Everything gets stuck in braces. Gum, lunch, the toothpick you used to try to fish out the lunch. Because of the problems that braces cause, it’s incredibly important to use a good toothbrush. But which toothbrush is best for someone with braces?
A study compared forty-six brace wearers using different toothbrushes to find the answer to exactly that question. The participants brushed their teeth with the provided brush and their teeth were then imaged daily on a computer to find which toothbrush worked best.
The most inferior of the toothbrushes was the regular one. It was found to be significantly worse than the others.
The best toothbrush was found to be the electric. The electric toothbrush reduced plaque by impressively better amounts than the regular toothbrush. The study doesn’t go into why this might have been. It could be that those using the electric toothbrush found it easier and more self explanatory than the manual. It brushed their teeth correctly without requiring them to sort it out for themselves.
Electric toothbrushes are expensive, however, and the study did find another option. Specially designed orthodontic brushes were also far superior to normal brushes. They did a much better job at removing plaque, probably because they were designed to work with the braces.
Any sort of teeth care is tough with braces because the metal wires need to be gotten around and cleaned out. Not cleaning braces properly can lead to massive problems as trapped food gets held against the teeth and causes tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth yourself is tough with braces, but necessary. The study very much recommends using the electric toothbrush to make an already difficult prospect a bit easier.
The study also notes that no adverse effects were noted with the electric toothbrush, so if you’re worried about electrocuting yourself when you apply an electric toothbrush to your metal braces, you can stop worrying! It hasn’t been a problem so far.
It’s important to talk to your dentist about care of your braces, and to keep in mind how important it is to keep up with tooth care while wearing the braces. It’s easy to neglect tooth brushing, but it can have long term impact on the health of your teeth. Tooth decay is a serious problem in children and young adults, and should not be ignored.
In conclusion, if you’ve already spent the huge sum it takes to get braces, you’ll probably want to spring for the expensive toothbrush as well. You don’t want to end up with pretty, straight teeth that are decaying because of inadequate brushing technique. Study up on how to keep braces clean and always talk to your dentist about proper brushing and flossing methods. Don’t neglect your teeth. You may need them at some future point, and it would be an awful shame to suffer a lifetime of tooth problems because of a rash decision made while wearing braces.
Efficacy of 3 toothbrush treatments on plaque removal in orthodontic patients assessed with digital plaque imaging: a randomized controlled trial.
Am J OrthodDentofacialOrthop. 2013 Jun;143(6):760-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2013.03.008.