Yesterday was the semi-annual trip to the dentist.
In theory, the Monster understands fully well that the dentist is not going to hurt. He’s able to vocalize that we’re going to the dentist, doesn’t put up a fight about the issue, and knows that the dentist is going to check his teeth.
In practice… well, it’s all well and good until his dentist (Dr. Bowden at Pediatric Dentistry) tries to get him in the chair, whereupon I end up having to sit down in the chair and hold the Monster in a wrestling hold to keep him still while the good doctor checks and polishes his teeth.
We’re fortunate that while the Monster does like sweets, he’s more often than not eating ‘real’ food, since getting him into a routine that constitutes good oral health is a problem. We’re bad about making sure he brushes his teeth, admittedly, but I can’t imagine getting him to, say, rinse with a fluoridated mouth wash the way I did when I was a kid. So far, he’s gotten nothing but praise from the dentist on his trips, about how his mouth’s looking, and this is just with his baby teeth in.
Though the dentist mentioned to me, yesterday, that the Monster does really need to start flossing…
Now, I suspect that he’s had plenty of experience with getting kids with Autism into a good oral hygiene regimen. Much of the dental practice there is geared towards special-needs children – that’s why we chose the practice – and they have been very good about helping us ensure that his teeth are being taken care of. On the other hand… I can’t really imagine the Monster sitting still to let me run floss between his teeth. (Hell, I have enough of a hard time getting myself into a good pattern of doing so, and I’m not special-needs or necessarily averse to having my fingers working some glazed paper around in my mouth.)
Obviously, it’s something we’re going to have to start working on, to ensure he continues to have the cleaning be the worst part of his trips there… just have to figure out how, though.