Cleaning your braces is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. There are a lot of toothbrushes and accessories 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. By the time you’ve found the perfect one, your braces might be ready to come off!
So, the crew at Dental Dorks took it upon themselves to test, review and select 3 toothbrushes that are perfect for people with braces. We tested them out ourselves and quizzed with people with braces about their own experiences with these models.
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 the top performance brushes from each electric toothbrush category.
Top 5 Picks For Best Electric Toothbrush For Braces
Philips Sonicare 3 Series
Brushing your braces does not require more energy and force than brushing your teeth. It’s not about brushing harder, it’s about brushing smarter. 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 around the metal of your braces. 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 is, 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.
If you want to avoid the typical white and blue toothbrush designs that make you feel like you’re sitting in the dentists chair, the AquaSonic DUO is ideal. It just feels modern, fresh and sleek. You can imagine this electric sonic toothbrush looking comfortable in the bathroom of a million-dollar penthouse. When you’re feeling down about your braces and irritated by the tone of cleaning utensils the dentist has provided, this will cheer you right up.
In this package, you get 2 electric toothbrushes (black and white) with 5 matching toothbrush heads each. The brushes have 3 different modes that you can switch between when going over your braces and trying to dislodge stubborn food. The massage mode has infrequent bursts of vibrations that we found great for massaging sore and painful gums. The clean mode is also quite intense and helps you to ensure a really clean feeling even with braces.
Finally, we thought the shape of the brush heads was particularly great for braces. The large, flat area does well for molars and flat surfaces while the slight tapering and point at the end is good for targeting the brush into small areas that need a deep clean.
And of course, whoever uses the toothbrush base after you can set it up to brush exactly how they need it. Cater to mouths with and without braces with one toothbrush set. Ingenious.
Aquasonic DUO Key Features
- A great whole-house system that’s suitable for those with braces and the rest of the family too. Just replace the interchangeable brush head for different users.
- Includes 2x electric toothbrushes, 10x DuPont brush heads, inductive wireless charging stand, and 2 travel cases.
- 3 different modes, clean, whiten and massage are ideal for switching between brace-wearers and non-brace-wearers.
- 40,000VPM sonic toothbrush doesn’t oscillate, rotate and twist to get caught in braces.
- Brush heads are in a pointed diamond style shape, helping you to angle the brush into tight spaces and between wires.
- Vibration timer for 2 minutes with 30-second intervals.
- Sleek satin design is very modern and refreshing – plus waterproof.
Kliara Sonic Toothbrush
The Kliara is a very smooth, powerful and quiet sonic toothbrush. We love the sleek design which is not just so it looks nice, but also so it can be used underwater.
For braces, it offers 5 different settings including a gum massaging mode and different intensities to clean stubborn food and delicate brace wires. It will auto-shut off after 2 minutes which is a little annoying when you need a longer clean, but besides that, we can’t fault the performance.
The brush heads are soft enough for braces and are relatively cheap. The model comes with 4 brush heads to last a full year… but finding them after that is not always straight forward as other brands like Oral-B. Check Amazon first.
The half-moon, slightly curved design of the brush head works really well for braces as it dips in the center, curving around your metal braces to reach the teeth behind.
Start with this brush on the sensitive, lowest setting as the powerful setting really is powerful! Use with caution especially if you have sensitive teeth and gums.
Kliara Key Features
- Auto timer buzzes every 30 seconds and shuts off after 2 minutes of brushing. You can simply press the button again if extra cleaning is needed around your braces.
- 48,000VPM is notably higher than most others in this price range and should be used with caution for your braces – yes, it can dislodge food and stubborn plaque much quicker, but it could also damage the braces if you’re not careful.
- 5 cleaning modes; min, med, 48k boost, massage and sensitive. This makes it ideal if you’re having the braces off soon, as you can still use the electric toothbrush but on a different setting.
- The battery lasts for 40 days (to begin with) and charges via 110v ports as standard. Very quiet to work.
- 100% waterproof for the shower… or even when held underwater. Easy to clean and grip even when slippery.
- 4 replacement brush heads included in the package to last up to a year.
Best Battery-Operated Toothbrush For Braces
The Oral-B Pro-Health Dual Clean Power Toothbrush is great for braces. It is powerful enough to get the job done and much less expensive than most other electric toothbrushes on the market.
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
If you really must use a manual toothbrush, 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. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to replace the entire toothbrush every 3 months rather than just the brush head like an electric toothbrush.
Having braces should not be an excuse 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 bedtime. 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 rinse 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 upright 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 shine.
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 every 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.
With such a thorough clean required, you might find that you need to run through a 2-minute cycle twice!
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.
Why Bother Brushing And Flossing When With Braces?
Our teeth are hard and shiny. They are smooth and even our molars at the back are relatively flat. And yet, food, bacteria, and plaque still stick to them. So, then we introduce metal braces and brackets with tiny gaps and crevices. A field day for bacteria!
This is why brushing and flossing is even more important when you have braces. The area underneath the braces where they’re attached to your teeth stays sealed away from food and bacteria. If you don’t keep good care of your teeth, you’ll find stain patches when they’re taken off. As the rest of your teeth slowly decay, they turn yellow while the hidden parts under the braces don’t.
Brushing is the best way to remove the majority of food and plaque on the visible and front-facing sides of your teeth and braces. But for between your teeth, between the wires and in the tiny crevices, your brush falls short. You can use tiny pipe-cleaner type brushes to get under the wires, but a more effective way of flossing out the food and bacteria is with a water flosser.
Choose a gentle water flosser to prevent damaging your braces, and aim it carefully to really get into those tight gaps your brush can’t. Check out our guide to the best water flossers to find one for your 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.