What Kind of Toothbrush is Best for Braces?


Regular tooth brushing is always necessary, but it is even more important during orthodontic work. Braces wearers need to brush carefully behind, between, and around the components of the orthodontic appliance. The results will be most effective when the wearer uses the right type of toothbrush for the job. Read on to learn more about the best kinds of toothbrush for braces wearers.

A Soft Toothbrush

One of the most important features to look for in a toothbrush to be used with braces is soft, flexible bristles. Soft bristles bend more easily around the hardware of braces. This allows the brush to reach behind the wires and around all of the nooks and crannies of the braces more easily. Look for brushes with made nylon as this is a good material out of which to make soft yet stiff bristles.

Soft-bristled brushes are also good because they are more gentle on gums and teeth. Orthodontic adjustments can leave mouths feeling sore and raw. A hard toothbrush may cause unnecessary pain for sensitive teeth and gums. A soft toothbrush will clean just as well without causing as much discomfort.

A Rounded-Bristle Toothbrush

Another way to protect sensitive mouths is by using a toothbrush that has rounded bristles since these have been shown to cause less oral damage than other bristle shapes. Pointed and flat bristles are harder on both teeth and gums. Rounded bristles are carefully ground and polished during the manufacturing process to give them this desired shape.

A Small Toothbrush

While wearing braces, your mouth will be full of nooks and crannies. Plaque and particles of food can easily hide in these small spaces. To tackle that problem, your toothbrush needs to be able to fit around all of the components of your braces. Therefore, it’s best to use a toothbrush with a small head that can easily fit into tight places and reach even the most hidden corners of your mouth.

An Angled Toothbrush

According to Dillehay Orthodontics, to effectively get in between your hardware and teeth, you may want to use a toothbrush with angled bristles. Some toothbrushes have bristles that are arranged in a crisscross pattern to help them hit all of the teeth. Others have the bristles arranged in a V-pattern so that all parts of the teeth make contact with the brush. Either type can be useful for a person with braces.

An Electric Toothbrush

In one study of braces wearers, manual toothbrushes were found to remove less tooth buildup than electric ones did. Whether the test subjects used regular heads on an electric toothbrush or specialized ones, the electric brushes were more effective than the manual toothbrushes at cleaning their teeth. As you shop for an electric toothbrush to use on your braces, look for one that has heads with soft, angled bristles that are made out of nylon and have rounded ends.

A New Toothbrush

Braces wearers may need to change their toothbrushes frequently. Brushing around the metal components of braces may cause toothbrush bristles to wear out more frequently than normal. Splayed and broken bristles serve as signs that it is time to replace the brush. Using a toothbrush that is in poor shape will not adequately clean the teeth. Expect to switch toothbrushes at least every three or four months and possibly more often.

A Specialized Toothbrush

Although most orthodontists advise that any soft-bristled toothbrush will clean around braces well, some do hand out special toothbrushes that are made especially for use with braces. These brushes are designed to fit between the wires of the braces and the teeth.

If your dentist provides one of these brushes, then it is what you should use with your braces. However, if your dentist doesn’t suggest using such a brush, then you probably don’t need to seek one out. A regular soft-bristled brush will likely do just fine. If you feel that you are having trouble getting your teeth clean enough with a standard toothbrush, talk to your oral care provider about using an orthodontic brush instead.