Wearing braces can make dental hygiene a challenge. A patient who is going through orthodontic treatment must work harder to keep their teeth clean and gums healthy, but the brackets and wires of braces can make brushing and flossing a real challenge. While there are plenty of patients who manage to clean their teeth with a manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush can make the job much easier. Let’s take a closer look at the question ‘can you use an electric toothbrush with braces’ and how to keep braces clean.
The Challenge Of Maintaining Oral Hygiene When Wearing Braces
Having orthodontic braces means that a large portion of your teeth is covered by brackets and wires. Patients are taught about the importance of oral hygiene when wearing braces because, when the braces are removed, no one wants discoloured teeth.
It’s also much easier for food and debris to get caught in the brackets and wires covering your teeth. Not removing this puts you at increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
However, brushing and flossing takes a lot of manoeuvering to get around the orthodontics in your mouth. It takes more diligence and time to ensure you are removing all the plaque and cleaning all the exposed surfaces of your teeth.
And that’s why an electric toothbrush and water flosser can make the job much easier.
Can You Use An Electric Toothbrush With Braces?
Yes, you definitely can brush with an electric toothbrush while you are going through orthodontic treatment. If an electric toothbrush is going to do a better job and protect your teeth and gums, we would encourage you to get one.
Electric toothbrushes offer deeper cleaning because of the vibration and rotation of the bristles. They will not damage your braces, as long as you use the correct technique.
The Benefits Of Using An Electric Toothbrush For Orthodontic Treatment
Thorough cleaning in small spaces
The combination of vibrations and rotations on a soft-bristled electric toothbrush means that the toothbrush head can penetrate the smallest spaces to remove plaque and debris. Crooked teeth can make dental hygiene difficult but electric toothbrushes ensure even the smallest spaces are cleaned out thoroughly. Wearing braces also presents a logistical challenge for brushing, because you have to get into all the small spaces created by your braces too.
Sonic toothbrushes promote saliva production
Sonic toothbrushes encourage your mouth to produce more saliva, which assists with keeping your teeth clean. Saliva has antimicrobial properties and does an important job of washing debris and food off your teeth to protect them against decay.
Automate your brush time
When you’re brushing your teeth first thing in the morning or late at night, it’s easy to lose track of time, whether you’re going through orthodontic treatment or not. But dentists recommend that everyone brushes their teeth for at least two minutes a day. And that’s where electric toothbrushes really give a helping hand: you can set a timer to ensure that you are brushing for the correct amount of time.
Use the pressure sensor
Because of the rotating and vibrating action of electric toothbrushes, it’s important to use the right amount of pressure in order not to damage your gums and dental enamel. An electric toothbrush has a built-in pressure sensor that alerts you if you’re using too much pressure. It’s always a good idea to start using a new brush on the lowest pressure setting until you get used to it.
Make use of specialty settings
Modern electric toothbrushes have a variety of settings that can be used as you prefer. Some patients like to change the direction that the head spins in or to increase pulsations.
How To Brush Your Teeth With Braces?
Regardless of whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush to clean your braces, you need to practice the correct technique. Here are some of the basics for brushing with orthodontics:
- Use a soft-bristled brush or electric toothbrush head with fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush at least three times a day, after meal times.
- Brush your teeth gently but hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gumline. Make sure you move the toothbrush around the top and bottom of your braces, using small circular movements.
- Make sure you clean all the surfaces of your teeth: the front, back, and bite surfaces. Pay particular attention to your gum line, brushing gently against it to loosen any debris or plaque.
- Spit any extra toothpaste out of your mouth but don’t rinse it away.
- Your toothbrush or toothbrush head should be replaced every three to four months, or after you get sick. If the bristles look worn out, it’s time for a replacement and possibly a review of the amount of pressure you are using, if it has been less than three months since your last replacement.
- A good rule to follow is to ensure your braces look bright and shiny after brushing. If the metal looks dull, it could be a sign that you aren’t brushing effectively enough.
- Floss every day, either before or after brushing. Using a Waterpik or water flosser can make flossing with braces much easier and more effective.
If you aren’t sure about your brushing technique, ask your dentist for some help. Brushing three times a day and flossing daily will protect your teeth against decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It will also keep your braces looking clean and shiny.
Visit your dental practitioner for adjustments and checks ups regularly. If there are any signs of a problem, it can be addressed and treated early.
Can you use an electric toothbrush with braces?
Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces?