Minnesotaorthodontist's Blog


Minnesota Orthodontist Discusses Thumbsucking

Minnesota Orthodontist Discusses Thumb Sucking

Are you concerned about your child’s thumb or finger sucking habit? Many children like to comfort themselves by sucking on fingers, thumbs, or pacifiers. Generally, this habit should stop by the age of 2-4 years, or before the adult teeth begin to come in. Sucking habits can cause the teeth to move into unfavorable positions. In some cases, especially in children who have a vigorous sucking habit, even the baby teeth can be affected.

If your child’s sucking habit persists beyond age 4, or if you notice that your child’s teeth are shifting, please bring your child in for an evaluation. Your dentist and/or orthodontist can discuss options for eliminating a sucking habit. Some tips for stopping a sucking habit can include:

1. Praise children for not sucking, instead of scolding them when they are. Help the child realize that not sucking is more rewarding.
2. Work on stopping the sucking habit during the day first, then work on stopping it at night
3. Aim to relieve anxiety that may be contributing to the child’s sucking habit. Replace the sucking habit with another comfort (ie: more physical contact, aroma therapy, etc.)
4. If the child is old enough, have him/her help decide on a plan to stop the sucking habit. The dentist or orthodontist can explain the negative effects that might occur if the habit is not stopped
5. Have the child set his/her own plan and goals for stopping the habit
6. Put a band-aid over the thumb, or a sock over the hand at night to help remind the child to stop sucking
7. If none of the above tips work, the dentist or orthodontist can prescribe a bitter coating for the thumb, or even an appliance to use in order to stop the habit

For a complimentary evaluation or for additional information, please call Zapfel Orthodontics or visit the American Dental Association website.

Thank you to Jennifer Connelly, MS-CCC-SLP for her help with this blog.

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray. Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.



Meet Your Twin Cities Orthodontists

Get to know your Spring Lake Park Orthodontists!

Drs. Zapfel and Madson at Zapfel Orthodontics love getting to know their patients. Here’s your opportunity to get to know Drs. Zapfel and Madson a little better!

What is your favorite thing about being an orthodontist?

Dr. Zapfel: The best part of being an orthodontist is meeting and getting to know so many interesting patients and eventually seeing their smiles the day their braces come off.

Dr. Madson: I love seeing how happy patients are when they get their braces off, and knowing that I played a role in helping them achieve their most beautiful smile. It’s really neat to see the rapid changes in technology, too, with new tools such as Invisalign and mini-implants.

Have you always known you wanted to be an orthodontist?

Dr. Z: No, I didn’t know until fairly late in my dental school training that I wanted to be an orthodontist. Once I saw the amazing things we could do with braces to create great smiles, I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Dr. M: I always knew I’d like to have a job that would allow me to help other people, but it wasn’t until my third year of dental school that I decided orthodontics was definitely what I wanted to do.

Why did you choose orthodontics as a profession?

Dr. Z: By my 4th year at the University of Minnesota Dental school I knew that orthodontics was for me. I had talked to a lot of older students and faculty members and had a good idea of what it would be like to be an orthodontist. I remember especially one of the orthodontists teaching at the University tell me that every orthodontist he knew loved his job and I he was right.

Dr. M: For me, dentistry is the perfect mix of art and science. I like orthodontics in particular because it’s so nice to be able to help improve a person’s self-esteem and confidence through my job. And the patients are great!

Did you ever have braces?

Dr. Z: I did have braces for over 2 years. At that time everyone had braces that were stainless steel and of course there were no colors to put on them. With todays choices of ceramic, gold, or stainless steel braces I think I would pick ceramic.

Dr. M: I had braces as a teenager. I could choose colors for my braces, but Invisalign hadn’t been invented yet, and ceramic braces weren’t as good as they are today.

If you weren’t an orthodontist, what would you be?

Dr. Z: When I was in college I majored in biology and the first Earth Day was during my senior year. I think I would have followed a career in ecology if I hadn’t decided to go to dental school. We are very conscious of having a green office and I think that stems from my ecology background.

Dr. M: I think I’d be a teacher or a music video director. That would be fun!

What is an interesting fact about yourself?

Dr. Z: I am planning a trip to Uzbekistan next spring to visit my daughter who is a foreign service officer in Tashkent.

Dr. M: I love to eat, but I only know how to make one meal from scratch. Some day I’ll take some more cooking classes!


What are some of your hobbies and interests?

Dr. Z: I’m usually active and like to do a variety of things. I can be found on the golf course on occasion. I have been runner for over 25 years and although I don’t run in marathons or other events I hate to miss out on a good jog after work. My hobby is the flower garden in back of the office. It is always a work in progress. Gardening is a bit like orthodontics in that you start out with a plan and help things along. Sometimes it takes a year or two before you see the end result.

Dr. M: I really like watching and playing sports and music. When I have time off, I enjoy traveling, and I like to stay active at the gym and outdoors.

What is your favorite food?

Dr. Z: I really like any kind of seafood and my favorite place to eat is Oceanaire.

Dr. M: I love ice cream! I like anything frozen and sweet.

Where did you grow up?

Dr. Z: I was born in Chicago and lived in the city until I was in second grade. Then we moved to the suburbs of Chicago. I came to Minnesota to attend college and have been here ever since then. I started my practice at the Unity Professional Building in Fridley and moved to Spring Lake Park in 1996.

Dr. M: I was born in South Korea, but I grew up in the Twin Cities. I’ve lived here basically my whole life aside from going to college in western Minnesota. I also studied for a semester in Germany during dental school, which was a great experience!

Do you have any pets?

Dr. Z: No, I don’t have a pet. I have had several dogs and a cockatiel at different times.

Dr. M: No, I don’t have any pets, but I’ve had fish, birds and guinea pigs in the past.

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray. Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.



Another Tasty Recipe From Your Friends at Zapfel Orthodontics!

Another Tasty Recipe!

Kim, our Treatment Coordinator, will always greet the patients at Zapfel Orthodontics with a smile! Besides being a great asset to the Zapfel Orthodontics team, Kim is also a fabulous baker. Please enjoy this delicious braces-friendly recipe from Kim!

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1-2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
16 oz. can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add dry ingredients. Stir all together. Spread in jelly roll pan (not greased). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Frosting
3 or 4 oz. cream cheese – softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
(Optional) Can decorate on top with Pumpkin corn candies or chopped walnuts

Cream the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. Frost when cool.

If you have a braces-friendly recipe that you’d like to share, please bring it in at your next visit!

For More Information

Please call (763) 784-0420 or visit www.ZapfelOrthodontics.com for more information or to schedule a complimentary initial examination and x-ray. Zapfel Orthodontics is located at 1130 NE County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 and serves the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities including Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Roseville, Anoka, Brooklyn Park, Columbia Heights, and Mounds View, Minnesota.