5/1/20

Dear Patient and family members:

We hope you and your family are in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

We are excited to resume semi-normal working days starting May 4, 2020.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations to insure your safety and that of our staff.

You will see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment or to reschedule your canceled appointment, please call our office 406-252-1078.  

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Ken Bagby and staff

Thumb sucking and Pacifier Use

By Kenneth Bagby, D.D.S. on March 19, 2017


Most children develop the habit of sucking on either a pacifier or his or her thumb, in some case both, to soothe themselves in infancy. This habit then usually follows the child through toddlerhood, and it will eventually need to be confronted and curbed to prevent any damage to the child’s teeth or mouth.

Thumb sucking can alter the natural alignment of teeth in the mouth, especially when the child’s permanent teeth start to enter the mouth. It’s usually best to attempt to wean the child away from the thumb sucking or pacifier habit when they are between the ages of two and four.

It’s a difficult habit for most children to break because they do it when it soothes them. Many children when they are feeling tired, anxious, and nervous will resort to the habit. Although the two habits aren’t quit equally: a pacifier can be removed from the child’s life, and, while he or she may experience a withdraw from the habit, they will also get over it more quickly because you’ve taken away the pacifier: out of sight, out of mind.

Obviously, a child’s thumb is always there, and because a child uses thumb sucking at odd times including during the night, it’s impossible for you to always be there to coach them away from it. So, what do you do? How do you encourage a child to stop sucking his or her thumb? First, it’s recommended that you praise a child for not sucking their thumb, let them know when they’ve tried to stop the habit, even momentarily.

Punishing the child for sucking his or her thumb could have the opposite consequences, as the child will be nervous and anxious from being punished, and thereby more likely to continue the habit. Consider rewarding the child when he or she refrains, especially during a difficult period when the child’s tired, or when the child’s being put into a stressful situation.

If you have any questions as to how to curtail your child’s thumb sucking habit, or would like a dentist to speak with your child as to the importance of quitting thumb sucking (it offers an outside perspective, which sometimes can give the reasons more authority) call the office today.

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