You or your child have just gotten your first set of braces. Now that you have invested a lot of money in your smile it is up to you to take care of it. Braces come with special considerations when it comes to cleaning and failure to appreciate these can lead to tooth decay and defeat the whole purpose of why you got braces in the first place. So if you are looking to give yourself or your child that perfectly aligned, shining white ‘Hollywood smile’ then let’s start with the basics. Let’s discuss the best toothpaste for braces.
The need for extra care when you have braces
Just looking at your smile in the mirror following the addition of braces makes something readily apparent. There are a number of places where food can become trapped and while your teeth are busy getting straightened over the next 6 months to 2 years they are going to be more vulnerable than they would alone. This means that you need to adopt a few strategies in order to minimize your chances of tooth decay taking hold and eroding your smile at the same time that your braces are straightening it. Your first line of defense, that tube of toothpaste you’ll be using, needs to be selected carefully.
Fluoride and tartar control are important
Two immediate considerations are going to be fluoride and tartar control. Fluoride helps your teeth by strengthening the enamel. This is particularly important right now as the various nooks and crannies on your braces mean that inevitably you are going to miss some trapped food particles from time to time. Tartar control will help to remediate the plaque that develops from the bits which you have missed and this is also a very important part of the equation as tartar buildup can not only lead to decay but to periodontal disease in your gums. Make sure that the toothpaste which you select has both of these qualities so that you can maintained your teeth properly with braces.
Avoid whitening toothpastes
Whitening toothpastes are a big no-no while you are wearing braces. Aside from the fact that most of them work through mildly acidic properties that remove discolored layers the simple fact of the matter if how your braces are attached. Affixed directly to your teeth via ceramics or metals, over time the use of whitening toothpaste may turn to bite you when you get them removed and are left with patterns of mismatched color in the places where they were affixed.
Our favorite toothpastes for braces
With the previously mentioned considerations in mind we have compiled a list of our favorite toothpastes for braces for you to review in order to help you make the right selection for you. Find one of these with a taste that you enjoy and be sure to brush regularly (carry a toothbrush and brush after every meal if you can, the extra care goes a long way!). Without further ado, here are our favorite toothpastes:
If you need to get your child to brush and they are resistant to mint then you are in luck. Tom’s comes in strawberry flavor and best of all, this is done without the addition of destructive sugars which can defeat the purpose of brushing in the first place. Approved by the American Dental Association, this toothpaste uses silica and calcium (rather than fluoride) so that your child can abrade and fortify their teeth at the same time. Adults, you can use this, too, as it is not specifically formulated for kids. So if you’d like a nice incentive of delicious strawberry every time that you clean your teeth then you should consider Tom’s of Maine.
Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste
Also ADA-approved, Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste is packed with fluoride and their proprietary blend claims to work with your saliva in order to provide deep penetration of the fluoride goodness. Fluoride helps to remineralize your teeth, strengthening the enamel so that you are better equipped for the tug of war against tooth decay. Sensodyne Pronamel is also a great choice for sensitive gums and is less harsh than many of it’s competitors.
Crest Gum Detoxify is a toothpaste that is designed not only for your teeth but to penetrate deeply underneath your gums in order to combat the residual bacteria
“This is not a good toothpaste for those with sensitive gums”
which can reside there. It also has fluoride as well in order to reinforce your existing enamel and you really can’t go wrong there. It should be noted, however, that this is not a good toothpaste for those with sensitive gums, as the penetration qualities may cause some discomfort for those with gum sensitivity issues.
Lastly, consider an electric toothbrush
While it is not 100% necessary, an electric toothbrush can really be an asset when it comes to maintaining your braces. This is especially the case with kids who don’t like to brush and tend to rush things. An electric toothbrush can clean much more thoroughly than a regular brush and in a fraction of the time it can clean well enough behind those brackets that tooth decay will definitely be less of a worry. Give it some consideration, after all, you’ve already invested a considerable amount in obtaining those braces in the first place, why not protect your investment?
In this article we have discussed the importance of proper oral hygiene when you or your child has gotten braces. Remember, during the entire time that the braces are in place those teeth are more vulnerable than they would be alone. This doesn’t need to be a concern as long as you adopt an aggressive strategy when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Brush vigorously and take a little time as the areas around the brackets can be difficult to clean and once it becomes habit you are assured of a perfect smile once those braces come off!