Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dentists #atozchallenge

If you have landed here from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (or not), welcome.  
My theme is - Journeying Through the Unknown.   My journey is with an autistic brother-in-law.

Bil dislikes going to the dentist.  Strongly dislikes.

In fact, when we moved him up here two years ago to be closer to family,it had been years since his last dental visit.  To be blunt about it, his breath stunk.  I dreaded  riding in the car with him.  Bil is totally oblivious to the smell, too - a little surprising, perhaps, given how sensitive his senses are.

Yes, he brushes his teeth, although not as much as he should have good dental hygiene.

We've been through this before.  It took quite a bit of effort to get him to the dentist last time, and his mother, who is going on 90, has had so many health concerns in the past three/four years, that her needs always seemed to get addressed first.

My husband is now Bil's guardian.  There is another brother living about 20 minutes from us.  All of us knew this hygiene situation couldn't be allowed to continue, but we couldn't figure out how to get him to the dentist.

Fortunately, fate intervened.

Going to the medical doctor with his mother has always been part of his routine and he's accepted having a primary care doctor.  On a visit last year, we were told their doctor had left the practice.

There was a new doctor, and on her first exam, she mentioned Bil's breath, and the fact it could indicate something was wrong in his mouth.

Lo and behold, suddenly Bil wanted to go to go see a dentist.  His anxiety (an issue with him) had kicked in.

I called our dentist's office and they were willing to see Bil - in fact, if the visit was not successful (i.e. Bil didn't cooperate enough to be examined) they said they wouldn't charge.  This was important, as our dentist does not accept Medicaid.  Almost no dentists in our area do.  Bil  would have to pay totally out of pocket.

So off my husband and Bil went.

This is the waiting room of our dentist.
Bil took a seat, and soon, he was in a dentist's chair for the first time in years.

They had to spread the needed cleaning over several visits, but, fortunately, there was no major work needed other than the cleaning.

Now, his breath smells so much better.

He will go back later this month for a checkup, and he is not being oppositional about it.  But now there is another plot complication - the hygienist who did the previous work won't be there that day.  My husband talked to Bil about it, giving him the choice of moving the appointment or not.  He decided he wanted to keep the appointment as is.

It's a milestone.  Bil has gone to the dentist.  Whether they can teach him to maintain dental health, and whether he will change his habits,  is another matter. 
But at least, we can get him into the habit of periodic cleanings, something his aging mother did not have the energy to do.

"D" day on Blogging from A to Z Challenge.


  1. Thank you for posting these stories and this information and for stopping by to read my posts on addiction.

    1. In turn, thank you for following this blog. It means a lot.

  2. Hi CD - amazing how things turn around sometimes. Glad Bil's mouth is better and I guess regular visits will help ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary, thank you for following this blog, and for stopping by!

  3. I don't know anyone who actually likes going to the dentist. When I was a little girl, I had horrible teeth. My baby teeth came in black I'm told having something to do with Mom not taking iron supplements while pregnant with me. I always had tooth aches and lost permanent teeth. I don't think oral hygiene was strictly enforced in our house because I don't recall Mom or Dad ever saying, "Did you brush your teeth?" By the time I got old enough to tolerant the torturous trips to the school dentist I had teeth filled or pulled and by the time I was a young adult (early years of marriage) I learned the school dentist did not get the cavity out of the teeth filled which meant they had to be re-done. The teeth I lost (middle molars lower) was fixed with bridges for both sides. I...we spent an untold fortune on dental care and I even got braces in my mid-20s. In recent years I've had to have some fillings replaced because they are old and these are bond to fail by this point in my life. Speaking of which, I have a dental appointment this month to get one replaced and I hope that's all that's needed. I hope Bill takes to better oral hygiene and isn't reluctant to seeing his dentist. You're invited to visit, A2Z Art Sketching Through the Alphabet Letter “D” for "dog". Happy a2zing, my friend!


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