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Manual or electric: What is the best toothbrush for braces in 2022?

Anyone who has spent some time wearing braces knows that it can be a bit of an adjustment at first. Learning how to maneuver your mouth when you eat and drink, getting used to how they feel, and also trying to figure out a new way of keeping your teeth clean can take time!


After years of brushing our teeth in mainly the same way out of habit, figuring out how to navigate a path around, under, and between braces adds a whole new dynamic to your daily oral hygiene routine. Thankfully, there are plenty of great products out there now that can make the transition so much easier to navigate, with the best toothbrush for your braces ensuring a quality clean every time.



Why brushing properly with braces is EXTRA important


Let’s start by going back to basics. We all know brushing is vital not just for aesthetics but for preventing gum inflammation, gum disease, and other issues. But it is all the more important to have a good routine down-pat when you have braces, making it vital that you find the best toothbrush for braces.


Braces create a lot more cracks and crevices where food and debris can become lodged, and therefore there is more opportunity for plaque to build up in these areas, causing acids to be released that result in damage to the teeth you are trying so hard to straighten. Why go through all of that time and money just to cause damage by not using the best toothbrush for your braces?



How to brush your braces correctly


First things first, frequency is important. You will need to brush your teeth and braces after every meal, snack, and before bed to remove plaque so that it doesn’t sit on your teeth all night and turn into hard-to-remove tartar. Check your teeth carefully after each brush to ensure there are no food particles stuck in there, and be sure to also floss with an interdental brush or a water flosser to get into all the hard-to-reach places. I love the TePe angle interdental brushes and the TePe EasyPick for a great in between the teeth clean.


TePe angle interdental brushes

TePe EasyPick


There are also foods you should avoid, including sticky or very chewy things such as candy, carbonated beverages, and popcorn which could get stuck and cause plaque buildup.


So can you use an electric toothbrush for braces? Yes. You can use a manual toothbrush or a sonic electric toothbrush (we will talk about the best ones later) but be sure to replace them more frequently, as they may wear out faster due to rubbing on the extra things in your mouth.


Initially, while you are getting the hang of brushing while wearing braces, it may take you longer to clean properly. I recommend that you spend two to three minutes to cover the whole mouth adequately.



What kind of toothbrushes should you use?


While you could use your regular toothbrush with your braces, some products on the market will make the whole process so much easier and more effective. A good electric toothbrush for braces like the Burst brush might be an option, particularly if you struggle to remember to replace the brush heads frequently.


Brushes such as the Oral B iO Electric Toothbrush can even be paired with an app to help you improve your brushing game and make it more of a fun and interactive process. When selecting which brush is right for you, you first must decide if you prefer a manual or an electric toothbrush. A manual toothbrush usually has smaller handles that are easier to grip, making maneuverability easier if that is something you struggle with.


Oral B iO Electric Toothbrush


On the other hand, the oral B electric toothbrushes have smaller, round brush heads, making it easier to get into all the hard-to-reach areas in your mouth. Some even come with automatic timers that can keep you on track for how long you need to brush to be effective. Electric or sonic electric toothbrushes mean that the amount of brush strokes per minute is considerably higher than what you can achieve with the human hand.


When choosing your brush, be sure to avoid ones that are very hard and could cause damage to the braces or aggravate the gums. Soft bristles are best. People often wonder, "is a charcoal toothbrush good for braces?" It isn’t really important, and I would be more focused on the other features of the brush rather than this.


Drumroll, please... These are my votes for the best toothbrush for braces in the subcategories of best manual and best electric toothbrushes.



Best manual toothbrush for braces


The Implant Orthodontic brush from TePe gets my vote. The brush head type is designed specifically for fixed braces or implants, with its extra narrow brush head fitting perfectly under orthodontic brackets, meaning it is really effective at getting into areas that are difficult to reach and removing plaque before it has a chance to build up.


The soft bristles are gentle enough that they won’t damage your braces or your tooth enamel.


Implant Orthodontic brush



Best electric toothbrush for braces


The winner is the VarioSonic Orthodontic Electric Toothbrush! With its personalized brushing modes and an automatic timer, you can ensure you are spending enough time brushing your teeth with the correct pressure and setting. It has a long battery life and is reasonably priced for all its features. Even more reasonable if you use the code ROAMING at checkout for 10% off!


Whichever one of my selections of best toothbrush for braces you decide to work with, make sure to study the best brushing techniques, or even bring it along to your next dental visit and ask them to help you out.


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