Douglas Peyton, DDS, MS | Des Moines Orthodontics  
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Diet and Hygiene


Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Nearly anything. It is easier to describe what you should avoid! Certain foods are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances or increase the risk of tooth decay. A well balanced diet is optimal for orthodontic treatment.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Hard crunchy foods such as hard candies, nuts, ice cubes, and unpopped popcorn kernels
  • Thick and chewy candies like Laffy Taffy, Air Heads, and caramel
  • Chewing on pens and pencils

Minimize Eating:

  • Foods or drinks that are sticky or high in sugar, because they can cause an increase in tooth decay

If you have any questions about dietary restrictions or what would be good food choices, please ask us.

Brushing and Flossing

To keep the teeth and gums healthy during and after orthodontic treatment, it is more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces. Extra time is needed when brushing to make sure all areas of the teeth and around the braces are cleaned properly. Please brush and floss after eating popcorn and avoid eating the unpopped kernels!!!

The goal is to remove the bacterial plaque from around the teeth and gums. It's the bacteria that is responsible for causing red inflamed gums (gingivitis), scarring or color changes of the tooth enamel (decalcification), and tooth decay. Remember, braces don't cause these problems, they just make cleaning the teeth more difficult. We highly recommend using electric toothbrushes, mouth rinses, oral irrigators, and floss threaders during orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic patients should continue to see their general dentist at least every 6 months. Patients who do not maintain good oral hygiene should be seen more frequently. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during treatment. To assist the dentist and dental hygienists, we can easily arrange to have the archwires removed before your appointments with them.

oines Orthodontics
  Des Moines Orthodontics
22221 7th Avenue South, Des Moines WA 98198
p: 206.824.8288
f: 206.824.3859
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