Alex went to the dentist last week and did very well. He was squirmy, so they put an Xray blanket on him and he settled down. (Big change from needing to be strapped down in the papoose board.) Lynyrd did well and Alex used him for some visits when he was getting overwhelmed. They were tethered together and there were no issues with using the tether.
The bad news was about his teeth in general. Or rather, specifically his bite, since the teeth are in good shape. Alex's front teeth have been pushed forward at an angle over the years because he sticks his lower lip up underneath them. It's something we've talked to the dentist about before and discussed what our options would be as Alex would likely not tolerate braces. The dentist had mentioned the option of a surgical correction, which would be painful but over very quickly.
We hadn't decided on it one way or another yet. It's a lot of pain to put someone through for what is essentially a cosmetic correction.
However, now it won't be an issue. The dentist confirmed that the problem isn't Alex's teeth, it's his bite. Specifically the fact that his lower jaw is too small and is too far pushed back for his upper jaw. (I had a similar problem when I was a child, so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised.) His lower jaw needs to be brought forward and possibly expanded, which they would normally do with a mouthpiece appliance. The dentist didn't want to discuss it as an option, which bothered me. (It would bother me more if we didn't see a different dentist every time we went in there. It's always the same hygenist, which is the important interactive part, but the dentist is always different.)
We're actually looking into the same issue with Nathan. So I'll have a chance to talk to the specialist and find out what we're dealing with. Bad news