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!

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!

February is Children's Dental Health Month image

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

At Skelton Orthodontics, we are excited to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health month! We love to provide our patients with information to keep their children’s teeth looking and feeling awesome! This means reminding you how important it is to see a dentist along with an orthodontist.

Dentists are able to clean your teeth even if you have braces, cleaning around brackets and other appliances to keep your mouth healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a pediatric dentist by age one? Also, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids see an orthodontic specialist, like Dr. Aimee Skelton, for an evaluation by age seven. Regarding oral health, it is always better to catch any possible concerns early on because oral health has a direct effect on overall health.

Looking to try new ways to motivate your kids to brush their teeth? Try our handy brushing chart to help keep them on track!

Be sure to tell your kids about National Children’s Dental Health Month and get as excited as we are about healthy teeth!

Art for The Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment can greatly improve your child’s oral health. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, your child should come in to see us by age 7. Why so young? When bite and spacing issues are caught early, we can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

So, what is early orthodontic treatment and does your child need it? We’ve compiled a few benefits below.

Preventative Treatment

When you think of orthodontic treatment, you may assume that it involves braces. During early treatment, also called Phase I treatment, braces are rarely the first option. At age 7, children have lost many of their baby teeth and have already started developing adult teeth. This means that it’s easier for us to identify problem areas early on before they become serious issues.

When you bring your child in for their first visit, we will evaluate their teeth and alignment to check for any abnormalities. At this visit, we can determine whether your child’s teeth will correct themselves as more adult teeth erupt and when the best time may be for your child to start treatment. Many children don’t get braces until around the ages of 9 and 13.

Correcting Bad Habits

When children suck their thumbs for too long or can’t give up the pacifier, it can severely affect their bite. When caught early enough, we can give you tips to stop your child’s bad habits and correct potential bite issues that may worsen later in life.

Time and Cost Savings

If left untreated, many minor issues can develop into severe orthodontic problems. When this happens, your child may have trouble eating and speaking properly. Simply scheduling an appointment for your child now can reduce the chance of needing more invasive treatment, like surgery and extractions, later. This can save you months—and even years—of treatment time as well as thousands of dollars.

If your child is at least 7 years old, request an appointment today! We look forward to giving your child a beautiful smile for life.

braces

Braces & Your Child: What’s the Best Age?

What’s the best age for your child to get braces? As parents, deciding when to take your child to the orthodontist can be a big decision.

What if their teeth straighten over time? Or if I wait to take them in, will it make problems worse?

To take the guess work out of when you should schedule an appointment, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends taking your child in to the orthodontist by age 7. At this age, your child’s teeth and bone structure are still developing, so it’s a good time for us to evaluate the spacing or crowding that may cause permanent teeth to come in crooked.

If your child is 7 or older and has crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth, an overbite, or an underbite, contact us to schedule an appointment. Your child may not need to start orthodontic treatment right away, but early exams allow us to monitor your child’s development over time. This way, we can ensure a healthy, straight smile that continues into adulthood.

Ready to schedule?

Contact us today to schedule a FREE initial consultation for your child. We can assess your child’s bite and set them up with a beautiful smile for life!

diy braces trend

DIY Braces Trend: Parents Beware

Have you seen the commercials on tv and considered do-it-yourself (DIY) braces? Maybe your child has watched one of the thousands of videos on at-home orthodontic care. The American Association of Orthodontists urges partents to beware of these videos and tv commericals, as they can create serious oral health damage!

Orthodontic care should not be attempted at home. Here is a great article about the dangers of attempting to straighten teeth at home. Using objects found in the home to straighten teeth can lead to permanent loss of teeth!

Signs that your child may be attempting to straighten teeth at home are:

  • foreign objects around teeth such as paperclips, rubber bands, or dental floss
  • extruded upper front teeth
  • loose permanent teeth
  • swollen or bleeding gums
  • unexplained oral and facial discomfort

Dr. Aimee Skelton is highly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable in orthodontics. She provides exceptional care to all her patients, so there is no need to attempt DIY braces at home!

Interested in improving your smile? Call our office today at 256-844-8221 or visit our website to schedule your free initial consultation! We can't wait to meet you and see your #SkeltonSmile!

Meet Arely!

Want to know more about Arely? Check out this interview we had with her!

What do you like most about working at Skelton Orthodontics?
I enjoy seeing the happiness in patients when they see their treatment results.

What can you be caught doing on the weekends?
I love spending time outdoors with my son!

Where did you go on your favorite vacation and what did you do?
My favorite vacation was when I went to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

What is one thing you want every person to know about his or her smile?
Your smile helps make the world a beautiful place.

Do you have any phobias or are you afraid of anything?
Yes - I am afraid of snakes!

Have you ever had orthodontic treatment (braces, headgear, Invisalign, etc)? If so, how old were you?
No, I haven't.

What is your favorite movie of all time? How many times would you guess you have seen it?
I don't have a favorite movie.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?
I don't have any pets.

We love having Arely on our team, and we can't wait for you to meet her!

Meet Johnnie!

Want to know more about Johnnie? Check out this interview we had with her!

What do you like most about working at Skelton Orthodontics?

I love my team the most about my job! Dr. Skelton is an awesome boss and does a lot for us, which I appreciate so much. The Skelton Orthodontics staff is a great team and they make work fun.

What can you be caught doing on the weekends?

On the weekends, I usually go out to eat or watch a movie.

Where did you go on your favorite vacation and what did you do?

On my favorite vacation, my family went to the Smoky Mountains. We spent time in a cabin playing cards and just being together. We also went on the mountain coaster, which was so fun!

What is one thing you want every person to know about his or her smile?

You should smile as often as possible because you might just make someone's day!

Do you have any phobias or are you afraid of anything?

I am not a fan of spiders nor small places.

Have you ever had orthodontic treatment (braces, headgear, Invisalign, etc)? If so, how old were you?

Yes, I have had braces as an adult at age 34.

What is your favorite movie of all time? How many times would you guess you have seen it?

My absolute favorite movie is Footloose. I have seen it at least 15 times.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

Yes, I have a dachshund named Bama.

Meet Teresa!

Want to know more about Teresa? Check out this interview we had with her!

What do you like most about working at Skelton Orthodontics?

The thing I like most about my job is getting to know our new patients and meet more families in the Fort Payne area.

What can you be caught doing on the weekends?

I am so busy! On the weekends, I try to spend time outdoors in my flower garden enjoying our Alabama weather. I also use weekends for family time and attend church on Sunday morning.

Where did you go on your favorite vacation and what did you do?

Every vacation I have taken is my favorite!

What is one thing you want every person to know about his or her smile?

I would like patients to know how rewarding it is to see the progression of your new smile from start to finish.

Do you have any phobias or are you afraid of anything?

I am afraid of snakes.

Have you ever had orthodontic treatment (braces, headgear, Invisalign, etc)? If so, how old were you?

Yes, I have had braces twice. I was 14 the first time and 31 years old the second.

What is your favorite movie of all time? How many times would you guess you have seen it?

I do not watch television.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are their names?

I have two dogs, Holly and Jack, and a cat named Kade.