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.