portrait of Dr. Irwin and team at Vancouver Orthodontic Specialists PLLC

Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing are always important, but when having orthodontic treatment done, people need to be all the more vigilant about their oral care. Food particles can get trapped in braces; this leads to a build up of plaque, that, if not removed, can lead to halitosis, tooth decay, and gum disease. Frequent and thorough removal of plaque will ensure that your teeth will stay healthy and look great when the braces come off.


girl wearing braces brushing her teeth

Now more than ever, it is important to brush your teeth at least three times per day, especially after meals. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush, brush slowly and carefully on and around your braces, making sure to hit every surface of your teeth. Aim for at least two to three minutes each time you brush.

Using an electric toothbrush will make brushing much easier and more effective during orthodontic treatment. We provide our new braces patients with a free Sonicare toothbrush. To learn how to properly brush with your Sonicare while wearing braces, check out this video.

The brand of toothpaste you use isn’t really important, so long as it is ADA approved and it contains flouride. You may also benefit from using disclosing tablets or rinses; these products contain natural dyes that help you see what areas were missed during brushing.


girl wearing braces flossing her teeth

Flossing while you have braces may seem like a daunting task, but it can and should be done, at least once per day. One of Dr. Irwin’s team members will go over special techniques with you to take the guesswork and apprehension out of flossing while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. They may also recommend a special flossing product that will help you better reach areas between the wires and gumline. Here’s another video that shows you how to floss with braces.