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Posts for: October, 2015

DontPanicTakeMethodicalApproachtoHelpYourChildStopThumbSucking

One of the most frequent concerns parents express to us is their child’s thumb or finger sucking habit. The good news, though, is that thumb sucking is a completely normal activity for babies and young children, and if they stop by age 4 it should have no adverse effects on their future bite.

In fact, there are positive aspects to thumb sucking: it provides babies with a sense of security, as well as a way to learn about the world. As a child grows and becomes more confident with their surroundings, the thumb sucking habit will fade and eventually stop: for most children this occurs between the ages of two and four.

If, however, the habit continues later in childhood, there is a chance the upper front teeth may be influenced to tip toward the lip during eruption and come into an improper position that could also adversely affect jaw development. The same concern exists for pacifier use — we recommend weaning a child off a pacifier by the time they’re eighteen months of age.

If your child still has a thumb or finger sucking habit as they prepare to enter school, it’s quite appropriate to work on getting them to stop. Punishment, shaming or similar negative approaches, however, aren’t the best ways to accomplish this: it’s much more effective to try to modify their behavior through reward, praise or some creative activity.

Another factor that may help is to begin regular dental visits around their first birthday. Regular checkups give us a chance to monitor the development of their bite, especially if thumb sucking continues longer than normal. We can also assist you with strategies to encourage them to stop thumb sucking or pacifier use.

Thumb sucking that continues later than normal isn’t a cause for panic, but it does require attention and action. Helping your child “grow” past this stage in their life will improve their chances of developing a normal and healthy bite.

If you would like more information on thumb sucking, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Thumb Sucking in Children.”


By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
October 07, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
ChrissyTeigensTeeth-GrindingTroubles

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”


By Curt P. Posey, DDS, Inc.
October 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Toothbrush  

Find out what kind of toothbrush is the best option for your oral care regime.

While it’s vitally important that you know how to properly brush your teeth, the tools for the job are often just as important. If you don’t Toothbrushhave the right tools, you may not be giving your mouth the best cleaning it can get. To improve your at-home routine, find out which type of toothbrush is best for your smile, and how your Fresno dentist Dr. Curt Posey can help.

Hard- vs. Soft-Bristled Toothbrushes

If a hard-bristled toothbrush can offer a hearty tooth scrubbing, then you can expect to get a cleaner, healthier smile, right? While this logic might seem sound, unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. In fact, many people still believe that a hard-bristled toothbrush is going to clean their teeth more efficiently then a soft-bristled one. But the sad fact remains that a hard toothbrush may actually cause damage to teeth and gums.

It may seem ridiculous, but may people don’t know how to properly brush their teeth. Your Fresno, CA dentist often sees healthy tooth structure that has become damaged or worn down by over-brushing. When it comes to cleaning your teeth every day, you want to make sure you are doing a thorough and precise job, but the goal is not to brush as hard as you can. Brushing harder isn’t going to give you a more effective clean.

The Anatomy of a Toothbrush

To understand just how toothbrushes give you a cleaner smile, it’s important to know more about this little dental appliance. A toothbrush is a grouping of nylon bristles that are held in place by a single handle. While you can’t see it with the naked eye, these little bristles have sharp edges, which can wear away at healthy enamel when used incorrectly.

Luckily for us, many toothbrushes do undergo quality testing before the public is allowed to use them. When the bristles are trimmed to the same height, they are also rounded into a dome shape so that they are safer on teeth.

But, as we all know, not all toothbrushes are created equally. So, the next time you pick out a toothbrush, take the time to opt for a soft-bristled one that even sports the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. If you still don’t know which toothbrush is right for you, you can also get the advice of your dentist in Fresno.

Besides at-home dental cleanings, remember that you should never forget about the importance of routine dental cleanings and exams from your Fresno dentist. If it’s time for your next checkup, give our office a call.




Fresno, CA Dentist
Curt P. Posey, DDS, INC.
7078 N. Maple Ave. Ste #105
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 227-6755
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