How to Find the Best Electric Toothbrush for Braces

How to Find the Best Electric Toothbrush for Braces

Taking care of your teeth while you have braces can be difficult, and that’s why finding the best electric toothbrush to use is important. You’ve invested time and money into braces and into your smile, and it won’t take long to discover that traditional toothbrushes really don’t make the cut. However, many electric toothbrushes have tools, bristles, and shapes that make brushing with braces a lot easier. 

What to Look For When Buying an Electric Toothbrush for Braces

At first glance, there are an overwhelming amount of options. You’ll soon learn that not every electric toothbrush is created equally when it comes to removing plaque and food debris. You’ll want to be sure that the toothbrush you buy has the capacity to get dirt and buildup from areas around wires and brackets. This will ensure you can prevent tooth decay and maintain a healthy, bright smile.

Many electric toothbrushes also have special brush heads for braces or even a programmable “mode” for braces. In addition, some kits come with orthodontic designed heads that help make brushing more comfortable and fun. Use the buying guide below to discover the best electric toothbrush for use with braces. 

Other things to look for when investing in an electric toothbrush for braces include:

  • Does it have smart features?
  • Is it a rotating head or an oscillating head?
  • Does the brush head feature interdental cleaning like floss?
  • How many modes does the brush contain?
  • Is the brush ADA approved?

Why Buy an Electric Toothbrush Instead of a Traditional One?

Electric toothbrushes come with a much higher price tag than regular toothbrushes. It’s an investment in your smile, just like braces are. You have to consider the care that comes with your toothbrush when you choose electric, including remembering to charge it on a regular basis. 

For children, this also comes with a commitment on the part of the parent, because younger children likely won’t remember to change brush heads, charge the unit, or even clean it properly. However, children with braces need to develop good habits for teeth cleaning even more than adults who likely already have those habits down. 

After Your Braces Come Off

Electric toothbrushes aren’t only for people with braces. They can work for anyone who wants to maintain a clean smile with ease. The point of these devices is that you don’t have to worry about brushing all around your teeth with a manual toothbrush because the vibrations from the electric one get the dirt out of hard-to-reach places. 

Dentists agree that most of their clients brush too hard and causes wearing away of gum tissue and leaves you with sensitivity. An electric toothbrush goes a long way to solve that problem because the person using it doesn’t have to press down while brushing for the toothbrush to be effective. Some brushes even have a sensor that signals if you are brushing too hard. This helps reduce the instance of gum irritation, tooth decay, and even enamel breakdown. 

When braces come off, it’s a good idea to continue using your electric toothbrush. While you’ll need to change the brush heads every three months like you’d have to change your regular toothbrush, they cost about the same as a regular toothbrush. In addition, you won’t have to spend money to replace the entire unit each time, so the initial cost is a one-time thing. That can still seem daunting, but when you consider the money to be saved on expensive dental fixes, the cost of an electric toothbrush doesn’t seem so terrible. 

The guide below will help you see the best and worst features of the most popular electric toothbrushes currently on the market. Use this to decide which toothbrush is right for you and enjoy an easier, cleaner smile. 

1. PRO-SYS VarioSonic Orthodontic Electric Toothbrush Kit

  • Pros: This electric toothbrush kit comes with 2 brush heads made specifically for braces, so you won’t need to worry about buying any for a long time. There are also 5 cleaning speeds, and the brush is ADA accepted. 
  • Cons: It’s not available in stores, so you have to order it online. The brush heads are also exclusive to this brand, and they’re not as easy to find as other brush heads. 
  • Where to buy: This kit is available on Amazon. 

2. Oral B Kids Electric Toothbrush

  • Pros: This model is made specifically to coach kids about pressure and timing with their brushing, which is incredibly important for kids with braces. It comes with a Disney app that uses a timer, monitors brushing pressure, and helps kids develop good oral hygiene habits.
  • Cons: Some customer reviews reported that the toothbrush was louder than many other models, and that was problematic for children who have never used an electric toothbrush. Some other reviews noted that the brush heads have spaces that collect mold too easily and need to be cleaned more thoroughly and more often than other brush heads. But, again, this puts the onus for cleaning on the parents. 
  • Where to buy: You can find this electric toothbrush at Target, Kohl’s, and Amazon. 

3. Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100

  • Pros: There are different modes for gum care, whitening, and regular cleaning. Within that, there’s a two-minute timer that has a 30-second indicator, so you know when to move to the next quadrant of your mouth. In addition, the unit comes with a long battery life and a few brush heads to start. For someone with braces, gum care and proper whole mouth cleaning are incredibly important. The brush operation is also very quiet, according to reviewers, when compared to other electric toothbrushes.
  • Cons: Many user reviews don’t believe the different modes are worth the extra money and instead opt for the Philips Sonicare 4100 model. It’s a little less expensive and has the same quality as the 5100 model, without the gum care, whitening, and regular cleaning modes. 
  • Where to buy: This electric toothbrush is available at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and direct from the company’s website. 

4. Oral B 7000 SmartSeries

  • Pros: The brush connects to an app on your phone with Bluetooth. The app reminds you to brush, but it also records how you brush. For example, when you use too much pressure, the brush has an LED that flashes red, and the app records for how long you’re doing this. For someone with braces, this helps develop better brushing habits for before and after wearing braces. 
  • Cons: The SmartSeries costs more than other standard electric toothbrushes, with the big difference appearing to be the Bluetooth capabilities. 
  • Where to buy: This electric toothbrush is available at Target, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Walmart, and the Oral B website. 

5. Waterpik Ortho Care Water Flosser + Sonic Toothbrush WP940

  • Pros: The Waterpik flosser heads that get around braces for an easy flossing experience are the clear advantages to this product over other electric toothbrushes. For younger braces wearers or people that have trouble using the threaded floss for braces, this could be a real game-changer in getting out the plaque buildup around braces during wear. There are also 5 brush heads in the box, more than what’s included with most other electric toothbrush models. 
  • Cons: The cost is significantly higher than other brushes, but it does come with a lot of different accessories. User reviews also report a less than stellar battery life. 
  • Where to buy: You can find this electric toothbrush at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kohls, Amazon, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond. 

6. Triple Bristle Best Sonic Electric Toothbrush

  • Pros: A head of triple-sided bristles move with fast sonic vibrations that boasts a faster cleaning process than other electric toothbrushes. This is great for kids with braces or people that have a hard time building a habit of brushing properly. 
  • Cons: User reviews report low power compared to other electric toothbrushes. The unit also comes with only one replacement brush head, and it’s not easy to change them. 
  • Where to buy: This electric toothbrush is available on Amazon and direct from the website. 

7. Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean

Pros: A uniquely shaped and compact brush head makes brushing around braces easier than some other models. It comes with two brush heads in the box, and you can choose from any Sonicare brush head when it’s time to replace it, not just the Diamond Clean brush head. 

The design is sleek and minimalist, and it even comes with a charging travel case and plastic caps for the brush heads. Like other Philips models, the Diamond Clean has a two-minute timer with “QuadPacing” that indicates when 30 seconds have passed, and the brush should be moved to another area of the mouth. 

Cons: The Diamond Clean costs twice what most other Philips models. User reviews indicate that the versatility, brush head, and travel case are not worth the extra cost. 

Where to buy: You can find this electric toothbrush at Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Sam’s Club, Amazon, and direct to the website. 

The Verdict

There are a lot of options, and they’re all different! Many people with braces have changing needs for their toothbrushes, and that means the one you pick has to be versatile. If it’s not, you’ll find yourself changing models and spending more money every few months when your braces are adjusted. 

For the cost, function, and ease of use with braces, the clear frontrunner is the Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100. The versatility of the Philips brand, in general, makes it a standout among other brands. If you don’t like this model, you can mix and match a lot of the parts to create a unit that’s perfect for your needs. The main perks of this electric toothbrush include:

  • Excellent value for the price. 
  • Interchangeable brush head with other Philips electric toothbrush models. 
  • Three modes for cleaning that work for brushing around braces, whitening, and keeping gums healthy. 
  • Long battery life. 
  • Easy to travel with the unit. 
  • Looks good, is light, and runs quietly. 

However, if cost isn’t an issue, the Waterpik Orthocare Water Flosser standalone unit (without the toothbrush as listed above) is an excellent addition for children with braces. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Will the power of an electric toothbrush harm my braces?

Answer: Not likely. Most electric toothbrushes are made to work with teeth that don’t have braces. They need to be gentle enough to brush at the gum line without pain. Braces in good working order should be able to withstand that power. Many electric toothbrush models even have special brush heads for braces to make sure that your brush heads and your braces stay intact while you brush. 

Question: Does the electricity make an interference noise while wearing braces?

Answer: No. Even Bluetooth models have a very low frequency, and the noise from the electric toothbrush shouldn’t be louder or have any interference noise with your braces. The sound of the brush will be different from a traditional brush that has no motor and no vibration at all. It’s an adjustment with or without braces but one that’s well worth getting used to. 

Question: Should I continue to use an electric toothbrush after my braces come off?

Answer: Yes. Dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush whether you have braces or not. Traditional toothbrushes require you to get into all the nooks and crannies of your mouth every time you brush. An electric toothbrush does this for you a little easier so that you always end up with a clean smile. 

Question: Do I have to choose the “best” toothbrush according to experts?

Answer: The best toothbrush for you is the one you’re going to use every day. The point of an electric toothbrush is to get your teeth cleaner than a traditional toothbrush. That won’t happen if you don’t use it. This guide tells you the best toothbrush according to functions, price, and what the reviews say. But if you’re looking at a different model because you like it better, then go for it. 

Question: How often do I replace the brush heads and where do I purchase them?

Answer: Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. Most electric toothbrushes come with two or more brush heads in the box, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing them for a while. When you do have to get new brush heads, a good rule of thumb is to check the place where you bought the toothbrush. If you can’t buy replacement heads there, go directly to the manufacturer’s website, and you should be able to find them there. 

Question: Do I need to replace the batteries in my electric toothbrush?

Answer: Not usually. Almost all models of electric toothbrushes come with a rechargeable battery. The charger comes in the box but always check to be sure that this is the case. Each model toothbrush has different charging needs. Some batteries last weeks, and some need to be charged every day. The battery should last for months or even years before it needs to be replaced. 

Talk to Your Orthodontist Today!

Before you start any cleaning regimen, it’s a good idea to talk to your orthodontist about it. Consider any additional issues that might come up, such as gum or mouth sensitivity or general issues with your braces. If you begin using one electric toothbrush and it doesn’t work for you, talk to your orthodontist about a better alternative. 

In the end, the bottom line is a clean smile and building good habits for your oral health! This is even more important for children because, when the braces come off, the habits need to continue. Some electric toothbrush models have special units made for children. There are bright colors, smaller handles, and even music that plays for the optimal brush time. If a regular electric toothbrush doesn’t work for your child, see if there is a model made specifically for them. 

After you develop a good habit, be sure to maintain your electric toothbrush to keep it working at optimal performance. Make a schedule for yourself to remind you to change brush heads and check up on batteries. When your electric toothbrush works well, your smile will keep shining during and after you have braces!

Erica Anand

Dr. Erica Anand, a native Long Islander, received her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry with Cum Laude from Stony Brook University. She attended Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine where she earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree. While in dental school, Dr. Erica received the Delta Dental award and was involved in the outreach mission to Chile where she treated underserved children and families. She went on to complete a two-year specialty-training program in pediatric dentistry at Stony Brook University. Her extensive education includes treating children with special needs, dental phobias, and oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia. She maintains memberships of the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and New York State Dental Association, and is an American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Candidate. Erica Anand is a licensed dental specialist with experience in personalized dental content writing and blogging for corporate publications. She works both in private practice and with several marketing firms to develop dental related material for dentists, patients and consumers. Her goals are to help create pieces that connect to your reader and drive reviews.

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