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So you just got LighForce braces with us at VanderWall Orthodontics and are on your way to a straight and beautiful smile transformation. Help your treatment go smoothly by being extra diligent when it comes to oral hygiene with your new braces. 

What does that start with? Choosing the best toothbrush for brushing with braces.

Why good oral hygiene with braces is important

Why is it so important for braces wearers to level up on their oral hygiene and find the best toothbrush for their braces? The right toothbrush goes a long way in cleaning food debris and plaque off teeth, gums, and braces so you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease. It’s well known that dental health issues can delay or extend braces treatment time. And, really, it’s safe to say that getting your braces off and enjoying your new smile sooner than later is the goal!

What to look for in a toothbrush for best braces hygiene

The right toothbrush for braces wearers should be easy to handle and get into all the extra nooks and crannies in your mouth. Yet it should still be gentle on your gums and teeth. Tall order! So here are tips from us at VanderWall Orthodontics to make it easy to find the best toothbrush for brushing with braces:

1 . A small head for thorough braces and tooth care

You might think that the larger your mouth, the bigger the toothbrush you need. Dr. VanderWall is here to tell you that’s not necessarily the case. If you have braces, oral hygiene is about getting the best clean you can. A small-headed toothbrush can help dislodge food particles better and clean off plaque in tight places. 

How? With a smaller-headed toothbrush, you can focus more on carefully brushing each tooth in your smile versus whole sections of your mouth. And you can more precisely clean around each bracket and along the wires of your braces. A toothbrush with a smaller head can also more easily reach into the back corners and sides of your mouth.

2. A wide handle for better grip and maneuvering 

To better maneuver around your braces, find a toothbrush with a wider handle. A bigger handle can be easier to grip more firmly, and for kids, it can give them more control over their brushing technique.

3. Soft bristles that ensure gentle braces, tooth, and gum care

Not surprisingly, your dentist might have already suggested soft bristles when it comes to tooth brushing in general. And Dr. VanderWall agrees: when you have braces, a soft-bristled toothbrush is safe and effective for braces and tooth care.

Now, you might think that soft bristles don’t have the same cleaning power as harder bristles. We assure you that soft bristles can clean your braces, gums, and teeth effectively, and without harming them. Soft bristles are less densely packed, allowing the bristles to bend easier, making brushing gentler on teeth and gums. Soft bristles help minimize gum recession and enamel wear. And for braces wearers, a soft-bristled toothbrush is gentle on sore gums from orthodontic adjustments.

4. Round-ended bristles on your toothbrush for protecting braces and gums

Another feature for braces wearers to consider? Rounded bristles. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) suggests that rounded bristles are better for protecting oral tissue. And the uniform rounded shape is less likely to snag on braces.

Can you use an electric toothbrush with braces?

With the suggestions above, we’re confident you’ll find the best manual toothbrush for brushing with braces. However, starting braces treatment is also a great time to switch to an electric toothbrush. And it can help you get a better clean.

A recent, 11-year study showed that participants using an electric toothbrush had 18% less tooth decay than those brushing with a manual one. In the study, electric toothbrushes were more effective at removing food particles from teeth, in the long run, making them more effective against tooth decay and gum disease. 

How to choose an electric toothbrush for brushing with braces 

We suggest choosing an electric toothbrush with a rotating and oscillating head, sometimes called a sonic toothbrush. You can find electric toothbrushes specifically designed for brushing with braces by brands like Philips Sonicare and Oral-B but a regular one works, too. 

A Straight and Healthy Smile Transformation

Just think, if you have great oral health throughout your braces treatment, your final smile will not only be straight and beautiful but clean and healthy as well.

Need more info about brushing with braces? Contact us at our Raleigh, Durham, or Cary, NC orthodontic offices. Or check out our blog for helpful resources and info about life with braces.

Dr. Clay VanderWall

Author Dr. Clay VanderWall

Dr. VanderWall attended Kalamazoo College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences. He spent a semester doing research at the Dental Research Center of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he wrote his Senior Individualized Project (SIP). He furthered his studies at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Dentistry, receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999. He graduated with honors and was inducted into the national dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). He also received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Student Award and was a recipient of the Health Professions Scholarship from the United States Navy.

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