Answers to Your Common Orthodontic Questions

From Meyer & Dana Orthodontics

New to braces? Our team can help. Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in South Dakota.

If you don't see your question listed, always feel free to call our offices and our helpful team members can answer any questions you may have.

Answers to Common Questions
Are there foods I can’t eat while wearing braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include:

  • ice
  • hard candy
  • raw vegetables
  • all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy)

You can avoid most emergency appointments to our South Dakota offices to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists and our Meyer & Dana orthodontists recommend an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Can I drop my child off for their appointment?

Yes. We understand you have a busy schedule and we are happy to help you make the most of your time.

On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with our Meyer & Dana Orthodontics team before dropping off their child.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

We do the best we can to schedule appointments at times that are convenient for you and your family. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours.

However, because most appointments are scheduled 8 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments.

Can I still play sports with braces?

Yes. However, we do recommend using a mouth guard for all sports. Mouth guards are available at any of our office locations in South Dakota.

Can I wear braces even if I have crowns or missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling.

When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Can my child return to school the day they get their braces?

Yes. There is no reason you cannot return to school the same day.

Can orthodontic correction take place while a child still has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow their growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." However, after visits teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort.

However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

Do I need to see my general or family dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. We recommend dental cleanings every 3-4 months while in braces.

How long is treatment expected to take?

Treatment time will depend on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. The average time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? What about insurance coverage?

It’s not possible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have seen you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during your initial examination.

We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs and we will go over these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show you how to floss with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 8 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Is it necessary for my general dentist to schedule my initial consultation with Meyer & Dana Orthodontics?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many others take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Is it necessary for my general dentist to schedule my initial consultation with Meyer & Dana Orthodontics?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many others take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Is it too late to get braces if I’m an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

What is a comfort visit? What happens if I have a broken wire or bracket?

During your orthodontic treatment, if a bracket falls off, a wire is poking you, or there are other changes that cause discomfort, please call our office to schedule a comfort appointment during regular business hours.

If you have an emergency due to injury resulting in severe pain or bleeding, please call our office immediately. If the emergency is after hours, the office recording will provide you with an on-call number.

Why should I see an orthodontic specialist at Meyer & Dana Orthodontics?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed.

Orthodontic specialists like our team of doctors have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

Will I need to have teeth extracted to get braces?

Removing teeth is very rarely required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics.

However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not usually necessary for orthodontic treatment.

Will my child need an expander?

At the end of your initial examination, we will determine whether or not you will need an expander.

Will my child need full braces if they had Phase I treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase I treatment. The period following Phase I treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored.

Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my teeth straighten out as I get older?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.


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