Can I Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces and Other Concerns

Can I Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces and Other Concerns

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When you get your braces wired up, the orthodontist might send you home with a new toothbrush. This helps chase away the plaque that gets trapped around all that hardware. In case you already own a fancy electric toothbrush at home, you might wonder, “Can I use an electric toothbrush with braces?

After all, you have spent a ton of money on your braces as well as your electric toothbrush. You wouldn’t want either one of them to get damaged, right?

Can I Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces?

While a manual toothbrush and other special tools will help keep your teeth and braces clean, an electric toothbrush is a smart addition. One of the biggest reasons why the electric toothbrush is preferred over the manual toothbrush is that it can clean the teeth and gums faster.

Regardless, dental professionals say that regardless of what kind of toothbrush you use, you’ll be able to get rid of most of the plaque on your teeth and prevent its buildup. Nonetheless, an electric toothbrush helps you achieve squeaky clean teeth every single time with half the effort than a manual toothbrush, with or without braces.

Debunking the Concerns of Using an Electric Toothbrush with Braces

Some patients are concerned that the vibration of an electric toothbrush may damage the braces or the toothbrush.  One specific concern is that they’ll end up popping a bracket loose.  Fortunately, that’s highly unlikely.

The main reason is that every bracket is cemented to the tooth with high-strength dental cement. This resin cures immediately, which ensures the bond is brought to full strength when you are still at the dental office. As soon as you walk out of the office, you can use your electric toothbrush without any problems.

The wired portion of braces has small rubber loops that are attached to the brackets. These loops are quite tough and are well-protected by the bracket structure. So you can’t just easily pop one off by brushing your teeth.  Even if it does happen, you can head to your dentist’s office for a quick repair.

However, if you find this same issue occurring more than once when you are brushing your teeth, then the likely cause would be that you are applying a bit too much pressure on your teeth. To remedy, try applying less pressure. Even without braces, you should limit the pressure when you are brushing your teeth.

You must also ensure that you are using an electric toothbrush head that comes with soft bristles. If the toothbrush head looks splayed or flattened after a few months, you should replace it. Too much pressure and hard bristles will end up damaging and scratching your enamel. This damage often leads to sensitivity as the dentin underneath the teeth becomes exposed.

How to Choose Electric Toothbrushes When You Have Braces?

There are quite a few different types of electric toothbrushes on the market. The differences between them the type of micro-motion they use to clean and the size of the brush head. Choosing which kind of electric brush you need completely depends on your preference, but you must pay attention to the brush head.

Some people find that smaller round brushes navigate better around the braces than brush heads that have a similar size to a manual toothbrush. After getting braces you may want to try out different electric toothbrush heads to see which makes you feel the most comfortable.

How to Use an Electric Toothbrush to Brush Your Teeth with Braces?

After finding an electric toothbrush that fits your comfort level, it’s time to start brushing your teeth. Brushing with braces on is a slightly different process than just regular brushing.  Here’s a simple guide to help you do this effectively.

  • Get started: Before you even start brushing your teeth, you will need to remove all the elastics, bands, or any other removable parts of your braces that you’ve been instructed to change regularly.
  • Clean the braces: Check for any food remnants lodged in your braces and carefully clean around the brackets and wires.
  • Brush each wire: To brush the wire, start from the top and move to the bottom. After that, move all around the lower and the upper teeth.
  • Brush the teeth: You will need to thoroughly brush your teeth for at least two minutes. This means that every quadrant gets at least 30 seconds of cleaning, so consider an electric toothbrush with a timer which pulses every 30 seconds. Some people though find cleaning tooth by tooth as the best way to stay on track.
  • Rinse: After two minutes, thoroughly rinse your mouth. Examine your braces and your teeth in the mirror and look whether any food particles are left behind.


The answer to the question, “Can I use an electric toothbrush with braces?” is “Yes!” We can’t say for certain which kind of electric toothbrush you should use, but there are a few reasonable choices on the market. You may want to speak to your dentist about using an electric toothbrush and customizing your routine.


About the Author Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg's experience in dentistry spans over 25 years serving patients of all ages. He's an advisor to and a consultant to many professional dental projects.