blood drive

2021 Blood Drive: March 3rd

Celebrate smiles by joining our 2021 blood drive with Blood Assurance! With everything going on this year, Blood Assurance is in critical need of blood and platelet donors. Your donation could help save a life!

Date: Wednesday, March 3rd

Time: 12-5 pm

Location: Skelton Orthodontics, 2105 Grand Avenue NW, Fort Payne, AL 35967

Blood Drive Safety is the Top Priority

Blood Assurance has new protocols for COVID-19 to help keep everyone safe at our blood drive. First of all, you will need to schedule an appointment online to reserve a time slot. The number of people allowed in the bus is ten. We will also have temperature screening of all staff and donors. Everyone is also required to wear a face mask. Last, but not least, Blood Assurance will also have extra disinfection of all surfaces between each person.

How to Sign Up

  1. Sign up for a time slot at: bloodassurance.org/SO
  2. Download the BAQuickscreen app or answer questions on your computer to answer health history questions ahead of time to spend less time in the donation area.
  3. Follow all instructions given from Blood Assurance
  4. Arrive at Skelton Orthodontics during your scheduled time slot with a face mask

Thank You from Skelton Orthodontics

Dr. Aimee Skelton and the Skelton Orthodontics team appreciate your time and donation at this year's blood drive. We truly love doing what we can to help out others. As a thank you, all donors will receive a complimentary lottery ticket from Dr. Skelton! You could save a life AND win big! As always, feel free to call our office with any questions. We will see you there!

smile drive

2021 Smile Drive

We need your help! Join our 2021 Smile Drive for National Children's Dental Health Month to help those in need of oral care supplies! All materials will be donated to the clinic at the UAB School of Dentistry to then be given out to children and families in need.

Our goal is to donate as many materials as possible. All patients who donate will get their name entered into a drawing for each item they donate. The winner will get to pick gift cards of their choice! 

You can donate any of the following:

  1. Toothbrushes (children & adult)
  2. Toothpaste (children & adult)
  3. Floss (all flavors)
  4. Floss picks & flossers
  5. Mouthwash (all flavors)

*To keep everyone safe and to follow COVID restrictions, we will have a drop off drum in the foyer of our office. If you would like the items picked up from your car, simply give us a call when you are in the parking lot and a team member will come pick up the items. We understand that it might be difficult for some to make it by our office, so you can purchase items from our Amazon Wish List that will be delivered straight to our office! 

Dr. Aimee Skelton and the Skelton Orthodontics team love making a positive impact in our communities. We cannot thank you enough for helping us make a difference and promoting the importance of oral health to families in our area. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for participating in our Smile Drive! Let's come together to spread smiles for miles and miles! 

pacifers

Pacifiers & Thumb Sucking

Did you know that pacifiers and thumb sucking as a child can impact your oral development? Although sucking is a natural reflex in babies and infants, long-term sucking of a thumb or pacifier could cause a child's jaw to grow around whatever it is they have in their mouth. This is often called "pacifier teeth". The result can lead to orthodontic problems like protruding front teeth, an open bite or a cross bite.

Pacifier Use

From an orthodontic perspective, it would be great if a baby used a pacifier the least amount of time possible. However, we understand that pacifiers can be lifesavers for some parents and there are some positives to using them. If you decide to use pacifiers, we recommend that you choose a brand marked "orthodontist approved" and follow the age suggestions that are on the box. Most credited organizations recommend that children stop pacifier use by age two, or earlier if possible. If you need assistance or ideas to help ending pacifier use, refer to this brochure from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry or reach out to your pediatric dentist.

Thumb Sucking

In a similar sense, thumb sucking also affects oral and jaw development. Long term thumb sucking can lead to an open bite and the need for early orthodontic treatment. However, unlike pacifiers, you obviously cannot remove a thumb from the child. Most kids will stop sucking their thumb on their own, but if they do not it is important to help them end the habit. Again, your pediatric dentist can provide you with options and assistance.

Schedule an Orthodontic Exam

If you have a child who used pacifiers or sucked their thumb, do not worry. Dr. Aimee Skelton is trained in correcting any issues that the habit may have caused. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children see an orthodontic specialist at age seven for an exam. Your child may or may not be ready for treatment at that time, but Dr. Skelton can check for development problems like the ones caused by pacifiers and thumb sucking. We will begin treatment at the optimal time for each unique case. Call today to schedule your complimentary exam!

smile changes

How Your Smile Changes as You Age

As a child, one of the things you look forward to is losing your baby teeth. Maybe you even got a visit from the tooth fairy. Did you know that your smile changes even after you get all of your permanent teeth in? In fact, your smile changes all throughout your life, even after orthodontic treatment!

Primary (Baby) Teeth

Although all 20 primary teeth are present in the jaw when you are born, most human babies will get their first tooth somewhere between 6 and 10 months. Many times, getting teeth causes babies to feel uncomfortable and sick. This is a big change that occurs in your mouth as you transition to being able to chew food. Typically all teeth have erupted by the time a child is 3 years old.

Permanent (Adult) Teeth

As kids start losing their baby teeth, permanent teeth will start to come in. Usually, this happens between ages 6 and 7. This change is why it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists to have an orthodontic exam at age 7. As the 32 adult teeth begin to come through the gums, orthodontic specialists like Dr. Aimee Skelton can determine if a patient would benefit from early orthodontic treatment. Most people have all adult teeth, except molars, by age 13. Your molars can come in anytime from age 17 to 21. Orthodontic treatment is beneficial during this time because an orthodontist will make sure there is plenty of room for the teeth to naturally come in where they should or they can create a treatment plan to shift the teeth as needed. Who knew there were so many smile changes going on during this time?!

Smile Changes After Treatment

Your smile can and will continue to change after you have braces or Invisalign® treatment and transition into adulthood. As you age, your jaw bone begins to lose density and can shrink. This can cause your teeth to become crowded. In addition, every day activities like swallowing, breathing, and eating can create spacing in your teeth. Gum disease can also contribute to spacing in teeth. This is why wearing your retainer is so important after you complete orthodontic treatment. A retainer will keep your teeth from shifting too much and correct any movement you may experience.

If you find that your teeth have moved too much for your retainer to fit, reach out to us! We can schedule an exam to see what would be your next step. Sometimes we can create a new retainer for you and other times you may need another round of orthodontic treatment. Either way, we are here to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful as it changes  in all stages!

malocclusion

What is a Malocclusion?

Did you know that if you need orthodontic treatment you have a malocclusion? "Occlusion" is a term that is used to refer to the alignment of your teeth and the prefix "mal" means "bad" or "incorrect". Therefore, malocclusion is the medical term for a misaligned teeth or the "imperfect positioning of the teeth when the jaws are closed" according to Google Dictionary. Orthodontics is often seen as cosmetic and unnecessary, but fixing the alignment of teeth is actually more medically necessary than one might think.

Malocclusion Types

Very few people are gifted with perfect teeth at birth. Malocclusions are most often caused by genetics. However, habits like thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and nail biting have can impact tooth alignment over time. There are four main types of malocclusions which we list below.

Front Teeth Protrusion

This type of misaligned teeth happens when the upper two front teeth jet out too far over the bottom teeth. This could cause abnormal wear on the teeth and possibly lead to TMJ problems with the jaw.

Crossbite

This form of malocclusion is when your upper teeth cross over your bottom teeth when you bite down. A cross bite causes jaw misalignment and irregular wear of the teeth. You could even break a tooth due to the misalignment!

Openbite

An openbite occurs when the top teeth do not sit on the bottom teeth when the jaw is closed. Besides tongue thrusting and speech impediments, open bites hinder proper chewing because the upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap. This type of maloclussion is often caused by thumb sucking and pacifier use.

Overbite

In an overbite, the upper front teeth extend out over the lower ones. While many people have top teeth that extend over their bottom teeth slightly, it is ideal for them to not be too far over. Occasionally, an overbite is so severe that the lower teeth can bite into the roof of the mouth!

Fixing a Malocclusion

In addition to the common malocclusions listed above, there are other orthodontic problems that can develop. It is important to have your jaw and tooth alignment checked by a doctor to ensure that any issues are found and that they will not evolve into more complicated problems. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommend that kids first see an orthodontic specialist at age seven for an exam but it is never too late!

Luckily for you, Dr. Aimee Skelton and the Skelton Orthodontics team specialize in fixing all types of malocclusions! We offer unique treatment plans tailed specifically for you. After coming in to the office for a complimentary consultation, Dr. Skelton will create your plan and get you started on the path to a healthier (and straighter) smile. Call us or fill out our online appointment request form to get started!

orthodontist

3 Reasons to See an Orthodontist

An orthodontist, like Dr. Aimee Skelton, specializes in jaw and tooth alignment. Orthodontics is often considered to be cosmetic treatment, but there are many issues that are related to the health of the jaw and teeth. It is important to have an exam with an orthodontic specialist to catch any underlying issues before they could potentially become problems. So why see an orthodontic specialist?

1: An Orthodontist is Trained to See What Can't Be Seen

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends taking a child to see an orthodontist at age seven because that is the age to see if early treatment is needed. You might be able to tell that your child's teeth are not straight, but you are not able to see what is going on under their gums. According to the AAO, two-thirds of what happens in your mouth is below the surface. Orthodontists not only use x-rays to see what is going on in your gums, but also their experience and training.

2: Orthodontists Create Unique Treatment Plans

Like fingerprints, no two people have the exact same teeth. This means that each person's orthodontic needs will not be the same. Dr. Aimee Skelton creates a treatment plan that is best for each and every patient. Orthodontics is truly an art and each patient is a different canvas. Dr. Skelton will review her suggestions in detail with you at your initial exam. Her recommendations are based on what is best for each patient's oral health.

3: Consultations are Complimentary

Skelton Orthodontics is excited to offer complimentary consultations for all new patients of all ages! Even if a child is not ready for orthodontic treatment at age seven, we will continue to monitor them (for no additional charge) until the optimal time for their treatment. We believe that the patient comes first and will only suggest the treatment that we feel is best. We are excited to answer any questions you might have at your exam!

Schedule an Exam Today

In conclusion, you can trust that you are in good hands with an orthodontic specialist like Dr. Aimee Skelton. Our office takes pride in our work and strives to deliver the best customer experience at every visit. If you are ready to schedule your complimentary exam, you can fill out an online appointment request form or give us a call at (256) 844-8221. We look forward to meeting you!

smilesgiving

Smilesgiving 2020

It is time for Smilesgiving! The Skelton Orthodontics team loves to spread smiles for miles and miles all year long, but especially during the holidays. We are now accepting donations for our Smilesgiving! These donations go to local food pantries for those in need this holiday season. We need your help to fill up local pantries before Thanksgiving!

*To follow COVID restrictions and social distancing, we will sit a drum in the foyer for easy drop off. In addition, you can call in and someone will meet you at the car to pick up your donations for you.

Acceptable Smilesgiving Donations

We appreciate any and all donations for Smilesgiving, but the food pantries do request specific items. Below is the list of items that the food pantries accept. Click HERE for a printable list.

  1. Canned Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
  2. Canned Meats (turkey & chicken)
  3. Rice (brown & wild)
  4. Whole grain dry cereals
  5. Whole grain pastas
  6. Fruits in natural juice (no sugar added)
  7. Canned vegetables (low sodium)
  8. Canned soups & stews (low sodium)
  9. Nut butters (peanut, almond, walnut)
  10. Popcorn kernels
  11. Dried fruits (raisins, apricots, prunes, mangoes)
  12. Granola
  13. Herbal tea (green, white)
  14. Natural sweeteners (honey)
  15. Fruit juice (100%)
  16. Beans (canned or dried)
  17. Pasta sauce
  18. Shelf-stable milk (powdered milk, canned evaporated skim milk)
  19. Healthy snacks (granola bars, nuts)
  20. Spices (cinnamon, chili powder, cumin)

*Please avoid items packed in glass. No candy or sugary drinks.

We are Thankful for You!

Please bring all donations to our office by November 23rd. We will gladly take all donations to food pantries as a donation from the Skelton Orthodontics family. Thank you for joining our Smilesgiving and giving a smile to someone in need!

breast cancer awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month and the Skelton Orthodontics team is showing our support by smiling in pink! Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. During this time of the year, we want to promote cancer education and prevention for all as well as supporting and encouraging those who are affected by breast cancer.

Smile in Pink

Dr. Aimee Skelton will donate $1 per patient who chooses to get pink elastics or power chains during the month of October. At the end of the month, we will make a donation to breast cancer awareness on behalf of the Skelton Orthodontics family! If you post a selfie to Facebook or Instagram and tag us in the photo, you will be entered into a drawing for a free t-shirt. We are so proud of our patients who choose to smile in pink for the cause!

Breast Cancer Awareness

The Skelton Orthodontics team understands that this disease affects many people and families. We want you to know that we support you and are hopeful for a cure. Our team is proud to wear pink in honor of those who have fought and continue to fight this difficult battle.

orthodontic appliances

Common Orthodontic Appliances

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids see an orthodontic specialist, like Dr. Aimee Skelton, at age seven. Why age seven? This is the transitional period where kids are losing their baby (primary) teeth and have started getting their permanent teeth. This is the optimal time to see if a child will need early orthodontic treatment to avoid a more severe case once their adult teeth come in.

Why Orthodontic Appliances?

If Dr. Skelton feels that your child will benefit from early treatment, the first phase often includes orthodontic appliances. The appliance will prepare the mouth and create the best possible environment for permanent teeth to come in. Common orthodontic appliances are expanders, headgear and Herbst appliances.

What is an Expander?

An expander is an orthodontic appliance that is typically for younger patients. Cases that call for an expander usually involve a narrow roof (palate) that needs widening to create more space for teeth to come in. The widening of the upper and/or lower jaws help avoid common problems like crowding, impacted teeth or a crossbite. An expander is placed in the mouth for all day wear and uses a key to turn a device that widens the jaws over time.

What is Headgear?

Another type of orthodontic appliance is headgear. Headgear is used with patients who still have growing jaw bones. This appliance is normally recommended for patients who have a severely misaligned bite, usually an overbite or protruding front teeth. Headgear is worn partially outside and inside the mouth. It supports proper jaw development, alignment and growth. This orthodontic appliance can also help with aesthetics of the face and profile as well as create space for permanent teeth.

What is a Herbst Appliance?

A Herbst Appliance is also common in younger, growing patients. This appliance enhances lower jaw growth and moves the lower jaw forward to help correct an overbite. It is a fixed appliance, meaning you cannot remove it until treatment is complete. The Herbst appliance functions similar to headgear but is often more comfortable for patients.

Appliances Can Prevent More Severe Cases

No matter what type of appliance you or your child may need, it is important to follow your orthodontist's directions for wearing and cleaning. All orthodontic appliances are designed to help prevent a more severe case later in life. In many cases, appliances help to shorten time in braces and can even help prevent the possibility of surgery.

As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic appliances. We are here to help!

clean teeth

Keeping Teeth Clean with Braces

While it is important to keep your teeth clean all of the time, it is especially important while you are in orthodontic treatment. The presence of appliances makes it easier for bacteria to build up on your teeth without proper care. In addition, it is possible for white spots to form around brackets if the teeth are not taken care of and cleaned well.

How to Brush and Floss with Braces

Braces, aligners and attachments can sometimes make brushing and flossing difficult. First of all, Dr. Aimee Skelton highly suggests seeing your general dentist twice a year even while in braces or aligners. Even though you see an orthodontist, you still need to have your teeth professionally cleaned and checked for cavities. Before your dental appointment, we recommend letting them know that you have braces on your teeth.

Brushing with braces is the first step toward keeping teeth clean. It is easy for food to get trapped between your brackets and wires so we suggest brushing after every meal if you can. Use a soft toothbrush to brush in circles above and below your brackets. You may notice that your toothbrush wears out faster with braces. Replace your toothbrush as soon as you see the bristles begin to fray.

Flossing with braces does take some extra time but will ensure clean teeth. Use floss threaders to thread floss through the wire and get each side of the tooth. We suggest flossing at least once per day.

Eating with Braces

Another important part of having clean teeth is eating the right foods. We recommend eating a balanced diet and avoiding any foods that could break your brackets or wires. Examples:

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Sticky Candy (Caramels, Starbursts, gum, etc.)
  • Chips & Hard Pretzels
  • Corn on the cob & biting into whole apples

Broken appliances could lead to food or plaque build up and might potentially delay your overall treatment time. If you have clear brackets, there are some foods that could stain them. For example:

  • Ketchup
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Blackberries
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Tea

Sugary drinks can also stain brackets. To help minimize staining, we suggest drinking colored liquids with a straw.

Keeping Teeth Clean

All of your hard work will be well worth it when you see your smile the day you have your braces removed! The team at Skelton Orthodontics understands that keeping your teeth clean while in orthodontic treatment takes some work and we are here to help. Call us with any questions or issues you may have.