Best Toothbrushes for Braces

Updated August 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

29 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
308 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best toothbrushes for braces

Last Updated August 2019

Having braces is a solution to straighten your pearly whites. But to get the most out of your orthodontic experience, and to maintain a healthy smile, you need to commit to a higher level of oral hygiene. Toothbrushes designed specifically for people who wear braces make brushing and flossing easier, quicker, and more effective.

Brackets and wires create a new framework within your mouth, and toothbrushes for braces work around them without causing damage to teeth or braces. Designed to effortlessly navigate every corner of your mouth, toothbrushes for braces focus their efforts on harder-to-reach areas. Since everyone’s teeth are different, toothbrushes for braces keep this in mind, and some models feature “gentle” modes that are ideal for sensitive tooth days — especially after adjustments.

Toss out your traditional toothbrush and invest in a new toothbrush for braces. Take a look at our buying guide to learn about the features and benefits of each style. Once you realize that oral hygiene with braces has never been easier, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear in no time.

Not all electric toothbrushes for braces are waterproof, so keep them away from submersion or accidental water splashes to avoid internal damage to the motor and electrical components.

Key considerations

What makes toothbrushes for braces different?

While some people use traditional toothbrushes with braces, they simply aren’t the right shape to be effective at cleaning teeth and removing food particles stuck between the wires. Toothbrushes for braces have design variations that accommodate the hardware and work through the nooks and crannies of braces.

Brush heads vary in size and often feature different bristle styles. Water flossing devices that aid in cleaning braces teeth have small heads that can fit in even at the very back of the mouth. Toothbrushes for braces usually include a pick device or mechanism, which fits between braces to clean out particles.

Model types

  • Manual: Manual toothbrushes for braces are similar to traditional toothbrushes, only their brush heads are slightly different. Bristles are shaped to better navigate braces and wires, so they’re often staggered to reach as many places as possible. Manual models often have picks at the other end of the plastic neck, which help dislodge food trapped in hard-to-reach areas.

  • Electric: Electric models build upon on the design of manual toothbrushes for braces and aim to streamline the brushing experience. Instead of a traditional manual brushing motion, electric models have oscillating mechanisms that do the brushing for you, with up to 40,000 vibrations per minute in some toothbrushes. They also feature a variety of settings, including sensitive and massage modes. They’re mostly rechargeable, though some travel models are battery-powered.

  • Water flossing: Since flossing is inherently difficult with braces, water-flossing devices help achieve cleanliness between teeth and braces. These models are also electric, and they have small pick heads that shoot out powerful bursts of water to perform the role of traditional flossing.

Brush and pick head styles

Brush heads come in three main shapes: traditional brush head, round, or oval. Depending on the shape of your mouth, some brush head shapes are more effective than others. Brush heads also come with different bristle heights; the variance helps target more than one area as opposed to just a single surface they touch.

Pick heads generally come to a fine point that is small enough to fit between braces. They’re relatively similar across manual models. Electric models, namely water floss styles, feature a small pick head with an opening that shoots out water. For these, you’re not placing the pick head directly on teeth — rather, the distance allows the water to jet out with enough force to clean between teeth and braces.

Feature-rich and first-rate

This streamlined model is ideal for small bathrooms and packs easily for travel. Enjoy intuitive features like a pressure sensor that stops pulsating if you brush too hard, as well as a built-in timer that ensures you reach your recommended daily brushing time. Its main brush head is round and has a unique bristle arrangement that makes it easy to reach around braces and in hard-to-reach areas at the back of the mouth. If you’re looking for a deeper clean, this model is fully compatible with Oral-B’s line of electric brush heads.

Features

Colors

The most common color in toothbrushes for braces is white, though black is gaining in popularity for electric models. While there isn’t much of an overall choice, there are some brush head attachments in different colors. This color coding can help designate to whom they belong, if more than one person in your household uses it.

Oral hygiene accessories

Manual, electric, and water flossing toothbrushes for braces are available in value packs. In addition to the basics, these packs include additional oral hygiene accessories. They could feature extra picks, mini spoolie brushes, brush head variations, tongue scrapers, or travel cases.

Construction

Toothbrushes for braces feature a plastic body and a head with nylon bristles. Manual toothbrushes for braces often have a pick tool at one end. Made from flexible, softer plastic, the pick helps dislodge food lodged between braces. Electric toothbrushes have a similar design, and their plastic body houses a motor and electrical components.

Water flosser models have a different construction altogether, as this tool’s focus is on picking and flossing instead of brushing. As a result, in addition to a base with the motor and electrical components, there is a water compartment that feeds directly into the pick attachment.

Charging

  • Charge stations: Some electric toothbrushes for braces are rechargeable on a charge station. While it’s a convenient feature, some charge stations take up a lot of real estate in the bathroom. If you have limited sink area space, you might consider charging the toothbrush in another room. Some consumers opt for travel styles for this reason, which optimize space and fit in almost any bathroom cabinet or over-the-sink mirrored medicine cabinet.

  • Charge time: When shopping for an electric toothbrush for braces, look at both the required charge time, and how long the toothbrush holds a charge. Some models take a day to fully charge, though it’s nothing to worry about if you simply dock your toothbrush to charge after each brushing. As far as how long the charge lasts, with the recommended brushing time of between two and four minutes, expect your toothbrush to stay charged for about a week of regular use if you’re not docking it.
EXPERT TIP

Apply gentle pressure when brushing your teeth. Overly intense brushing can cause inflamed gums and tooth sensitivity. Also, if the plastic of your brush head rubs directly against your braces, you could warp the wire or cause brackets to pop off your teeth.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

After you finish brushing, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water to remove any leftover toothpaste or dislodged debris.


Alissa  | Child Care Professional
EXPERT TIP

If your teeth feel unusually sensitive after brushing, contact your orthodontist or dentist. The sooner you identify a potential oral health issue, the easier and quicker it is to treat.


Staff  | BestReviews

Toothbrushes for braces prices

Toothbrushes for braces cost between $5 and $80, with the greatest price differences occurring between manual and electric models.

For a budget-friendly toothbrush, opt for a manual model, which costs $5 to $10. These toothbrushes have special brush ridges and plastic picks to help you clean around braces wires and brackets.

Mid-range toothbrushes for braces cost $10 to $40. They include electric home and travel models as well as flossers. Features, quality, and reliability improve toward the higher end of the price range.

For a superior cleaning experience, expect to spend $40 to $80. These braces brushes are often multipurpose electric models that combine brushing and water flossing, and they usually come with a set of attachments and oral hygiene accessories.

Big performance for smaller mouths

Don’t let budget constraints hinder your oral hygiene. This manual toothbrush for braces has an innovative design that fits well around arch wires, between teeth, and along the gumline. Unlike other toothbrushes geared toward adults, these are made to fit in child and adolescent mouths. This toothbrush is a genuine value buy, especially with the 15 ortho-flossers included in the package. They’re some of the only effective flossers for braces on the market, which alone would cost almost the price of the total package.

Tips

  • Don’t share brush heads. Even family members should have a different brush head to avoid sharing colds and other illnesses. Some brush heads come in different colors, so you can assign to each family member a color to keep them separate.

  • Make space in the bathroom. If your toothbrush is electric, you’ll need to make space in your bathroom for the charging station. If the sink area is too small, you could charge it in another room and simply keep charged toothbrushes in the bathroom.

  • Invest in a toothpaste you like. Brushing can be tedious, especially when you have braces, so invest in a toothpaste that you like. There are plenty of flavors and textures available to make your brushing experience more enjoyable.

  • Rinse your toothbrush. After you’re done brushing, rise your toothbrush under hot water to rid it of particles and bacteria.

  • Gently clean your tongue. If your toothbrush kit doesn’t come with a tongue scraper, gently brush it manually. An electric model with a sensitive setting is also ideal for this task.

Other products we considered

We were impressed with the value of the AquaSonic Black Series Ultra Sonic Whitening Toothbrush. This set includes a sleek black storage case and eight quality DuPont brush heads. With a 40,000 vibrations per minute ultrasonic motor, you’ll experience a braces deep cleaning. If your teeth feel sensitive after a trip to the orthodontist, you’ll want to try the soft mode, which still cleans thoroughly, but is gentler on gums and teeth. The entire unit is waterproof, so you can even use it in the shower.

We also like the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100, a reliable model from a leader in personal care electronics. It features a cutting-edge pressure sensor, protecting gums and teeth from overcleaning, which can damage your enamel or increase tooth sensitivity. There’s also a quad-pacer alert to ensure that each area of your mouth receives the same level of cleaning as others. While it’s a more expensive model, the performance and convenient timers make it a smart investment for braces wearers.

If you need motivation to stick to your required brushing time in all quadrants, listen to music to pass the time. Depending on the song length, you’ll go through one or two by the time you’re done brushing.

FAQ

Q. Are toothbrushes for braces suitable for travel, particularly plane trips?

A. Yes, and some electric models are better for traveling than others. Opt for a space-savvy model that holds a decent charge, as you could save even more space by not bringing the charging station. If you think you’ll need to charge your brush during an extended trip abroad, make sure you have the correct power adapter. You’ll also want to keep the toothbrush in a travel case, which means purchasing one if it didn’t come with its own.

Q. Does it matter what kind of toothpaste I use with the toothbrush for my braces?

A. For proper oral hygiene, especially with braces, almost any toothpaste will do the job — so it’s mostly personal preference. If you want a thorough cleaning experience, there are toothpastes that feature whitening, foaming, or deep cleaning properties. Certain toothpaste targets specific oral hygiene issues, such as tartar, tooth decay, sensitivity, gingivitis, and halitosis, all of which you may be more susceptible to with braces.

Q. Will I go through brush heads more quickly with braces?

A. Some consumers feel that the constant wear and tear of bristles against metal braces causes the brush heads to wear down more quickly. Toothbrush models that require brush head replacements have a recommended period of use, and some models have a change timer. If you feel your brush head has become less effective, or looks like it’s taken a beating, change to a new brush head.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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