What tools can help me keep my braces and teeth clean?

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Keeping your teeth clean with braces can be difficult. The best tools to use are still a toothbrush and floss. Using a power toothbrush and floss threaders can make it much easier to get the teeth clean.  Other tools that can be very helpful are a Waterpik, proxy brushes (they look like little Christmas trees), Superfloss, and plaque disclosing tablets to see where you have left plaque behind.
Carol Jahn
One of the best tools for cleaning around braces is a water flosser. A water flosser with a specialized orthodontic tip has been shown to be 3 times more effective at removing plaque than flossing with a floss threader and 5 times more effective than brushing alone. It also improved gum health too -- 26% more effective than brushing and flossing.

There are some great tools you can buy to keep your teeth clean if you wear braces. Here are a few:

  • Special water tools, or oral irrigators, that shoot a high-pressured water stream to clean in-between teeth. These should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste or flossing, and should only be used to help clean out the mouth to remove food particles.
  • Special solutions or tablets can highlight plaque to show you where to brush and floss. These may be available at drug stores or from your orthodontist or dentist.
  • Rubber-tipped or special brushes can help get hard-to-reach areas. Some look like pipe-cleaners.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.