July has been such a busy month!
I knew it would be. Between July and the beginning of August we have two birthdays and two kids going back to school. And one of those kids is Christian!
But before he starts Kindergarten, he has a birthday coming up. I'll let you all in on his birthday trip we're heading out for tomorrow in a later post. For now, I wanted to update on the Frazier Water Protocol we started with him about six weeks ago.
I love this program!
About three times a day I clean his mouth with a toothbrush. Teeth, inside of cheeks, roof of mouth, tongue, and lips. Then I follow it up with about 3mL of water by mouth with a tiny syringe. The whole thing is supposed to promote better oral hygiene and stronger swallowing, thus reducing the risk for aspiration and/or pneumonia.
And it does!
Christian's mouth was starting to become a problem. I felt like brushing his teeth alone was not helping and with him being a mouth breather with his mouth constantly open, his mouth would dry up. Saliva would actually dry over his teeth and it was like I needed a power washer to get it off! I was beginning to wonder if this was going to be a problem because what I was doing didn't seem to be helping.
Enter Frazier Water Protocol.
There was a difference in his mouth within the first few days.
This is what his mouth looked like before. A mess.
Very dry and you can hardly see his teeth. This was what it looked like every morning.
This is after we started the program.
He has teeth!
Over the years Christian's gums started to engulf his teeth. The roof of his mouth is different than children his age and his teeth kind of sit in his gums. When his first top teeth came in, he had a big gap between them. The gap disappeared when his gums enlarged. This, I'm assuming, is because he doesn't eat by mouth and because his mouth is always open so every thing dries over.
But after six weeks of the water program, look who's back!
It's the gap!
His mouth looks so much better! But I have to do the water program AT LEAST three times a day. If I do it less, which has happened because he'll fall asleep early or something, I can see the difference.
Not only has the program vastly improved his oral health, but his swallow is so much faster! He used to pool all of the liquid at the back of his throat and give one big swallow. But now he will swallow right away. And fast. He has also shown more interest in tasting food and he is clearly more motivated with food. His favorite is a chocolate peanut butter smoothie because, of course, it is.
Here he is in action with his water:
If he swallows better, his risk of aspiration is lower. He has never aspirated before that we know of but as his anatomy grows and changes, it's always a possibility. So we're working on strengthening that swallow reflex as he grows.
I have our fabulous speech therapist, Randi, to thank for suggesting this program. It has been amazing!