Tuesday, June 19, 2012

First Trip to the Dentist

Yesterday was an exciting day- Anthony's very first visit to the dentist! Both Mommy and Daddy came along for moral support.  Anthony was very brave.  He sat in the big dentist chair all by himself, and picked out a new toothbrush.  He showed the hygienist how he brushes his teeth, and also how he spits afterwards.

It turns out that a kid's first dentist visit is really all about making them feel comfortable and checking for big problems.  They take the lead from the child and only do as much as the child will tolerate.  No x-rays or cleaning today, but the dentist checked Anthony's mouth for cavities and counted his teeth (19 of 20 have arrived).  They gave us a fluoride coating to paint on his teeth, which should protect his baby teeth for 6 months. 

He also takes fluoride tablets because we don't have it in our water:

The dentist said Anthony's teeth look terrific. No cavities! She went on and on about what a great job we're doing taking care of his teeth (If you think your dentist can tell what you're doing at home, they can't).

We really liked the dentist- she was very friendly and put us all at ease. The fact that Anthony has Down syndrome didn't come up, because it really wasn't relevant.  How refreshing to go to a medical visit and for once NOT hear the usual, "Down's kids this, Down's kids that.........."  When we made the appointment, we didn't mention that Anthony has Down syndrome, because we didn't think this would have changed what they did at the visit.  I wonder if we would have been treated differently if we did make a big deal of it, and acted like he had to be treated differently than other kids.

I guess the moral of the story is: Don't be afraid to take your child to the dentist, and you don't have to tell them ahead of time that he has Down syndrome if you don't want to.


  1. Way to go Anthony! Cora only has 1 of 20 and it's still not all the way out. But I've been thinking of the fluoride thing. Nice to hear that there was no big deal made of Ds. How refreshing, right?

  2. “It turns out that a kid's first dentist visit is really all about making them feel comfortable …“ Dentists should first get the trust of the kids so that they’ll feel at ease on the second, or the next dental checkups. Establish trust first, and everything will go smoothly.

  3. I think that it's better that you decided not to mention Anthony having Down Syndrome, because yes, it really isn't necessary. I think that we should treat them as normal people too. Anyway, it's good that the dentist treated Anthony very well and made his first dental visit a fun experience. Good job on taking good care of Anthony's oral health too!

    Eugenie Velasquez

  4. Anthony did a great job! Yey! :D Well, if your kid did well on his first dental appointment, you must tell him that. Consider it as one of his greatest achievements. Giving him kind words and even treats is great. By doing so, your kid will greatly appreciate what he has done. Thus, he will be more willing and braver the next time he has a dental appointment. :))

  5. Susan Horby Great job mum and dad. Anthony's report was excellent and you guys have been very proactive. Credit also needs to go to the dental staff for providing a great experience. I liked the idea about the fluoride treatment to protect the teeth.