Finding the right toothbrush for someone who has braces may seem like something that doesn’t require much thought, but there are some things to consider when finding that next handy helper.
Whether your braces are metal or a clear plastic, brackets and wires can trap food particles much more easily, increasing your risk of bacteria buildup. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) reports that about one in five children between six and 11 years old had tooth decay in their permanent teeth as of 2013. This alone highlights that cavities are still a major concern, and wearing braces makes attention to oral care that much more important.
The most common type of braces, metal braces, includes brackets, bonding and archwire. Brackets attach to the tooth with a cohesive bonding material, while an archwire connects these brackets to one another so they can gradually move teeth into a straighter position. Keep in mind, food can get caught between the archwire and individual brackets, so you want to find a toothbrush that will be able to dislodge this debris in-between your braces.
Small Brushing Head-
The toothbrush itself isn’t going to prevent you from building plaque or eliminating debris, but rather diligent brushing is what’s most important. You want to get a brush that will be able to get into those hard-to-reach spots hidden by braces. The AGD recommends that your toothbrush head should be small for “easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums.” With this in mind, regular use of your toothbrush can help you better clean the areas of your gum line where bacteria can build up.
The best toothbrushes have certain things in common:
- A brush with a wide handle. The right-sized handle can help you grasp the brush more firmly. If you’re choosing a brush for your child, the AAPD suggests the handle should be somewhat larger to afford them more control over each brushing stroke.
- Soft, nylon bristles. Hard-bristled brushes can wear down enamel and aggravate gums that may already be sore from a recent orthodontics adjustment. Soft-bristled brushes can clean just as effectively without doing this harm.
- Round-ended bristles. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA)shows that bristles with a rounded end can better protect oral tissue – which includes all parts of your mouth – from damage.
If you need further assistance on finding the right brush or have questions, the friendly Z- Team staff of Zaytoun Orthodontics will be happy to help!