Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Getting Braces

smiling with braces

Our patients in the Brookings area come to us with a lot of questions before getting braces for the first time. Orthodontic care is both a time and financial investment, and we want you to have the answers to all of your questions.

Here’s a good place to start – the ten things we want you to know before getting braces!

1. Start with a Free Consultation

Each orthodontic patient is different. The best way we can provide an accurate treatment plan for you is by scheduling a consultation.

At Meyer Orthodontics, this is free.

If you’re not sure if you or your child need braces, scheduling a free consultation with us is the best place to start. If you’re looking for orthodontic care elsewhere, be sure that you’re visiting a licensed, board-certified orthodontist. Here are a few great questions to ask your orthodontist at your consultation:

  • Did you attend a full-time orthodontic specialist residency?
  • Will you correct my bite and straighten all of my teeth?
  • Can you show me cases you have treated that are similar to mine?
  • How will your orthodontic treatment affect my facial profile?
  • Did an orthodontic specialist treat your children’s smiles?
  • Did an orthodontic specialist treat your smile?

2. Age Doesn’t Matter

You don’t have to be a pre-teen to get braces. In fact, we see patients as young as seven years old, all the way up to adults!

An adult and child

It’s wise to bring your child in for a consultation at an early age, because enough permanent adult teeth have come in to detect many common bite problems. If orthodontic treatment is necessary, we can often begin treatment even while your child’s primary teeth are still in.

Learn more about the best age to bring your child to an orthodontist »

If you’re an adult considering braces, you’re not alone. Adult braces are actually more popular than ever before, thanks to affordability and an increased understanding in oral health.

Learn more about orthodontic care for adults »

3. You Have Options

While metal fixed braces are the most common type, there are all kinds of treatment options!

We’ll let you know which options might be best for you and your individual treatment, but in the meantime, you can learn more about the kinds of braces here.

4. It Will be Uncomfortable (At First)

a grimacing child

Good news – having braces is generally not an overall painful experience. You will, however, experience discomfort when you first get them and after regular adjustments.

That just means they’re working, and things are moving in your mouth!

While you are experiencing minor discomfort, you can follow some of these tips for easing the pain.

5. You Still Need to See the Dentist

Sorry, you’re not off the hook here!

Think of your dentist and your orthodontist as a team. While we do different work, we have the same goal – improved oral health for you.

Your orthodontic treatment will go better if your teeth are regularly examined and cleaned by your general dentist. Also, because braces will make it harder for you to brush and floss as effectively as without, your dentist can make sure those hard-to-reach places are staying extra healthy throughout your treatment.

Learn about the difference between a dentist and a board certified orthodontist »

6. It’s Important to Wear Your Retainer

Once your braces are off, you’re not done yet.

Your retainer is just as important to your treatment plan as your braces are. If you don’t wear it, your teeth will move, and you may once again find yourself unhappy with your smile. 

We have all kinds of advice about retainers, such as why you need it, how to take care of it, and why you should keep it away from your dog!

7. It’s Not Just About Your Teeth

When you get braces, you get so much more than a beautiful smile!

The real goal of orthodontic care is to create a healthy bite so you can chew efficiently and have overall better oral health. When we align your teeth and jaws, this improve your overall function as well, including biting, chewing, and speaking.

Learn more about why your bite matters »

8. You’ll Have to Make Some Dietary Changes

eating popcorn

For many patients, this is one of the hardest parts of having braces. We know – it’s not fun to cut out some of your favorite foods!

Thankfully, it’s just temporary. We’ve put together a list of things you definitely should not eat while undergoing treatment, as well as some sweet recipes you can enjoy.

9. Cleaning is Crucial

It is very important to clean your teeth thoroughly when you have braces.

If you don’t, bacteria can grow between those tight places, leading to bad breath and cavities. If you’re not flossing, plaque will accumulate along your gum lines and eventually turn to tarter – which can lead to gum disease.

To get the full run-down of how to best brush and floss your teeth with braces, check out this post.

10. Be Patient


We get it. Having braces isn’t necessarily everyone’s idea of a good time.

But, we encourage you to stick with the process and trust your orthodontist. The more you follow instructions, the smoother your treatment will go. Before you know it, you’ll have that happy and healthy smile you always dreamt of.

Be Confident with Your Brookings Orthodontic Treatment

In addition to all of this information, we’ve busted several common myths about orthodontic care. If you still have questions, schedule a free consultation for yourself or your child. We look forward to getting to know you in Brookings!