Good oral hygiene is an absolute necessity once you have braces. (Well, it always is, but it’s extra, extra important if you are undergoing an orthodontic treatment). This means brushing after every meal, flossing regularly and taking your time to do extra cleaning between the brackets and under the wires. It can also mean using extra tools like a small brush specially designed for braces, and a floss threading tool because it can be tricky to get the floss between the teeth with braces on.
People often wonder that with all these special tools, if they need special toothpaste, too. If you are wondering what the best toothpaste for braces is, we’ve got you covered.
The basic thing to know is that you should be using a toothpaste that has fluoride in it, especially while you have braces. Fluoride strengthens teeth and protects the enamel. And since teeth are under abnormal conditions during braces (moving around the mouth and having brackets adhered to them), it’s important to do what you can to protect them.
Most consumer brands have fluoride in them, while some natural toothpastes formulate their product to avoid it. Any drug store type of toothpaste from the big brand names will be fine to use.
One thing to avoid, however, is a toothpaste with chemicals that promise to whiten your teeth. If you use whitening agents on your teeth while brackets are adhered to them, only the areas of the teeth surrounding the brackets will lighten. This might not seem like a problem, but once the braces are removed, you might regret this decision.
We have seen cases where people didn’t heed this advice and were left with yellow-ish squares on the teeth once the braces came off. People often decide to undergo expensive tooth whitening treatments to recover from the colour discrepancy, however, it can easily be avoided by waiting until the braces treatment is completed before whitening the teeth.
Some people wonder about sensitivity toothpaste. Sensitivity toothpaste can be helpful for people who experience discomfort when their teeth come into contact with hot and cold foods; this is typically not related to braces or orthodontic treatment. In this case, you might want to pick up some toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth, which can help prevent and control tooth sensitivity.
There are plenty of toothpaste options on the shelves, so personal preference will come into play. There is not one magical toothpaste that is great for braces. Instead, it’s much more important to focus on the toothbrushing technique, and to consistently take time to clean your teeth properly. Many people brush their teeth almost without thinking, having done it thousands of times, and therefore don’t reach the back teeth or brush along the gum line.
Rather than worrying about the exact brand of toothpaste, focus instead on making sure you are taking the time to brush your teeth properly, including flossing and rinsing. If you do this, you and your teeth will be in great shape during your adventure with braces!
Contact us today if you would like a consultation about how braces might be right for you!
Dr. Lesley Williams is a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics. She grew up in Victoria, BC with her parents and two sisters.
After being awarded her Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree in 1989, Dr. Williams then spent six years as a dentist in general practice before deciding that she wanted to further her education by undertaking three extra years of highly specialized training in orthodontics. With her Masters in Science (Orthodontics) degree under her belt, she went on to sit the Orthodontic Specialty Fellowship exams through the Royal College of Dentists of Canada. To date, her status as an active leader in the orthodontic profession means that she holds the following qualifications and positions:
- Certified Specialist in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
- Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics
- Examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and the American Board of Orthodontics.
- Former president of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (representing 2900 orthodontists from the 4 western Canadian provinces and 8 western American states).
- Active member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists.