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Braces are an investment in oral health, as well as in the beauty of your smile. Caring for your teeth and gums while wearing braces may take a little more effort, but it’s well worth the extra minutes you’ll spend brushing.
If you have nonremovable braces, brushing correctly with a good toothbrush will remove plaque from around each bracket and under wires. It will also help you brush in the spaces between each tooth. This will keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of decay.
As with any toothbrush, the ones used for braces should be swapped out every 3 to 4 months. This ensures that the bristles aren’t dulled or bent. It also reduces bacterial accumulation on the brush head.
In this roundup of the best toothbrushes for braces, we’ve included a variety of toothbrush types. We’ve also included several flossers for those difficult-to-reach spots. Read on to find out more about our choices for 2021.
The toothbrushes on this list have one or more special features that make them effective at cleaning teeth with braces. These include:
- rounded brush heads
- soft, flexible bristles or specially shaped bristles
- narrow neck
- angled, tapered or ergonomic handles
Many are designated as orthodontic toothbrushes. Each toothbrush is said to effectively dislodge trapped food particles from around brackets and wires. Some have smaller heads than regular brushes, so they can more easily infiltrate small, hard-to-reach places around teeth.
Each toothbrush comes from a transparent manufacturer that specializes in oral health products.
We read and analyzed scores of online reviews about each product on multiple websites. We only included products that have received significantly more positive reviews than negative ones.
We included a variety of toothbrush types, including electric and manual options. We also included three flossers to help reach those difficult spots.
With budget in mind, we noted cost as follows:
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$50
- $$$ = over $50
Some products are multipacks, so the cost indicated may not be for a single brush.
- Price: $$$
This rechargeable toothbrush has a visible pressure sensor that protects your gums if you’re brushing with too much force.
It has a timer to ensure that you or your child spend ample time brushing.
The brush head oscillates, rotates, and pulsates to break up plaque more effectively than manual brushing.
The brush head is small and round. Some users say this makes it easier to get into hard-to-reach areas around brackets and wires.
- Price: $$
This oscillating, pulsating toothbrush uses ultrasonic power to break up and remove plaque and bacteria from teeth.
It has a small, rounded head and a 2-minute timer. The handle is shaped to enable a sturdy grip.
It has one cleaning mode plus a pressure sensor for protecting gum tissue.
While not specifically designed for orthodontics, users with braces give it high marks for easy, deep cleaning.
- Price: $$
This manual toothbrush has soft, V-shaped bristles with a 45-degree angle. Users with braces and those with small mouths say this toothbrush is highly effective and comfortable to use.
The handle is small and ergonomically shaped.
Y-Kelin is a lesser-known Chinese manufacturer. They don’t have a Better Business Bureau or TrustPilot profile. Even so, we included this toothbrush because user reviews from people with braces were very positive. It is sold in packs of four toothbrushes.
- Price: $
This manual toothbrush has an angled handle and round brush head, making it easier to brush hard-to-reach teeth, such as molars.
Users with braces, dentures, and dental implants say that the soft bristles and unique angle make brushing more effective for hard-to-reach areas and plaque removal.
The handle is ergonomically shaped and easy to grip.
TePe is a Swedish oral health company that has a strong emphasis on sustainability and transparent manufacturing.
- Price: $$$
This rechargeable toothbrush has three timed brushing modes, a timer, and a pressure sensor. It also has an automatic reminder that lets you know when it’s time to change brush heads. Each charge lasts for about 2 weeks.
It comes with a travel case and charger, making it convenient for business trips, vacations, and long days away from home.
Users with braces say it provides an exceptional clean. They also mention ease of use around brackets and tight teeth.
- Price: $$$
This uniquely shaped brush is battery-operated and rechargeable. It comes with a charging station, rechargeable handle, two brush heads, and an instruction manual.
The patented brush head is round and three-sided. When the blue indicator bristles fade to white, you’ll know it’s time to change brush heads.
It has three brushing modes, a handle designed for an easy grip, and a 2-minute timer.
The manufacturer offers a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy and a 1-year warranty.
According to the manufacturer, this toothbrush is specifically for adults. However, many user reviews mention that it is a good choice for children, including those who wear braces.
- Price: $$
Interdental cleaners are used in addition to a regular toothbrush as part of your oral hygiene routine.
They’re tapered and shaped to fit under and around brackets and wires. They’re also used to get between tight teeth, which helps eliminate plaque buildup under the gums.
You can choose between extra tight, standard, or wide brush heads.
These interdental brushes come with an antimicrobial cap that keeps the brush clean between uses. They have bendable wires and a flexible handle for hard-to-reach spaces.
They’re coated with fluoride and they’re mint-flavored, making them a good choice for on-the-go brushing.
Each package includes 16 interdental brushes, and this order is for a multipack of 6.
When buying a toothbrush for braces, one of the first things to consider is whether you want an electric or manual toothbrush. Both types can be effective for cleaning teeth, but electric or battery-powered toothbrushes may be more effective for removing plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
Electric toothbrushes often have timers, which can be beneficial, especially for children. People with braces should brush for at least 2 minutes or longer.
Many electric toothbrushes have rounded heads and soft bristles, which won’t damage the hardware in your mouth. Some also have pressure sensors, but these are designed to protect sensitive gums, not braces. That’s because braces can withstand the speed and pulsating action that electric toothbrushes provide.
Hard bristles are not the best. Look for a toothbrush with soft, flexible bristles that can get under wires and around brackets easily.
Round brush heads are considered by many users to be the easiest to use with braces, but there are other options. You may need to take a trial and error approach to see which type of brush head is most effective for you.
Brushing teeth with braces requires a toothbrush with a firm, comfortable grip. Look for a handle that is ergonomically shaped or one that fits comfortably into your hand.
Most expensive is not necessarily best. There are toothbrushes that cost several hundred dollars. We didn’t include any of these in our list since the added bells and whistles didn’t improve brushing performance for braces. Any toothbrush that is comfortable for you can do the trick, provided it effectively cleans in and around braces and gets rid of plaque. However, toothbrushes with special features designed for braces may be more effective.
If you or your child has braces, you can use an electric, battery-operated, or manual toothbrush.
Many toothbrushes are specifically designed to be effective for cleaning braces and teeth. Look for a toothbrush with soft, flexible bristles and a brush head shaped for cleaning around brackets and wires.
No matter what type of toothbrush you use, brush for at least 2 minutes and swap out your brush heads for new ones every 3 to 4 months.