If you’re a braces wearer, I’ve got you covered!
In this article I will be taking a look at the best toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and orthodontic kits for braces.
The NHS and leading dental professionals advice, is to clean your teeth at least 2 times a day.
For those wearing a brace, an additional brushing session is normally required.
This can be problematic for many people as they go about their day. Food particles that are allowed to remain in brackets of the brace until the night time clean will start developing into plaque.
Plaque begins to form within a couple of hours of brushing. Furthermore, lodged food particles can be unsightly and even lead to bad breath.
Finding that extra few minutes in your day to give your teeth the extra clean is important. Even if you can’t find as much time as you would ideally like, a minutes attention to your teeth and brace post food, will go a lot further than paying no attention at all.
I have spoken about how easy some electric toothbrushes are to take with you in my article on the best electric toothbrushes for braces. But this is not always the best or most convenient solution. In this article I will have a look at some other options: toothpaste, orthodontic mouthwash, and floss for braces.
Best Toothpaste For Braces
You will have seen the immense number of choices you have when shopping for toothpaste. Which one do you go for? Which is best?
The short answer is, there is no one toothpaste that you must use.
As a brace wearer, you really should be using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Most of the typical over the counter or off the shop shelf toothpastes contains this ingredient.
It is labelled on the list of toothpaste ingredients as:
- Sodium fluoirude
- Stannous fluoride
- Sodium monofluorophosphate
A fluoride based toothpaste, irrespective of whether you are wearing braces or not, is always advised.
Fluoride is important for helping keep the enamel on your teeth strong. It helps teeth to re-harden after exposure to acids in your diet. Fluoride can help make teeth less susceptible to damage from bacteria, acids and food.
Even if the local water supply in your area contains fluoride, still purchase a toothpaste with this in it.
Whitening toothpastes might appear desirable, but when wearing a brace avoid these. The paste will only be coming in contact with part of the tooth surface, some will be hidden under the bracket and bonding agent. Should the whitening paste work, the part of the tooth under the bracket will not show such colour improvement.
It is best to wait to complete any whitening process until the orthodontic treatment has finished. For more information, read our article, teeth whitening with braces.
Some of my everyday favourite toothpastes are:
Best Mouthwash For Braces
So let’s first bust this habit that so many people have.
You should not rinse your mouth with mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth.
Spit, don’t rinse after brushing your teeth.
Rinsing with mouthwash simply washes away all the goodness that was left behind by the toothpaste.
The effective ingredient, fluoride, is a higher dose in toothpaste compared to mouthwash (if your mouthwash contains any at all).
Mouthwash is best used in between brushing sessions. And in fact, current NHS guidelines recommend that anyone who wears braces uses mouthwash at least once a day in addition to brushing.
Maybe you feel your mouth needs a re-fresh mid morning or late afternoon.
Perhaps you have recently had a coffee or a milkshake and want to rid the mouth as best as possible of any damaging bacteria, then is the time to use it, to get best effect.
Just like the toothpaste, there is not necessarily one best mouthwash to use with a brace.
You may have a preference for a particular brand. Or, perhaps prefer one without alcohol, a common ingredient in mouthwash that gives many of them the cleaning power that they offer.
The liquid can be rinsed around the mouth, get into gaps and places regular brushing cannot whilst leaving behind an effective coating that gives the mouth freshness and the ability to fight residual plaque.
Orthodontic mouthwash does exist. Vitis orthodontic mouthwash (view on Amazon) is one such example.
What makes this mouthwash different is that it contains a higher amount of fluoride, and other ingredients to help sooth any irritations you may have, as a result of the brace.
Specialist orthodontic mouthwash tends to be more expensive. Unless specifically recommended by your dentist, you don’t need to use this.
You therefore may prefer to stick to your regular or favourite mouthwash.
Some of my favourites are:
Best Floss For Braces
Flossing is something many people hate, but sadly it is a necessary evil when wearing braces.
The small and intricate gaps within the brackets and wires of braces are a perfect home for bacteria to reside, grow and develop into a potential problem for you oral health.
There are many different tools you can use for cleaning between the teeth and around the braces.
Using floss for braces is one of the best options though. The string floss is able to get in between all the tight gaps between teeth.
Using a waxed tape floss can be beneficial as this glides easier over the teeth and brace and has a larger surface area to come into contact with the teeth.
It does sadly take a bit of time and dedication, but you should do this everyday.
Due to the small gaps that are often involved, feeding a flimsy floss strip through the gaps can be difficult.
Oral-B’s Super Floss is a great option:
- Oral b superfloss - pack of 3 (each pack contains 50 strands)
- Ideal for braces bridges and wide spaces
- Stiffened end to floss under appliances
- Spongy-floss to clean around appliances and in wide spaces
- Regular floss to remove plaque under gumline
50 strands of floss are provided in the pack. These are all pre-cut and at one end there is a stiffer end that allows for feeding the floss through the dental appliance to be much easier.
You could also consider using a floss threader such as those from FlossFish (view here on Amazon) and Gum (view here on Amazon) that allow you to more easily feed your preferred floss in between dental appliances.
If you want to get a good overall clean but do not enjoy the thought of string flossing the then you could take advantage of tools like a water flosser which gives an alternative, faster and more convenient option for flossing if time is short. I have put together some of our recommendations of the best water flossers for braces.
Aside from regular string/tape floss the shape and intricacy of the dental appliance can mean that more specialised tools are required.
TePe make a fantastic range of products to suit the needs of any brace wearer.
Generally, TePe interdental brushes are less fiddly than dental floss, and in many cases remove more plaque around the brackets. They are also more compact than a regular toothbrush and so may be a good alternative to a full brushing session after lunch.
TePe are a specialist in interdental cleaning products you can learn about the brand and what an interdental brush in my complete guide to interdental brushes.
Particular products to be aware of that could really help with cleaning your brace are:
TePe Compact Tuft – An angled brush with a rounded tuft, which is especially suitable for cleaning around brackets and along the gum line
- Single tufted brush with short filaments
- Designed for precision cleaning of difficult to reach areas
- Ideal for cleaning around fixed orthodontic appliances and along the gum line
- Item sent may vary in colour from image shown. Image is an example only.
TePe Interspace – An angled brush with a tapered tuft, is ideal for cleaning critical areas close to brackets and under wires. Two different angles can be chosen for optimal access
- Medium filaments ideal for sensitive gums and teeth
- Ergonomic grip and plastic coated wire ensures efficient cleaning
- Use the correct size with the filaments filling the interdental space
- Item sent may vary in colour from image shown. Image is an example only.
The following video shows the best technique and shares tips on how to floss correctly.
Best Orthodontic Kits For Braces
The best orthodontic kit is in my opinion the one you put together yourself, You can include the tools and items you enjoy using and find most effective.
I would recommend perhaps keeping a few essentials in the car, at work or places you may frequent regularly, if you can afford to do so. This way you are safe in the knowledge that you can get cleaning as and when you need to.
Convenience can be king and having a pre-made kit can be incredibly helpful at certain times.
There are a number of different options, but ones we like in particular are.
- Teeth and Gums Orthodontic Kit (view on teethandgums.co.uk)
- Vita Orthodontic Travel Kit (view on Amazon)
- Dental Aesthetics – Braces Starter Kit (view on Amazon)
Your feedback & comments
This information is provided as a guide and I really hope that it has helped you navigate the confusing world of cleaning and taking care of your brace and mouth.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I will be sure to get back to you, or do consult your dentist or orthodontist.