The New Year brings new beginnings! It’s the perfect time to develop new habits—especially habits that lead to a beautiful smile.
Let’s celebrate the New Year with a new toothbrush and a new commitment to our oral health. (Okay, we know there are more exciting ways to celebrate the New Year, but committing to healthy oral care habits now will serve you for a lifetime. You’ll thank yourself later!)
How do I know when to replace my toothbrush?
That’s a good question! When your toothbrush starts to fray and the bristles point outward in all directions, it’s time to replace your toothbrush. If you’re brushing as often as you’re supposed to (at least twice daily), your toothbrush should start to fray every 3 to 4 months. You should be replacing your toothbrush 3 to 4 times a year.
Using your toothbrush past its lifecycle can make your brushing routine relatively ineffective. Toothbrush bristles are specially-designed to clean the bacteria, plaque and leftover food particles from the inner surfaces, outer surfaces and chewing surfaces of your teeth. For this to work, the bristles need to be firm and positioned upward, not outward.
Best Toothbrush for Braces
Whether you choose a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush is up to you. Both are effective for keeping your teeth in beautiful shape. How frequently and how thoroughly you brush is what’s important!
Always choose a toothbrush that has the ADA Seal. (This means the toothbrush has been evaluated for safety and efficacy by the American Dental Association.)
Best Manual Toothbrush for Braces
As listed by the American Dental Association (ADA), here are a few of the best options:
- Colgate Classic (Pokey) Toothbrush
- CVS Health Children’s Stripe Manual Toothbrush
- Medline Supersoft Nylon Toothbrush
- PRO-SYS Sensitive Toothbrush
Best Electric Toothbrush for Braces
If you prefer an electric toothbrush, consider any of these ADA-approved options:
- Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro Series Battery Powered Toothbrush
- Oral-B iO Series
- Phillips Sonicare ProtectiveClean
- quip Electric Toothbrush (adults or kids)
Many of these electric toothbrushes also have specially designed “ortho heads” to most effectively clean teeth with braces!
Best Toothpaste for Braces
There are tons of different options with toothpaste. Although the type of toothbrush you choose (manual or electric) won’t affect a good oral hygiene routine, the type of toothpaste you choose (whitening, sensitive, tartar control, etc) does have an impact.
Choose a toothpaste that checks off the following boxes:
- Contains fluoride
- Has tartar control or gingivitis control
- Has the ADA Seal
- Tastes good!!
Fluoride helps to strengthen your enamel to protect against cavities (tooth decay). Tartar/gingivitis control helps to prevent tartar deposits and gum disease from developing. Both of these are essential for a healthy, strong smile!
What about Invisalign®?
The same goes for toothbrush and toothpaste options with Invisalign treatment. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride, has tartar/gingivitis control, tastes good, and has the ADA Seal.
Should I use a soft toothbrush or medium toothbrush?
The ADA recommends that you use a soft-bristle toothbrush! Toothbrushes with harder bristles can actually damage your gums, increase their sensitivity, cause them to bleed and recede. You can even brush too hard with a soft toothbrush, so it’s important to be conscious of how hard you’re pressing against your teeth and gums.
Start off the New Year the right way with a new, soft-bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush and some great-tasting, fluoride-treatment toothpaste! Try out a new toothpaste this year too, because why not?
We’re making 2021 the year of beautiful smiles—and that has everything to do with your oral care routine. Happy New Year from Caudill & McNeight Orthodontics!
If you have any questions about the best toothbrush or toothpaste for braces, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to speak with you.