Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Parker's Trip to the Dentist

We woke up this morning a little anxious about Parker's trip to Sick Kids because we knew he would be seeing the dentist. Parker has discoloration on his top four teeth and the teeth adjacent to the two middle ones are quite grey. We originally thought it may be due to his Septra that he receives three times a week but when we were assured by our immunologists that it wasn't, we thought it may be dental carries (tooth decay). We have regularly brushed Parker's teeth, although he has fought us quite a bit the past few weeks, so the thought that it may be our fault did upset us.

Since Tuesday, we have been worried about Parker having to get x-rays of his teeth and the stress he would be under during the visit to the dentist. However, the dentist was very nice and with my wife's help showed us how to properly brush Parker's teeth. For those of you who are interested in knowing how to brush your infants teeth, here are a couple of methods.

First, use a stage one (4 - 24 month) toothbrush with a pea-size amount of regular toothpaste (any flavour). That means it has fluoride. The small amount of toothpaste will not bother your child's stomach if it is swallowed. With my wife holding Parker in her arms with him facing her, the dentist sat across from my wife her with a pillow in her lap. My wife lay Parker back on the pillow with Parker's head looking up at the dentist. Using a circular motion, spend about 15 seconds brush each tooth. Parker does not have any molars, so using your finger where his molars are allowed the dentist to keep Parker's mouth open. Using another finger allowed her to reveal his teeth and with my wife holding his arms, she proceeded to brush his teeth.

The first thing we asked was how long should we brush his teeth for? She said about the length of a song. Of course, I looked at my wife and then blurted out how long is this song? "About 90 seconds", she replied. That ought to be fun.

Now, if you do not have a person to help you brush your child's teeth and they are squirmers like Parker then you can place them on the floor with their head between your legs, looking up at you. To stop them from moving so you can brush their teeth, put your legs over their arms and legs. Yes it sounds cruel, but eventually they will not give you such a hard time when you brush your teeth and you will not have to restrain them. God, it sounds mean.

We also asked about Parker's teeth grinding and apparently this is normal. He will stop eventually and will be no worse due to the habit he currently has.

Now, for the discoloration and the x-ray of Parker's teeth. As soon as she finished showing us how to brush his teeth she informed us that he will not be needing an x-ray. The discoloration is not due to brushing, or baby bottle tooth decay. It was linked to his condition and most likely occurred during development of his teeth during in-utero. His weakened immune system was most likely the cause of the discoloration and with an improved immune system (PEG-ADA has been helping with that) it should not worsen. We were definitely relieved about that. That was probably the best possible scenario it could have been for us.

In addition to seeing the dentist today, Parker also had more excitement. This one was something we thought he may enjoy. With a couple of weeks to Parker's first birthday and with his height and weight meeting the requirements, we repositioned Parker's car seat behind me, in the front-facing position. It was a completely new experience for Parker and he really liked it. He loved looking out the windows as well as being able to see mommy who sat diagonally from him. I also placed a new activity for him to play with on the back of my chair. I think it made him forget about his trip to the dentist a little bit.


Nana said...

Great news our little man.So glad to hear you don't require x-rays and that your teeth do not have cavities.
Just keep on brushing and all will be well.

Love the way you are now facing the front in your car seat - so much more to see.

We love you.

Nana and Ga Ga (Granddad)xoxo

nonna said...

Hey Parker,

Boy you had such an exciting day. Dentist, teeth brushing, front facing carseat, no wonder you slept so long at naptime. It's all good Parker. I know that it's not fun getting your teeth brushed but try and be good for your Mommy and Daddy.

Stay Strong Big Guy!

Love you tons

Nonno & Nonna

Allyson said...

Wow-what great news! You just keep getting cuter by the day! I am so happy everything went well at the Dentist's office-I am going to use some of that great advice you Dad wrote about for Beck's teeth! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!