HELPING YOU ACHIEVE A HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL SMILE

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OUR BLOG

Handling Orthodontic Emergencies

May 26th 2022

True orthodontic emergencies are incredibly rare. However, orthodontic issues may arise while you are at home. While true emergencies, such as trauma to the mouth may require visit the emergency room, there are many issues that can be managed from home until you are able to make it into our office.

At TSL Orthodontics, we want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily. With the tools and supplies listed below, you will be prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues at home.

  • Dental Floss 
  • Interproximal Brush 
  • Non-prescription Pain Reliever 
  • Orthodontic Wax 
  • Q-tips 
  • Salt 
  • Topical Anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) 
  • Tweezers

Below are some typical orthodontic issues and how you can solve them at home.

Sore Teeth or Gums - It is normal to have some initial discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move. Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate this discomfort. If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple of days, give our office a call.

Minor irritations and canker sores will heal more quickly if you apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer's directions. Zylactin or Orabase can be purchased over the counter at most pharmacies.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. If you cut your gums, tongue, or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding does not stop, call your family dentist or our office.

Poking Archwires - If a wire is causing irritation, push the wire away from the irritated area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you are able to make an appointment for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of tweezers. If the wire is sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can be cut with fingernail clippers close to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets - If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by a little colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem. If a piece of your braces break, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your braces or orthodontic appliance. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, you should always notify our office if you have any issues or concerns.

There will be normal, day-to-day discomfort associated with wearing braces, if you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment, or if you think you may have a true orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to call our Greenville, MS orthodontic office…We are here help!

 


Chewing Ice Can be Dangerous

April 20th 2022

Chewing ice is an incredibly common habit. Some people chew on ice after finishing a drink, while others do it to cool off in the summer heat. No matter what the reason people chew ice, just like many other hard foods, chewing ice can cause a myriad of oral health issues, and even cost you an expensive trip our office or your general dentist.

If you wear braces, use a retainer, or have expanders, chewing ice makes you particularly vulnerable to tooth damage.

Why Chewing Ice Can be Dangerous

  • Broken or Fractured Teeth - Teeth are not designed to crunch extremely hard objects like ice. Chewing ice can easily lead to a cracked or chipped tooth, which will require an emergency dental visit to repair the broken tooth.
  • Cracked Tooth Enamel - Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay. That’s because acids produced by bacteria can penetrate the softer layer of the tooth, the dentin, much more easily and cause tooth decay. Cracked tooth enamel can also lead to hot and cold sensitives and tooth pain.
  • Damaged Dental Fillings - Chewing ice can damage existing dental work like fillings, crowns, and veneers. Damaging your dental work will require an immediate trip to your dentist for a repair. Something as simple as filling a cavity may be the solution, but other times root canals and crown replacements are necessary to repair the damage done from chewing ice.

As with any habit, the first thing you should do is make yourself aware. If you are concerned about your oral health or if you chew on ice frequently, make sure you schedule an appointment with your general dentist to have your teeth and gums evaluated. If your teeth are damaged, your dentist will know exactly what to do to help.

Did you know? The intense craving to chew on ice is sometimes categorized as pagophagia. Pagophagia, or compulsive ice chewing, is a particular form of pica that is characterized by ingestion of ice, freezer frost, or iced drinks. It is usually associated with an iron deficiency, a calcium deficiency, dry mouth, or an eating disorder. Not everyone who loves chewing ice has pagophagia. If you occasionally enjoy crunching on ice cubes after you finish a drink, that is not pagophagia. Chewing on ice only becomes pagophagia when the drive to chew ice is intense and persistent. Studies show that some people who have the desire to chew ice also have an underlying health issue that has not yet been resolved.


Benefits of Early Intervention

March 16th 2022

Timing is everything…especially when it comes to your child’s orthodontic treatment. Early intervention can make a dramatic impact on establishing the proper occlusal foundation. 

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that your child’s first check-up with an orthodontist be performed when an orthodontic problem is first recognized, but no later than age 7. By age 7 your child has enough permanent teeth for Dr. Theresa L. Skelton to evaluate the developing teeth and the jaws.

Early intervention is one of the most rewarding treatment options that we offer here at TLS Orthodontics. Early intervention allows Dr. Skelton to determine how and when a child's jaw and/or dental problems should be corrected for optimal results. 

While there are many orthodontic problems that orthodontists agree are best treated after all permanent teeth have come in, early intervention can be in your child’s best interests if their problem is one that could become more serious over time if left untreated. The major advantage of early intervention is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, and aesthetic results that will remain stable throughout your child’s life. In some cases, early intervention prevents adult tooth extractions or major jaw surgery.

Early orthodontic treatmentcan take many forms. Dr. Skelton may prescribe a fixed or removable appliance used to move teeth, change the position of the jaw, or hold teeth in place in order to bring about desirable changes. Regardless of how treatment goals are reached, the bottom line is that some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found and treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.

Early Treatment may be recommended if your child has any of the following orthodontic issues:

  • Underbite 
  • Crossbite 
  • Crowded Teeth 
  • Excessively Spaced Teeth 
  • Extra or Missing Teeth 
  • Thumb or Finger Sucking that is Affecting the Teeth or Jaw Growth

Children between the ages of 7and 10 are best suited for early treatment. Treatment usually lasts 4 to 12 months after which the child is monitored and the decision as to the need for a second phase is made.

To give your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile, visit TLS Orthodonticstoday. No referral needed! Our office provides an initial consultation at no cost and with no obligation.



Afforable Orthodontic Care

February 11th 2022

If you recently learned that orthodontic treatment is in your or your child’s future, don’t worry… you may be pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable orthodontic care is today.

When it comes to paying for braces, you have options.

Do you have insurance to help pay for treatment? For your convenience we will gladly assist you in submitting both predetermination and initial insurance claims pertaining to charges for care rendered in our office. However, please be aware our primary financial relationship is with our patients or their families and not with their respective insurance companies. Final responsibility for collection of benefits from your insurance company rests with the insured party. Our professional services are rendered and charged directly to the patient, or their family and they are responsible for payment of all fees incurred.

How you can afford braces without insurance.

At Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics, we are sensitive to the fact that people have unique needs in fulfilling their obligations, so we provide the following payment options:

Credit Card: One option is to pay via credit card and pay off your orthodontic treatment through your normal credit card payments. Our office accepts credit card payments through Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and AmericanExpress.

Payment Plan: Dr. Skelton is not willing to let finances stand in the way of treatment. We offer monthly payment options to make your orthodontic expenses more manageable.

Flexible Spending Account: Even if your dental plan does not cover orthodontics, your employer might offer a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). The money you put into this account is not taxed, which means your dollars will go further. Contribute the maximum amount and use these funds to pay for expenses not covered by insurance, including braces.

CareCredit: CareCredit is a personal line of credit specifically for health care needs and can be used for many health, beauty, and wellness costs such as dental, medical, vision, and more.

Though orthodontics can come with a higher price tag, you do have many options to help you pay for your or your child’s orthodontic care. Start by having a conversation with Dr. Theresa L. Skelton…then begin your journey towards an improved smile.

New patient exams are always complimentary. If you have any questions about financing or payment options, ask us! We will thoroughly explain your choices and work hard to accommodate your needs.

 


TLS Orthodontics Has the Answers

January 20th 2022

Orthodontics have come a long way over the last 20 years. Now, there are more options in addition to traditional metal braces, such as clear aligners, and ceramic braces. With all of these new options, it’s no wonder our team gets so many questions from patients who are considering orthodontic treatment.

If your dentist has recommended braces to you or your child, you probably have some questions. Don’t worry…the team at TLS Orthodontics has the answers. Here are 5 of the most frequently asked questions that we hear on a regular basis.

1. Does Getting Braces Hurt? There is no reason to be anxious about getting braces. All the appliances and wires used at TLS Orthodontics are cutting-edge and exert light, continuous, forces that decrease any soreness associated with orthodontic treatment. While each person will have a different experience with braces getting braces does not hurt. Braces do not hurt at all when they are applied to the teeth. However, you may notice some discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Exactly when the discomfort will stop is impossible to predict and differs with each patient. Non-prescription pain remedies are recommended for discomfort.

2. How long do I have to wear my braces? From gaps to overbites, to teeth or jaw alignment issues there are many factors that can affect the amount of time you will need to wear your braces. While overall treatment time varies from patient to patient, treatment times range from about 12 to 30 months. The "average" period of time a person is in braces is approximately 22 months. After an initial orthodontic evaluation and consultation, Dr. Skelton can help you better understand the amount of time that may be required for your unique case.

3. Why can’t I get Invisalign? While Invisalign can effectively straighten teeth and correct bites, not everyone is a candidate for the Invisalign aligner system. There are some complex orthodontic problems that can only be corrected with traditional metal braces. Therefore, Dr. Skelton may recommend traditional braces instead of Invisalign. We realize that being told that Invisalign isn’t the right choice for you can be very disappointing, but it is our job to give you the best treatment possible so you can have a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.

4. Are braces expensive? Orthodontic treatment is an excellent investment in the overall dental and psychological well-being of children, teens, and adults. But there is no denying that braces can be costly. Because orthodontic treatment is highly personalized and based on the individual the patient, it is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial optionsduring the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

5. What happens after my braces are removed? Once your teeth and bite are in proper alignment, Dr. Skelton will remove your braces and provide you with retainers to stabilize the dental correction. Because the bone and soft tissues surrounding the teeth are stabilizing for several months after braces are removed, it is imperative that your retainers are worn as instructed. The retention phase of your treatment lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you have put in so far. Remember to remove your retainers before brushing and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.

With the answers to these questions, you should have all the information you need to make the right choice for yourself or your child. If you have further questions about orthodontics or if you want to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Skelton, please contact our Greenville, MS orthodontic office today.

 


Just The Fun Facts

December 13th 2021

We use our teeth every single day, from biting, to eating, to speaking. We may not realize just how vital our teeth are to our health and our appearance, or the overall impact our teeth have on our bodies.

4 Fun Facts About Our Teeth

1. Cavities - A cavity is one of the few things the body can’t heal. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny holes. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well. Cavities are among the world's most common health problems. They are especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities. If cavities are not treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to a severe toothache, infection, and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities.

2. Roots - The root is the part of the tooth that extends into the bone and holds the tooth in place. It makes up approximately two-thirds of the tooth. The number of roots for each type of tooth varies. Typically, incisors, canines, and premolars will have one root whereas molars will have two or three. The roots are covered with a thin layer of bone, and they are inserted into sockets in the bone of the jaw. The tooth root is essential for tooth function. It consists of root dentin and root canals, where dental pulp cells, including undifferentiated mesenchymal cells, blood vessels, and nerves that support the dental pulp tissue reside.

3. Fingerprints - Your teeth are like your fingerprints…no two teeth are the same shape and size. Each tooth in your mouth has its own unique profile, and teeth vary widely from person to person. Despite their unique properties, teeth can indicate certain information about us, like our age, gender, and personality. They can indicate certain personality traits and significantly impact our overall impression of people.

4. Supernumerary - Extra, or "supernumerary," teeth can show up in as much as 4 percent of the population. Supernumerary teeth are twice as common in men as they are in women. Supernumerary teeth tend to grow out of the upper jawbone. Theses teeth tend to grow downward, alongside a person's other upper teeth once their baby teeth fall out. But sometimes, the teeth form "upside down" and instead of growing down into the mouth, they grow upward, toward a person's nose. Even when extra teeth grow in the right direction, they can cause problems with the arrangement and growth of your regular teeth. They can knock teeth out of alignment, overcrowd the jaw, and even cause cysts.

Our teeth are one of the most essential features of our body. Not only do they help us chew our food, teeth are also responsible for helping us speak and pronounce words clearly and correctly. Aside from function, our teeth also create our one-of-a-kind smile, which makes us uniquely ourselves.

Knowing a little more about our teeth and how our behaviors affect our dental health can help us take better care of our teeth and keep us smiling long into the future. If you have any questionsregarding the health of your teeth, please visit our website or call our officeto speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members.


5 Steps to a Healthy Smile

November 18th 2021

For many people, an ideal smile is a mouth full of bright white, perfectly aligned teeth. But in addition to straight white teeth, you need to make sure that your smile is a healthy one.

The team at TLS Orthodontics have put together an easy to follow, 5 step guide, so that you can be sure that your smile is the picture of health.

Step 1. Brush your Teeth Twice a Day - Brushing removes leftover food particles that can bond with saliva to form plaque. These particles feed the bacteria that naturally live in our mouths and these bacteria can eat through our tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minuteswith a soft-bristled brush to keep plaque at bay.

Step 2. Floss Once a Day - Flossing removes plaque between teeth and out from under the gumlines. If left alone, plaque and tartar build up under the surface of the gumlines can cause periodontal disease, which leads to bone destruction and tooth loss.

Step 3. Maintain a Healthy Diet - Good nutrition provided by healthy foods help your bones and teeth grow and stay healthy. While sugary treats are great occasionally, the bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar, eating too many can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet combined with regular brushing and flossing can help keep the bacteria under control. Focus on eating healthy fruits and vegetables as often as possible to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Step 4. Stay Hydrated - Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. Drinking water helps rinse teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Not only that…but keeping your body hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva to keep your mouth and teeth clean.

Step 5. See Your Dentist Twice a Year - Regular dental visits are necessary to preserving your oral health. Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile. Your dentist can examine your mouth and address any potential issues while your hygienist can professionally clean your teeth and gums to remove any plaque. Regular dental checkups are the key to maintaining a healthy smile.

It can take some time before you start noticing changes from improved oral hygiene. While these changes won’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth and mouth, do not hesitate to call our office.

 


What are Invisalign Clear Aligners?

October 28th 2021

At Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics, we offer the latest in orthodontic treatment, including Invisalign Clear Aligners! invisalign Clear aligners allow Dr. Skelton to achieve the same results as traditional braces but without any brackets or wires. If you are thinking about improving your smile but can’t picture yourself in braces…Invisalign Clear Aligners might be the perfect option for you.

What are Invisalign Clear Aligners?

Invisalign uses cutting-edge software and technology to shift misaligned teeth with a series of customized clear aligner trays. Invisalign Clear Aligners are made of a thermoplastic material and custom-designed to fit over your teeth. Although they look very different from braces, Invisalign Aligners use the same gentle pressure to gradually move your teeth into the perfect position.

Unlike traditional braces, no part of the clear aligner tray is attached to the actual surface of your tooth. Because the aligners can be removed, they make it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout the treatment process. The Invisalign clear aligner trays are taken out before you begin your normal dental hygiene routine, allowing you to brush and floss the same way you always have.

How Long does Invisalign Clear Aligner Treatment Take?

Each patient’s orthodontic problem is unique, and each patient responds to treatment differently, so there is no universal answer for how long your Invisalign treatment will take. In general, the total treatment time for Invisalign Clear Aligners can be anywhere from 9-15 months.

Are Invisalign Clear Aligners Expensive?

As clear aligners have become more popular over the years, they have also become more affordable. Invisalign aligners tend to cost about as much as traditional braces; however, the cost of your orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your individual needs and treatment plan.

At Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics, our mission to provide you with affordable, high-quality treatment that fits your budget. Dr. Skelton is not willing to let finances stand in the way of treatment. Our team is sensitive to the fact that people have different needs in fulfilling their financial obligations, so we provide the following payment options:

  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express 
  • A down payment with monthly payments on the balance 
  • No interest and no late fees

There’s a lot to love about Invisalign Clear Aligners, but they aren’t always a good fit for every patient. If you’d like to learn more about how Invisalign Clear Aligners can transform your smile, give Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics a call today and schedule a complimentary consultation. Dr. Skelton will assess your smile to determine if Invisalign Clear Aligners are the right fit for you.

 


Damon Clear Braces

September 22nd 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Your appearance can make a big difference in your confidence, and a healthy smile is one of the first things people notice.

Dr. Theresa L. Skelton is dedicated to creating beautiful smiles with straighter teeth and good bites. One of the orthodontic treatment options offered at TLS Orthodontics, includes Clear Braces by the DamonSystem.  Made of tooth-colored or transparent ceramic, Damon Clear Braces require no metal clips or elastic ties. Other clear braces have visible metal parts or elastic ties that can yellow during treatment. But tieless Damon Clear Braces are more discrete and resistant to staining and discoloration all throughout treatment. With Damon Clear, people may not even realize you're wearing braces.

Damon Clear Braces offer our patients the look they want, with all the functionality of traditional metal braces. Damon Clear’s comfortable, sculptured design, and attractive translucent appearance help provide the self-confidence that comes from wearing braces that look as good as they perform.

The Damon System is not just about revolutionary braces and wires, it is an entirely new way of treating patients. Damon smiles are full, natural smiles achieved with light force specifically designed to improve the overall facial result of each of our patient. Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable, and easy to keep clean.

With Clear Braces by the Damon System, Dr. Skelton and herteam can deliver faster treatment times, fewer appointments, greater comfort, and consistent high-quality results. If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment, consider Damon Clear Braces. Give TLS Orthodontics a call to schedule your initial consultation today.

See results faster than you might think. While treatment time can vary, clinical studies demonstrate that Damon System treatment is up to six months faster than traditional braces.

 


You are Never too Old for Braces

August 12th 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens.

Just as straight, white teeth convey youth, a smile with crooked, discolored, or worn teeth is associated with age. Beautifully straight, symmetrical white teeth cannot only make you look younger, but they can dramatically improve your confidence.

The orthodontic problems you may be living with as an adult raise more than cosmetic concerns. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean, making tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Teeth that don't come together properly when you close your jaws can cause chewing and swallowing problems. Poor tooth alignment can also make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds and can put excessive stress on the chewing muscles, causing facial pain.

Whether you’re 6 or 60, it’s the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone. Teeth move in response to forces being placed on them over time. Although childhood is the ideal time to make changes in the positioning of the teeth, if you are healthy your teeth can be straightened at any age.

As an adult, you might think that your options for having your teeth fixed are limited, but today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Dr. Theresa L. Skelton will discuss your options to ensure your treatment plan fits your lifestyle.

You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be just as successful for adults as it is for children. Don’t let your age keep you from consulting TLS Orthodontics.


TLS Orthodontics Can Fix Your Bite Problem

July 21st 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Our smiles are uniquely ours. However so is our bite. In orthodontics, “bite” refers to the way the upper and lower teeth come together. A bad bite happens when teeth meet improperly, or they don’t meet at all.

When a person's teeth or jaws do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the problem. If left untreated, these orthodontic problems can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and can even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints.

5 Common Orthodontic Problems Treated at TLS Orthodontics

1. Crowding - Crowding of the teeth is probably the most common orthodontic problem. Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. This can be a result of big teeth or inadequate space in the jaw or both. This may result in teeth that overlap, are rotated, or take on a crooked/staggered appearance. Not only is crowding unattractive, but it has also been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it is harder to clean overlapping teeth's surfaces.

2. Spacing - Spacing is another popular reason for braces. Spacing may be related to a tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Tooth size discrepancies, such as smaller teeth or abnormally shaped teeth, can also create abnormal spacing. The opposite of crowding, spacing is most commonly caused by excessive jaw room for the size of the erupting teeth.

3. Crossbite - A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth fit inside of lower teeth. This orthodontic problem can be caused by misalignment of teeth or a misalignment of the bone and can affect a single tooth or groups of teeth. Your jaw may shift to one side if not corrected and wear down on your tooth enamel.

4. Underbite - An underbite happens when the lower jaw sits in front of the upper jaw. The lower jaw may appear to be excessively large, but in many cases the lack of upper jaw development is at fault. An underbite impacts tooth wear and adds a stress on your jaw joints. Through orthodontic treatment, an underbite can be corrected and help keep you healthy, beyond an aesthetically pleasing smile.

5. OverbiteAn overbite occurs when your top front teethextend beyond your bottom front teeth. The most common cause of an overbite is the shape and/or size of the jaw or the teeth. This could mean having too much room in the jaw area or too little room to accommodate one’s teeth. If not treated, the overbite will allow the teeth to crowd each other and grow in crooked if there is too little room, or the teeth will be spaced too far apart if the jaw area is too large. A more severe overbite may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, or jaw pain.

The fact is…untreated problems tend to get worse with time. If you suspect that you or a loved one has one of these five common bite problems, Dr. Skelton can help. Make an appointment with TLS Orthodonticstoday. You do not need to wait until your dentist refers you.


Braces by TLS Orthodontics

June 24th 2021

Your smile has an effect on your whole life, at TLS Orthodontics, we offer three types of braces to help transform your smile.

Damon Silver Braces - Damon Silver Braces are a good, cost-effective option for kids, teens, and adults. Because of their durability and cost-effectiveness, they are the most popular braces used in orthodontics. Damon Braces provide a comprehensive treatment option for anyone considering orthodontic treatment. With the Damon System, you or your child can have a healthy, beaming smile in less time and with greater comfort. The Damon Braces System has been clinically proven for 20+ years with over 7 million smiles delivered. The Damon Silver Braces utilizes a patented slide mechanism to connect archwires to the bracket while allowing the wire to move freely. The Damon System reduces friction and improves oral hygiene by eliminating elastic ties.

Damon Clear Braces - DamonClear Braces are a growing option to correct your bite and straighten your smile. Clear braces work just like silver braces, however, they are made of a tooth-colored ceramic material and are nearly invisible. Many people opt for ceramic braces because they’re less noticeable on your teeth. This can be a huge advantage if you’re considering braces but don’t want to feel self-conscious about wearing them. The light, gentle forces used by the Damon System promote efficient tooth movement and help improve oral health by preserving tooth roots. Lighter forces also help prevent undue gum recession and tooth loss.  Because Damon Clear Braces don't require elastic ties, helping to improve oral hygiene and protect gum health.

Invisalign Clear Aligners - Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth without the use of metal braces. Invisalign is a series of custom-made clear aligners that cover your teeth and gently pull them into the proper position over time. Because they are clear and can be taken on and off, they are less noticeable than traditional metal braces. With Invisalign clear aligners there are no metal brackets or wires to detract from your smile while undergoing treatment. Invisalign clear aligners are made from BPA-free plastic, and they are far more comfortable than traditional silver braces. Both teenagers and adults can wear Invisalign. Invisalign clear aligners are used to close gaps between teeth, as well as treating overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, and overcrowded teeth.

Dr. Theresa Skelton is committed to determining which treatment solution is best suited for you. Schedule your orthodontic consultation today and smile with confidence tomorrow.



Do You Have Gum Disease?

May 4th 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

More than 80 percent of Americans are living with periodontal or gum disease, which more often than not, goes unnoticed.

Gum disease is something that most people will experience at some point in their lives. But because the symptoms of gum disease are so subtle and painless, most people just shrug it off. If gum disease is left untreated, the consequences could be severe.  Gum disease has been linked to a host of general medical problems, including: Heart disease, Endocarditis, Lung problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Colorectal cancer, Diabetes, and Kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers in men.

According to the American Association of Periodontology (AAP), you may have gum disease if:

  • Your gums are red, swollen, and sore to the touch. 
  • Your gums bleed when you eat, brush or floss. 
  • You see pus or other signs of infection around the gums and teeth. 
  • Your gums look as if they are "pulling away" from the teeth. 
  • You frequently have bad breath or notice a bad taste in your mouth. 
  • Your teeth are loose or feel as if they are moving away from the other teeth.

A great oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your general dentist are the absolute best way to take a preventative measure against gum disease. Plaque begins to re-form within 24 hours after brushing and flossing, so daily care is essential. Be sure to floss every day to ensure your gums are healthy and pink.

With good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, you can keep your teeth for a lifetime and avoid many significant health problems.

If you have any questions regarding the health of your teeth and gums, please don't hesitate to give TLS Orthodonticsa call.

 


Beautiful Smiles To Last A Lifetime

April 26th 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

It’s time to celebrate! You’ve just gotten your braces
takenoff and your smile looks amazing!

If you want to keep that beautiful smile for life, you're going to need to make sure you wear your retainer. Your orthodontic treatment does not end once Dr. Theresa L. Skelton remove your braces...wearing your retainer is the final step in keeping your smile perfect.

Here's something you may not know...your teeth aren't set rigidly into your jawbone. Your teeth are held in place by bands of fibrous tissue called the periodontal ligaments. After your teeth have been moved into their ideal position by your braces, it takes time for the periodontal ligaments to adjust. 

When you’re not wearing your retainer, pressure from your lips and tongue can cause your teeth to shift. Even if your teeth don’t look like they have moved, that doesn’t mean they haven’t. If you go without wearing your retainer for long periods of time, your teeth will continue to move until misalignment is visibly noticeable.

The retention phase of your treatment begins as soon as your braces are removed and lasts a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put and wear your retainer as prescribed by Dr. Skelton

If you have any questions about the retention phrase of your orthodontic treatment, please don't hesitate to contact our Greenville office
 

Remember: Remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.


Protect Your Enamel

March 9th 2021

Braces are a spectacular tool for straightening smiles and correcting jaw problems that impact self-confidence and overall oral wellness. The wires and brackets used at TLS Orthodontics are fundamental to the treatment process, but it can be difficult to remove food particles that get stuck under and between your brackets and wires. Unfortunately, if food is left to fester, the acidic content of the food can eat away at your tooth’s enamel.

If you have braces, your smile can be prone to enamel erosion. Enamel erosion occurs when acid attacks the teeth and wears down the enamel. This can make your teeth vulnerable to tooth fractures and cavities. Pay special attention to cleaning your teeth every day. Permanent damage to tooth enamel can occur if the teeth and brackets are not kept clean.

To prevent enamel erosion, Dr. Theresa L. Skelton encourages you to:

Keep Your Teeth Clean: Brush your teeth after every meal. Use an interdental brush, floss (and floss threaders) and possibly a water flosser to help rid your mouth of stuck debris.

Use Fluoride: Fluoride can strengthen your tooth enamel and help you avoid enamel erosion. Use a fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash whenever possible.

Avoid Acidic Foods and Beverages: Consuming acidic foods can expose your smile to the acids that harm the teeth. So, it’s best to avoid consuming acidic foods and drinks as much as possible. Certain foods and beverages are more acidic than others. During orthodontic treatment, focus on eating foods that are both good for your body and your teeth.

When it comes to taking care of your teeth while wearing braces, one of the best things you can do is pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Thinking about what is coming in contact with your pearly whites can protect your teeth from erosion and decay.

Less tooth-friendly foods and drinks include: apples, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples, raspberries, tomatoes, pickles, soft drinks, and fruit drinks.

More tooth-friendly foods and drinks include: bananas, mangoes, melons, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, milk, water, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, crackers, and pasta.

If you like to learn more about how you prevent enamel erosion while wearing braces, our friendly staff at TLS Orthodontics is available to train you in methods for keeping your teeth clean and strong. 
 


Cleaning Your Invisalign Aligners

February 18th 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created just for you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements that Dr. Theresa L. Skelton plans out for you.

One of Invisalign’s biggest advantages is having the ability to take the aligners out to eat and drink. But just because you can take them out, doesn't mean they don't get dirty. Keeping your aligners clean is a vital part of your treatment, and it's the only way to keep them invisible, odorless, and free from germs. Without proper cleaning, your aligners can discolor, smell, and build up deposits of plaque and bacteria that can eat away at the enamel on your teeth.

Follow these simple Do's and Don'ts when caring for your Invisalign aligners:

DO Rinse Every Time: Any time you take your aligners out of your mouth, rinse them thoroughly under running water. This will rinse away bacteria, saliva, and food particles.

DON’T Boil Your Aligners: Hot water will distort the trays. It is not safe to place your Invisalign aligners into the dishwasher or in boiling water.

DO Brush and Floss Your Teeth: Proper care isn't just about clean aligners; your teeth need to stay clean as well. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent buildup of plaque and bacteria under the aligners.

DON’T Use Toothpaste: Toothpaste is great for your teeth, but it can harm your aligners. When you brush your aligners, do so gently and without toothpaste.

DO Brush Carefully: Ideally, you want to brush your Invisalign aligners every time you take them out or before you put them back in. But be careful, as overzealous brushing can leave visible marks and scratches on your aligners.

If you have questions about how you can better care for your Invisalign aligners, we are here to help! Feel free to reach out to us  at our Greenville orthodontic office.


New Year New Toothbrush

January 22nd 2021

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

The toothbrush is your number one oral hygiene accessory.  Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean. So...when is the last time you got a new toothbrush?

Replacing your toothbrush is essential since it is constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. Dr. Theresa L. Skelton and her team recommended that you switch out your old toothbrush for a new one every 3 to 4 months. People who wear braces should change their toothbrushes more frequently because braces break down and fracture bristles which makes the toothbrush less effective. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush have become worn that's a clear sign you need a new toothbrush.

2 Reasons to Change Out Your Old Toothbrush:

1. Bacteria - Your toothbrush is a tool for removing bacteria from your teeth…but it doesn’t actually kill bacteria. Some of the bacteria from your teeth stays on your toothbrush after you are done brushing. That build up of bacteria is going back into your mouth at least twice a day.

2. Bristles - Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. Worn bristles are tough on your enamel and can wear it away over time. Did you know that an old, worn out toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque?

3. Illness -Three months is longer than you may think. In that time, several sicknesses can come and go. While it is best to dispose of your toothbrush right after you recover from an illness, taking the extra precaution of disposing of your toothbrush every three months can help ensure you stay healthy.

A healthy mouth starts with having good a dental habits. Part of a good dental routine is making sure you change your toothbrush every three months. If you're wondering if your old toothbrush is having a negative affect on your oral health give TLS Orthodontics a call. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to answer any questions you may have.


What is an Orthodontist?

December 7th 2020

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

You see a dentist twice a year. They clean your teeth and help keep your mouth healthy. But what about orthodontists? What can they do for you? 

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw. While orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

A question people often ask is, “Can my dentist give me braces?” The simple answer is no.

Orthodontists and dentists undertake the same training initially, but orthodontists complete further training after they graduate from dental school to become qualified in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of orthodontic problems. Orthodontists specialize in helping patients with the alignment of their teeth, improving their bite, and fitting them for braces and other corrective devices. The benefits of having an orthodontist work on your smile goes beyond just having a beautiful smile. Well-aligned teeth make it possible to bite, chew, and speak effectively.

Not everyone needs to have orthodontic treatment, but it may be required if you have any of the following issues:

Crossbites: When you have a narrow upper jaw or a wider lower jaw. A narrow upper jaw will often force a you to move the lower jaw forward or to the side when closing into a stable bite. When closed into this accommodating position, the lower teeth are located outside the upper teeth.

Crowding: Crowding, typically stems from a discrepancy between the space in each jaw and the size of the teeth. Crowding can be the cause or result of other problems, such as impacted teeth, retained teeth, or teeth that have not naturally fallen out.

Spacing Issues: Spaces between teeth may be related to tooth-to-jaw size disharmony. Tooth size discrepancies, such as smaller teeth or abnormally shaped teeth, can also create abnormal spacing issues.

Overbites: When you have excessive vertical overlapping of the front teeth, generally found in association with a discrepancy between the length of the upper and lower jaws. 

Excessive Gingival Display: Also known as a gummy smile, excessive gingival display gives the appearance of exposed gums on the upper arch.   

If you have been wondering if you should see an Orthodontist to improve your smile...Give TLS Orthodontics a call today. Dr. Theresa L. Skelton and her friendly staff are here to answering any questions you may have.


More Than a Pretty Smile

November 12th 2020

At TLSOrthodontics, our goal is to provide you provide you the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly, comfortable environment. Whether it’s through Invisalign, traditional braces, or clear braces...orthodontics goes beyond just having a pretty smile.

Benefits of Having Straight Teeth

1. Healthy Gums: Healthy gums are a foundation to a healthy body. The health of your mouth and your body are connected. Your gums are essential  to your overall health. When your teeth are spaced out or crowded, it is possible for them to become inflamed, which can be a sign of periodontal disease.

2. Easier to Clean: A great benefit of straight teeth is the ease of keeping your teeth clean…which means healthier gums. Crowded teeth are difficult to brush and floss properly. Improper brushing and flossing can lead to plaque and tooth decay.

3. Less Tooth Wear: The straighter your teeth are, the less wear and tear you place on them. Biting and chewing generate quite a bit of pressure. Properly aligned teeth can handle biting and chewing without any problems. However, those with bite problems end up putting an excessive amount of stress on their teeth. This excessive amount of stress can lead to fractures and even abnormal flattening of the biting surface. 

4. Clearer Speech: Your teeth plays an important role in your speech. If you have teeth that are crowded, spaced out, or protruding from your mouth, it can affect your speaking patterns negatively.  

5. Better Digestion: Straight teeth are better for chewing. Chewing is the beginning of the food digestion process. When you chew your food more thoroughly, it helps speed up the digestion process.

If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve a straighter, healthier smile through orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign and braces, give Dr. Theresa L. Skelton a call in our Greenville, MS orthodontic office  at 662-332-4902.
 
 


Are You Too Old For Braces?

October 1st 2020

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance.

Just as straight, white teeth convey youth, a smile with crooked, discolored, or worn teeth is associated with an age. Beautifully straight, symmetrical white teeth cannot only make you look younger, but they can dramatically improve your confidence.

As an adult, you might think that your options for having your teeth fixed are limited, but today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Depending on your budget and the severity of your orthodontic problem, Dr. Theresa L. Skelton will discuss your options to ensure your treatment plan fits your lifestyle.

Whether you’re 7 or 70, it’s the same physiological process that moves teeth through bone. Teeth move in response to forces being placed on them over time. Although childhood is the ideal time to make changes in the positioning of the teeth, as long as you are healthy...your teeth can be straightened at any age.

Not every type of appliance is suitable for correction of every kind of orthodontic problem. At TLS Orthodontics, we offer full range of appliances, and will help you choose the appliance is right for your orthodontic care.

You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be just as successful for adults as it is for children. Don’t let your age keep you from consulting our Greenville, MS office today.


Adjusting to Your New Braces

September 24th 2020

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

So…you just got braces, now what?  As with any change, adjusting to something new can be a little confusing and overwhelming, at Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics, we are here to help you at every step along the way.

Here are a few tips to help you adjust to your new braces.

Tip 1: Be confident. Initially, your braces may feel like they stick out. This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will no longer be a concern. Don't worry about how your braces look and don't be afraid or embarrassed to smile. Be proud and know that in no time at all your braces will come off and your smile will look amazing.

Tip 2: Be sure you know what to do if you're experiencing pain or problems with your braces. There are routine steps that we ask you to take prior to leaving the office. These steps will minimize discomfort and ensure an optimal response to treatment.

  • Use your finger and tongue to make sure that nothing is poking you. We have been as careful as possible when applying the brackets and inserting the wire, but only you can tell us whether or not everything feels ok.
  • Make sure that you have all of the supplies you need for your first stage of treatment. This could include wax, elastics, and tools to clean your teeth and braces.
  • Always schedule your next appointment before leaving the office. Postponing appointments is a common contributor to overtime treatment.

Tip 3: Alleviate discomfort right away. As your teeth begin to move, the teeth themselves, your jaw, and your gums will feel achy and maybe a little sore. Taking a non-prescription pain remedy can prevent any discomfort and pain. A saltwater rinse, made from warm water and salt, can also be used to help alleviate any soreness in the mouth.

Tip 4: Make sure your mouth stays clean. While you’re in braces, you’ll have to pay extra attention to making sure your mouth stays clean. The brackets and wires create a lot of nooks and crannies where food particles and debris can hide, so take your time with brushing and flossing. Carry a travel toothbrush with you so you can brush after meals and snacks.

Tip 5:  Give yourself time. Your braces may not be what you expected or wanted, but after a while when your teeth start shifting you will notice how incredible your smile looks. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have toughened, you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. If your supply of wax runs out, call our office for more. Wax may also be purchased at a local drug store.

We know that getting braces can be both scary and exciting. The first month is a bit of an adjustment period, but you’ll soon forget that you are even wearing braces. Keep on smiling and laughing throughout your treatment. Time will fly by and soon enough you’ll be getting them off and showing the world your new straight smile!


The Damon Difference

August 24th 2020

Dr. Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics
 

At the office of Dr. Theresa L. Skelton, our top priority is to provide you with the highest quality orthodontic care in a friendly, comfortable environment. Our practice offers many advanced treatments, including Damon System Brackets.

 

The Damon System is not just about revolutionary braces and wires, it's an entirely new way of treating our patients. This clinically proven treatment approach aligns your teeth and enhances your facial aesthetics without extractions or palatal expanders, giving you a smile that is full and natural. 

 

Achieved with light force specifically designed to improve the overall facial result of each patient,  Damon braces use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows the teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably. The passive self-ligating brackets eliminate the need for elastic or metal "ties". With these tie-less braces you can experience treatment without tightening. The unique design of these braces also helps to reduce the buildup of food particles and debris that tend to get lodged in the brackets of traditional metal braces, making oral hygiene easy during treatment.

 

Damon System treatment requires fewer office visits. On average, patients treated with the Damon System require seven fewer office appointments than patients who undergo traditional orthodontic treatment. That means more convenience for you.

 

Damon Braces give you a broader and healthier smile in less time and with greater comfort than conventional braces. If you are curious about Damon Braces or if you have specific questions about how they can help you achieve your best smile, please contact our Greenville orthodontics office anytime!

 


Two-Phase Orthodontics…Two Times the Fun

July 23rd 2020

Dr. Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics

Orthodontists today can successfully correct most problems regardless of the patient’s age. But that does not mean that the orthodontic treatment starting age does not matter. In fact, it may play a significant role in the total time and expenses required for the completion of the orthodontic treatment.

Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a specialized process that involves facial and jaw changes along with straightening teeth.  This process allows Dr. Theresa Skelton to create a healthy functional smile with results that remain stable after treatment.

As a child grows, both the upper jaw and lower jaw will grow in three dimensions. This growth will decide the final positioning of the mid and lower face. Ideally, the upper jaw should have a more forward position and be a bit wider than the lower jaw. Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws will grow at different rates and create alignment issues between the upper and lower teeth. If a child's bite problems require intervention, Dr. Skelton can use a variety of appliances to change the rate, direction or amount of jaw growth.

How does Two-Phase Orthodontics work?

Two-phase orthodontics starts with interceptive orthodontic care. This is a process where Dr. Skelton intercepts an oral problem before it gets out of hand. Typically, treatment starts with younger children in order to shift teeth, manipulate growth, create space for unerupted teeth, and break habits before it is too late. Addressing development concerns while the bones are growing gives Dr. Skelton the ability to avoid more invasive approaches in the future. The best age for this interceptive treatment is between 7 and 10 year old. Typically, this first phase will be short (about 4 to 12 months) and will address a specific problem. Once phase one treatment is completed, your child will be monitored by Dr. Skelton until they are ready for phase two.

Once a majority of the adult teeth have erupted, the second phase can begin. The average treatment time of second phase is about 12 months with retainers being worn after treatment to hold the correct position of the teeth.

It is important to have your child evaluated by Dr. Skelton from an early age. Even if you think your child’s smile is perfect, early diagnosis and treatment can have a lasting improvement on the function of their teeth and their overall appearance.

If you are interested in learning more about Two-Phase Orthodontics, contact our Greenville orthodontic office. We love answering questions and providing a solid foundation of information to those who are interested in treatment for their children or themselves.

 


Summer Smiles!

June 9th 2020

Dr. Theresa Skelton

Summer time is the best time of year for most kids. Staying up late, playing video games, and visiting the orthodontist. Yes, you read that right…we did say visiting the orthodontist. 

Healthy teeth do more than provide your child with an opportunity to show off their smile. Healthy teeth enable your child to be more confident, allow for easier social development, and help to promote over-all good health. 

Just the Facts: In an independent study conducted on behalf of the AACD, it was discovered that...
  • 99.7% of Americans believe that a smile is an important social asset. 
  • 74% of Americans agree that an unattractive smile can hurt a person's chances for career success. 
  • 96% of Americans believe that an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.

The rapid changes an adolescent experiences physically during puberty is a benefit when it comes to orthodontic treatments. By taking advantage of the pubertal growth spurts, Dr. Theresa L. Skelton is able to use growth to her advantage to help direct jaw growth, correcting even severe bite relationships.

The benefits of straight, well-aligned teeth include:
  • Teeth that are less prone to wear, chipping, and tooth trauma. 
  • Teeth that are easier to keep clean, which helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. 
  • Less of a chance to develop gum (periodontal) disease. 
  • The improvement of proper chewing and digestion of food. 
  • Excellent esthetics and sometimes improvement in ones self-esteem.

The upcoming school year is like a clean slate just waiting to be filled with good memories and opportunities for growth and adventure. So…embrace the summer months and give your child a happy, healthy smile! Contact our office today!



Urgent, Urgent...Emergency!

May 12th 2020

Theresa L. Skelton Orthodontics
OK...so you're home from your orthodontic adjustment appointment with Dr. Theresa L. Skelton. Your next appointment is scheduled for six weeks from now. Your mouth is sore, you feel a wire poking your cheek, your teeth are tender. You have an emergency and need these painful issues resolved right now!

Did you know that many things we consider an emergency are really things that are simply causing us temporary discomfort and can be resolved at home? It's true. Most orthodontic concerns, like, poking wires and mouth soreness can be fixed without scheduling an emergency appointment.

Here's How...

Poking Wire- Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, pencil eraser or Q-Tip. Orthodontic wax can always be used to cover any archwires that might be sticking out.

Loose Wire - Use Tweezers to re-insert archwire that may have slipped out of the molar bracket. Place wax over it if there is any remaining discomfort.

Soreness - Warm salt-water rinses are helpful in relieving soreness. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as you would for a headache or similar discomfort.

Please Remember: 
Every day when you brush your teeth, check to make sure you do not have any loose braces by gently trying to slide each one. If a wire or band comes loose, do not be alarmed. If you have a broken or loose appliance, please call us to determine if your breakage is urgent and requires immediate repair. If a piece comes loose, save it and bring it with you to the office.


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