Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces 1

Can You Use an Electric Toothbrush with Braces?

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While you’re wearing braces, sticky bacterial plaque and micro food particles accumulate between your teeth and under the hardware. It takes a concentrated daily commitment to your homecare routine to keep the gunk off.

It’s nothing to sneeze at.

If you don’t pay enough attention to the cleanliness of your wire-covered teeth, gum disease and cavities can form at an accelerated rate. You’re more prone to these bacterial problems because it’s difficult to reach the corners of the mouth and the spaces between teeth encumbered with foreign objects.

IF they’re properly used, there’s no significant difference between manual toothbrushes and electric ones. Choosing between the two is a matter of ease and preference.  At the end of the day, either one can do the job.

Better Cleanliness with Electric Toothbrushes

Regardless of the tools you use, keeping everything squeaky clean takes added effort with braces. However, the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics published studies that give electric toothbrushes a definite edge over manual versions when it comes to oral hygiene.

Plaque is public enemy number one when you’re wearing braces.  The bacterial matrix contains billions of acid-producing organisms that dissolve tooth enamel. Compared to a manual toothbrush, most people find that an electric toothbrush is much better at removing stains and plaque.

Suitable for Brushing for a Long Time

Interestingly, electric toothbrushes are actually easier to manage with braces. They’re suitable for all types of braces including ceramic, metal, and lingual brackets. In fact, electric toothbrushes are the perfect solution for all those who don’t brush long enough, or use an inappropriate technique.

There are a few studies proving that some people tend to brush their teeth for a shorter span of time while using a manual toothbrush. Most dentists suggest that patients brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes, as this ensures proper cleaning.  If you apply this rule to any brushing mode, you’re likely to cover the bases.

Battery-Powered or Rechargeable?

Coming in two types, battery-powered and rechargeable, electric toothbrushes offer some distinct advantages. Both types should be considered before making a decision, so that you end up purchasing the right one for you.

The battery-powered toothbrushes are more or less similar to the manual toothbrushes, but the bristles spin to facilitate the brushing process. With some of the models, you might still need to use the brushing motion because the power is there only to improve the cleaning ability of the brush.

On the other hand, the rechargeable toothbrushes are free from the hassle of replacing batteries every now and then. They come with high-tech features such as pressure sensors, reminders to replace the bristles, and timers. By guiding the brush across the teeth, they perform the job with a fraction of the effort.

The Different Features Offered

Electric brushes come with distinct features which are useful for some, but useless for others. You need to consider the options and decide for yourself which type of electric toothbrush will be the best for you.

Timers – This feature is particularly useful for all those who either take too long to brush their teeth or are always in a hurry while getting the job done. It will also help those who lose track of time while brushing and ensure that all the users brush their teeth for at least the minimum time limit recommended by dentists.

Detachable Brush Heads – Most of the electric toothbrush models come with detachable brush heads so that you can replace them when the bristles wear out. This allows you to keep the electric base while you change the brush head. You’ll save a considerable amount of money once you’ve made your initial investment.

Pressure Sensors – Some of the rechargeable toothbrushes come with sensors which let you know if you are brushing too hard. This is a very useful feature, especially for those who have weak enamel or sensitive teeth.  It also keeps abrasive forces off the gums and prevents recession of the tissue.

Different Settings – Basic and low-cost brushes come with only one brush setting whereas the high-end electric brushes offer a number of settings. If you are interested in variety, you must go with a brush set which offers multiple features to satisfy your needs and concerns.

Travel Cases – You always have the option of buying a travel case separately but some of the toothbrushes include one. Your toothbrush can be damaged if you don’t store it properly during travel. Since electric toothbrushes are relatively expensive, they must always be kept in a travel case.

Which Electric Toothbrush Will be the Best?

The key to proper brushing while wearing braces is to get a toothbrush which has a small head and soft bristles. When you have braces, a better idea is to avoid applying too much pressure and let the toothbrush do the work for you.

Special care needs to be taken around brackets, bands, and wires so that they are not damaged. Methodically guiding an electric brush above and below the brackets may be less likely to cause a problem than aggressive scrubbing.

So if you are wearing braces, the best option may be to choose the electric toothbrush and avoid manual scurbbing. Getting a brush with a smaller head will help reach the far reaches of the mouth and ensure that no acidic plaque stays to damage your teeth.


There is no denying that an electric toothbrush brings an end to a number of worries thanks to features like timers and pressure sensors. If you know how to use it well, it can be a lot more useful than a regular manual toothbrush. You’ll be able to enjoy the ease of brushing while ensuring complete cleanliness for your teeth.  Most importantly, you’ll protect the investment you’re making in your smile and guarantee a stunning finish!

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.