Our little guy had his 6 month Dental check up with our favorite dentist, Dr. Frank Enriquez! He got to put the Purple Tablet in his mouth that dauntingly showed where it is that he needs to be brushing better…shudder…
As his mom, I know the purple tablet is “judging” me and letting everyone in the dental office know that we are not enforcing the flossing like we should be and we are not being as diligent about making him brush as long as he should. Thus, I cringe a little when the purple tablet outs me. I vow to be better about instituting more brushing time with that little timer they give me in his take home goody bag. I know full well this may last for a few days after our visit and that inevitably we will get back into our routine, i.e. screaming around the house before bedtime and rushing through the brushing. I am trying to be better – I promise.
The upside to this appointment was that he did not have any cavities so maybe our lack of attention to brushing/flossing is not such a bad thing? I mean, if he doesn’t have any cavities then maybe we are doing enough? Right…I know better but no cavities=good job in my book!
Our dentist really took his time explaining to us that we have about a year and half before we are going to need the alveolar Bone Graft. Gavin has one upper tooth that is loose and his permanent front tooth is coming in above and in front of the loose tooth (which is not uncommon in cleft kiddos). The good point being that when this permanent tooth drops it will be out in front and he will no longer have the under bite he currently has (which is also common in cleft kiddos). He has an extra tooth coming in through the gums above the baby Teeth and they are happy about this because in their words “where there are teeth there is bone.” For our cleft kids this is extremely important. Some cleft kiddos are not born with all of their permanent teeth and have to look forward to bridges or dental implants depending on their health insurance and family’s financial status. Our little guy had a 360 degree x -ray taken of his upper and lower jaw revealing that he was born with all of his permanent teeth and a few extra. They have no explanation for this but continue to tell us this is better for him because after his bone graft, he will be able to begin orthodontic treatment and start working on moving teeth around or extracting teeth should that be necessary.
We also found out that with his permanent teeth dropping down in front and thus, eventually eliminating the under bite, that his speech will be markedly improved and we may even (cross our fingers) get to take a break from speech therapy and focus solely on reading therapy instead. It’s going to be awhile but the thought of not having to get him to private therapy each week and work with the school speech therapist AND attend IEP meetings is a bit of a dream for mom (ME!).
For now, we will continue to work on keeping the teeth he does have in tip top shape and continue to monitor his progress while working towards that inevitable bone graft surgery.
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