So Griffin had, what I think, was probably his first ever dental visit today.
He did fantastic... other than biting the tar out of the pediatric dentist. I guess we could have taken him on base, but we found a pediatric dentist that is AMAZING off base... Dentistry4Kids in Landstuhl shout-out! Dr. Torres-Ramirez is the heat when it comes to relating to kids and making them feel as comfortable as possible when in an uncomfortable situation.
She gave us some interesting facts today. First, she said that due to the pH of saliva in children with Down syndrome, they won't develop cavities! I like the sound of that! No cavities means no needles and no drilling, thus fewer tears and more enjoyable trips to the dentist! I will have to do some research on this, but if it is true, that is pretty amazing! Makes me wonder why scientists haven't figured out a way to change the pH in every one's mouth... but then wouldn't that put dentists out of business? LOL! Actually, I just read on the ADA website where there is some research that suggests the occurrence of cavities is less, but nothing confirmed solidly. Bummer!
Next she said he has large "bumps & mountains" on the back part of his tongue, but I cannot remember what she called this. I think it started with an F, but I cannot find it online. She said this was common in kids with Down syndrome and it wasn't a huge issue.
She said he had some crowding and tilting of his teeth, but this was all fixable. She did say that we need to watch for abscesses though, as children with Down syndrome are more prone to have their teeth abscess. I don't like this! :(
The biggest thing that she said was that he may have Ankyloglossia, he's tongue tied. This is where the muscle that is under his tongue is really tight, and prevents him from learning the full range of motion, thus delaying his speech. Couple this with low muscle tone & you have a recipe for drastic speech delays. Don't get me wrong, he will babble, but making words is something we have only assumed he does. For example, during our orphanage visits, he would mumble "papapapa" and growl "mama", but there is no telling if that's what he was really meaning. He would say what the nannies said was "paka-paka" which is bye-bye, but it sounded mostly like an excited mumble to me. That's the extent of it. He understands a lot more than he says, that's for sure. This could be the cause.
She said that many think this is not a big deal and to do nothing about it, but she said we could give him 2000 speech therapy appointments and he still not progress because of this. After doing her research, she feels that clipping this muscle to relieve the tension is the best method. She is going to speak with our developmental pediatrician after our appointment to develop a course of action on this subject. He will also get a proper dental cleaning after that developmental pediatrician appointment... AWESOME! His breath, while 100% better than the orphanage breath he had, still doesn't smell the best. LOL! He has what I call hot breath! :)
Anyway, he did very well and the dentist is amazing, so no complaints on today's appointment!
See ya'll later!