Cleaning your braces is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. There are a lot of toothbrushes out there that can do the job. But, it can also be very time consuming to go through online reviews and videos in order to find the best ones. So, the crew at Dental Dorks took it upon themselves to test, review and select 3 toothbrushes that are perfect for people with braces.
There are 3 types of brushes out there: manual, battery-powered and electric. Each type has tens of brands and hundreds of models. We selected one top performance brush from each type.
Our Top 3 Toothbrushes For Braces
|Philips Sonicare 3 Series||Electric Toothbrush||4.8|
|Oral-B Pro-Health Dual Clean||Battery Toothbrush||4.5|
|Colgate Ortho||Manual Toothbrush||4.2|
Best Electric Toothbrush For Braces
Philips Sonicare 3 Series
Brushing your braces does not require more energy and force than brushing your teeth. The brush head and bristles placement are more important. This is why we recommend the Sonicare 3 Series in combination with the AdaptiveClean sonic brush heads.
31,000 brush strokes per minute make the 3 Series powerful enough to guarantee a thorough cleaning of your mouth. The three intensity settings (low, medium & high) is all you need. The rest resides within what has been classified as the best brush head for braces on the market.
The AdaptiveClean delivers an incredibly deep cleaning. The brush head is designed in a way that enables for 4 times more surface contract. The soft and flexible rubber sides help the bristles adjust to the unique form of every tooth. This automatically makes contact with braces so much better. Regular brush heads and manual toothbrushes are far less effective in that regards.
In addition, when you use the Sonicare 3 series in combination with the AdaptiveClean, your brushing technique becomes obsolete. I mean, there is very little that you can do wrong at this point and time. One thing being, trying to brush with the opposite side of the toothbrush, while holding the brush head in your hand. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Note: If you already own a Sonicare toothbrush, you do not need to buy the Philips 3 Series. You can simply purchase the replacement brush heads and attach them to your existing model. In addition, check out our top electric toothbrush reviews for more options.
Best Battery-Operated Toothbrush For Braces
The Oral-B Pro-Health Dual Clean Power Toothbrush is a great for braces. It is powerful enough to get the job done, and much less expensive than any electric toothbrush.
If you do decide to go with this option, make sure you get the Precision Clean replacement heads. They are specifically designed to ease the cleaning of braces. Using these brush heads together with the battery powered Oral-B brush will create a high frequency rotation that is good for braces and for removing plaque.
Note: Oral-B recommends that you stay away from the FlossAction and Pro-White brush heads if you have braces.
Best Manual Toothbrush For Braces
Orthodontic toothbrushes are best for braces.
We spent considerable time looking through articles, dental forums and research journals for this topic. It turns out that every dentist has its own recommendation for a manual toothbrush when it comes to braces. Some recommended certain brands, others simply recommended soft or hard bristle heads. The only agreement we came across was that the toothbrush needs to be orthodontic.
In this regards, Colgate Ortho Toothbrush will do the job. It is designed with a V-trimmed bristle system that improves significantly the cleaning of braces. The firm inner bristles are great for cleaning around the brackets and wires. While, the soft outer bristles are intended to remove destructive bacteria and plaque from the gumline and surface of the teeth.
If you have a good brushing technique, and you do not want to spend over $80 on an electric toothbrush, the Colgate Ortho is the way to go.
Having braces should not be an excused to stop brushing. In fact, it should be the other way around. It is crucial to brush after every meal if you are wearing braces. Food residue tends to find the darkest and deepest places in order to hider, deteriorate and turn into destructive bacteria.
Unfortunately, braces present give plaque and bacteria a lot of extra hiding spots. While putting your teeth in place, the brackets and wires in your mouth are known for being good hosts to food debris and plaque formation. Not cleaning your braces can quickly result in bad breath, cavities and swollen gums. Not to mention, when you take your braces off, you will have permanent stain marks.
How Often and When To Clean Your Braces
Most dental professionals recommend brushing twice a day. This is, with or without braces. Wearing braces makes things a bit different, though. So, to stay on the safe side, most orthodontists recommend that braces are brushed or cleaned after each meal. Now, if you are a bodybuilder and you are eating 12 meals a day, I can see that causing some serious concern. If you are a regular eater like me, you will have to brush 3 times a day.
My advice is, develop a habit to brush your teeth and braces twice a day. Once after breakfast, and once before bed time. Gradually, you can work your way up towards flossing and rinsing with Listerine in addition to brushing. If string flossers are too irritating, and too hard to use, you can always try one of our recommended water flossers.
How To Brush Teeth With Braces?
Always rise your mouth with water or mouthwash first. This will help get rid of loose food debris stuck in and around the braces. Next, some professionals recommend using a gum stimulator. This is a rubber tipped dental tool that you can use to gently wedge between each tooth. It is supposed to help remove stubborn food debris stuck between the teeth or debris. This is not a necessary step, but it sure helps if you can spare the time to do it.
Back to brushing your braces…
Start by gently brushing the gumline at a 45 degree angle. Next, begin brushing the top of each bracket by placing the toothbrush in an up-right position. Brush in a left-to-right direction as well as up and down in order to achieve a thorough cleaning.
Repeat the same brushing technique for the lower side of the brackets by repositioning the toothbrush. Just make sure you have angled the toothbrush up, in order to use the bristles correctly. This simple but sophisticated enough method will ensure your braces and your teeth are both cleaned up and ready to shiny.
When it comes to the basics, brushing with or without braces is very similar. You still need to follow previously established oral health guidelines. For example, brush thoroughly for 2 minutes, by spending around 30 seconds on each four sets of teeth in your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every three or so months when you deem the bristles are no longer as effective. Be advised, braces can be hard on the bristles and cause your toothbrush to wear down faster.
Here is a fun animated video to show you how to brush your teeth with braces:
Interdental Brushes For Braces
Not to be mistaken with the brushes used for archaeology!
Interdental toothbrushes are a respectable alternative to regular string floss. They have proven to be quite effective in the removal of interproximal plaque, and are easy to use. As always, their ability to perform is closely associated with the user’s motivation, manual dexterity, and persistent consistency. In other words, interdental brushes can be great for maintaining oral health, as long as they are being used regularly.
These small cylindrical or conical brushes are great for scrubbing between the wires and brackets of the braces. They are hard enough to clean, but soft enough not to damage the braces. However, these little scrubbers differ not only in size and shape, but also in quality. The better brands have taken the extra effort to provided coated wires, so the brushes do not get tangled up with the braces or cut into the gum.
Here is a video that shows how interdental brushes are used for cleaning teeth and braces.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.