Life With Braces

If you’ve just started wearing braces, congratulations! You are on your way to having a beautiful, straight smile that you’ll be proud to show off to the world. In the meantime, living with your orthodontic appliances may take a little getting used to — particularly during the first week. But after that, it really does get better! Here are some tips for adjusting to life with braces. 

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Eating With Braces

As you adjust to eating with braces, instinct will tell you which foods to avoid. These include things that are hard, sticky, crunchy or require biting into — like bagels, carrots and corn on the cob. However, there’s no reason to give up healthy foods you love. Fruits and vegetables can be cut into smaller pieces, blended into smoothies, or softened in cooking to avoid causing damage to your braces.

Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is always a good idea for oral health, but it’s even more important when you’re wearing braces. That’s because keeping your teeth clean can be more challenging with those brackets and wires in place. If particles of sugary foods like donuts or candy become trapped in your braces, or if plaque builds up on tooth surfaces you can’t reach, tooth decay can quickly result. 

Oral Hygiene

So how do you keep your teeth clean while wearing braces? Brush at least twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride, which will strengthen the teeth. Fluoride mouthrinses are also available for added protection against cavities. Braces can be hard on a toothbrush, so you may have to replace them more frequently as you go through your orthodontic treatment.

Cleaning between your teeth at least once a day (preferably before you go to bed) is also very important. There are several ways to do this. When using dental floss, a special tool called a floss threader can help you pass the floss beneath the archwire that runs through the brackets on your braces. You can also try an interdental brush, which is a tiny disposable brush that can reach into small spaces your regular brush can’t. Some people like using a water flosser, which shoots a pressurized stream of water at the teeth to dislodge food particles. We’d be happy to give you more detailed instruction on using any of these oral hygiene aids. 

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Protecting Your Smile

Avoiding difficult foods and cleaning your teeth daily will go a long way toward keeping your teeth healthy as your smile is transformed. However, if you regularly participate in sports, here’s another important tip: wear a mouthguard! This not only helps protect your braces from breakage, it can also protect the soft tissues of your mouth from additional trauma. We can have a custom mouthguard made for you — just ask!

Feel free to call us if you need further advice or troubleshooting. And please remember: Wearing braces is a temporary phase that gets easier with each passing week. When your braces come off and you see your new smile for the first time, you’ll be glad you hung in there! 

What Our Happy Parents Say

Haley A.
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The whole staff was very welcoming and made our first experience with a toddler very calming and fun! Thank you!!!
Alyse A.
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Dr. Hull is a meticulous orthodontist who ensures that the patient and parent understands what is happening and why. He ensures the alignment of your teeth are exactly as they should be. 100% recommend him to anyone!
Kailie J.
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Highly recommend bringing your smaller children here! They always make my daughter (currently 3 1/2 years old) feel so comfortable, and she leaves there so happy every time!

Meet Your Pediatric Dentist in Des Moines, Iowa

Our staff is trained and skilled with many years of experience in dealing with the pediatric patient. We strive to provide energetic and fun-loving service to each patient. All of our staff members stay current with the very latest in technology and advances by regularly attending continuing education courses and seminars.

Nathan Hull, DDS
Jim Shealy, DDS
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
Danielle Leonard, DDS
General Dentist
Matthew Kubovich, DDS
Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Our Office

Please feel free to contact our office during the following hours through our office phone number or at any time using the contact form. We look forward to hearing from you! 



Working Hours


8:00 AM - 4:30 PM


8:00 AM - 4:30 PM


8:00 AM - 4:30 PM


8:00 AM - 4:30 PM