We are in the process of filling out paperwork to get Theo on schedule for a sensory evaluation through Enable and that should help curb his biting.
- Dr. Nolan will aim for a cleaning in October, our next visit.
Overall, it went very well and Theodore was quite the trouper. Another success for us. I can’t be happier for him.