Frequently Asked Questions
At Suliman Orthodontics, we provide orthodontics services for children and adults looking to straighten their teeth and align their jaw. Orthodontics is the study and treatment of dental displacement and malocclusions. As an expert at issues pertaining to the jaw, we can move and adjust teeth even if they are fully formed and hardened. This makes it possible to straighten teeth in adults, rather than children only.
Dental research has shown that the first thing a person notices when they meet you is your smile, so make a great first impression and choose braces by an orthodontist.
WHY AN ORTHODONTIST?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has received two to three years of additional training and experience at an accredited university. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Your orthodontist’s primary goal is to straighten your teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the aesthetics of your smile.
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM MY DENTIST?
We like to have a referral from your dentist but it isin’t absolutely necessary. Because our training begins with general dentistry, we are trained to look for and diagnose dental problems and can always refer you back to your dentist for further care. Please call our office or stop by to schedule an appointment.
DO BRACES HURT?
Orthodontics has evolved since the birth of the specialty in the early 1900, (yes we have been around that long). We have replaced the more rigid stainless steel wires with hi-tech NiTi and TMA shape memory wires. These new wires apply gentle and light forces to teeth and therefore reduce the pain experienced by you. Your teeth will be slightly sore the first 7-10 days after your braces are bonded on your teeth and you’ll soon forget that they are there.
AM I TOO OLD FOR BRACES?
No one is ever too old to receive orthodontic treatment. We can improve your smile regardless of your age. Even though a small percentage of patients benefit from early orthodontic treatment (age 5-7), the majority of our patients are teens and adults (age range 10-70).
DO I HAVE TO WEAR METAL BRACES?
Most people that you see walking around with silver braces are probably wearing metal braces. This is not to say that this is the only option out there. You have the option to choose from a variety of braces including metal braces, tooth colored braces (ceramic), gold braces, Incognito (hidden braces), Invisalign and Invisalign teen (clear aligners).
WHAT SHOULD I DO IN AN ORTHODONTIC EMERGENCY?
The beauty of orthodontic treatment is that there are very few orthodontic emergencies. Only the most severe emergencies may require immediate attention by Dr. Suliman. For major orthodontic emergencies, don’t hesitate to call us at (209) 478-5167. However, the majority of orthodontic emergencies are easily treated at home with a follow-up appointment at Suliman Orthodontics.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A HEADGEAR?
A headgear is an orthopedic appliance that’s used on a select number of patients who present with a severely distorted bite. With that said, there are great alternatives to headgears and we at Suliman Orthodontics invest in those alternatives as our first choice in bite correction.
WILL MY TEETH STRAIGHTEN OUT ON THEIR OWN AS I GROW?
Unfortunately not. Years and years of research have shown that once the permanent adult molars erupt (around age 6), the space available to align crowded front teeth decreases and the teeth will remain crowded if not treated.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO WEAR A RETAINER?
Once your braces are removed, we recommend that you wear your retainer full time (20-22 hrs/day) to prevent the gradual movement of your teeth. Again, years of research have shown that the only way to prevent your teeth from recrowding after braces is to wear retainers long term (1 year minimal).
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF THE INITIAL EXAMINATION?
The goal of the initial examination is to address the following 4 questions:
- Is there an orthodontic problem and if so how severe is it and can it be fixed?
- What must be done to fix the problem?
- How long will the treatment take?
- How much is my financial investment?
HOW FREQUENT ARE MY APPOINTMENTS?
Appointment length and intervals vary from patient to patient. On average you will be seen every 6-10 weeks for you adjustments. If a specific situation required more frequent visits, then we will schedule those accordingly.
MY FRIENDS TOLD ME I CANNOT EAT CERTAIN FOODS WHILE IN BRACES. IS THAT TRUE?
That is absolutely true. But most of those foods are foods you shouldn’t be eating in the first place such as ice, hard candies, sticky candies and hard foods (nuts, chips,pretzels, etc.) Once your braces go on, we will provide you with a home care kit that will list problematic foods that can break your braces and lengthen your overall treatment. The problem with hards and sticky foods is that they brake orthodontic wires and brackets, this will result in prolonged future visits and can increase your overall treatment time.
WILL I BE ABLE TO BRUSH MY TEETH WHILE IN BRACES?
You bet you will! In fact, you should brush your teeth longer and more frequently while in treatment. We can’t stress enough how important this is. You will be given specific instructions and a hygiene kit the day your braces go on. Dr. Suliman and his staff will encourage you to brush your teeth in the office before each adjustment and will monitor your hygiene throughout the course of treatment.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON’T BRUSH MY TEETH?
If you show a consistent pattern of poor brushing, we may be forced to terminate treatment early. This isn’t something we like to do but your teeth maybe at risk of developing permanent white spots lesions and cavities.
WHAT ARE RUBBER BANDS AND DO I HAVE TO WEAR THEM?
Rubber bands are required to help correct your bite which is usually towards the end of treatment. If not worn as prescribed, they can delay the removal of your braces. Throughout my training as an orthodontist, I have noticed that those patients that brushed their teeth very well and wore their rubber bands as prescribed often finished treatment ahead of those who didn’t.