Brushing your teeth is always important, but even more so when you have braces. Braces, with all of their associated parts, offer plenty of nooks and crannies for food and plaque to hide in. Insufficient brushing can lead to swollen gums, bad breath, and unsightly white stains on the teeth. Fortunately, a fairly simple solution exists for those of us who have trouble keeping our braces clean: electric toothbrushes! Electric toothbrushes are a wonderful option for both kids and adults in braces. Shopping can be overwhelming with so many options on the market, but the good news is that most electric toothbrushes will do a fine job of keeping your teeth clean.
Dr. Peterson’s personal favorite electric toothbrush is the Oral B! Oral B makes several models of electric brushes. These are rotary brushes, which means they clean by oscillating. They have small heads which make it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas. All the brush heads are safe for braces, but it’s best to choose a soft-bristled one. Oral B sells a special ortho replacement head that fits onto every Oral B Brush so you can turn any of their models into an ortho brush.
The Oral B 1000 CrossAction Toothbrush comes in four colors and includes a built-in timer and pressure sensor to help you brush correctly. It comes in at just under $50 from Amazon. This is a great straightforward toothbrush with few bells and whistles.
If you are a techy sort of person, you might enjoy one of the higher end brushes. The Oral B Pro 7000 is bluetooth enabled and can be connected to the Oral B app. The app gives you feedback and lets you know which areas of your mouth you are missing when brushing. It can be purchased for about $100 on Amazon.
Sonicare brushes clean a little differently than Oral B brushes do. Their heads are larger. Instead of spinning left and right, they use sonic motion. The bristles vibrate rapidly to clean the teeth. Sonicare brushes clean more teeth at once due to the larger brush head, but can be harder to maneuver into small areas. All Sonicare brush heads are okay to use with braces.
The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 comes in three colors and includes a timer and pressure sensor. It is about $50 on Amazon.
If you want something a little fancier, the Sonicare ExpertClean 7500 is a good option. It connects via bluetooth to the Sonicare app to give you progress reports on how well you are brushing. This brush sells for about $170 on Amazon.
Is an electric toothbrush essential? No, but it sure does make life in braces easier! Whether you use a manual or electric brush, you’ll need to use it at least three times a day for three minutes each time. Of course, you also need to floss or use your water flosser daily. If you are concerned about maintaining good hygiene, ask your orthodontist to point out any areas that you are missing while brushing. With good hygiene, you can avoid staining and enjoy healthy gums and fresh breath!