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Last Updated on February 19, 2023
Best Electric Toothbrush for Braces
Keeping your teeth clean with regular brushing is important for maintaining a healthy smile. Brushing helps prevent cavities by removing the plaque that builds up on the surface of your teeth throughout the day.
For people who have braces, however, this is a bit more complicated.
Braces add a lot of nooks and crannies for the plaque to build up. It can be difficult to remove this plaque with only a manual toothbrush, since they can’t vibrate or spin the way electric toothbrushes can. This is why many dentists recommend using electric toothbrushes to keep your braces clean.
Studies have proven that electric toothbrushes are far more efficient than normal toothbrushes when it comes to plaque removal. In fact, electric toothbrushes were found to remove 21% more plaque than their manual counterparts. Additionally, people with braces, in particular, experienced a whole slew of benefits when they switched to an electric toothbrush. Some of these include less plaque, deceased gum redness, decreased gum bleeding, and a lower risk of developing gingivitis.
In order to help you pick out the perfect electric toothbrush for yourself or the brace-wearer in your life, we’ve looked into the very best electric toothbrushes for braces on the market today.
This guide has everything you need to know about your electric toothbrush options, as well as some things to consider when deciding which one is right for you. Scroll down for in-depth reviews, a buying guide, and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about electric toothbrushes for braces.
Best Electric Toothbrush for Braces
Here are our top picks for the best toothbrushes for braces.
1. Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes are some of the best electric toothbrushes around today, and the ProtectiveClean 5100 is no exception. This toothbrush uses sonic technology to provide a gentle but extremely effective clean to help you eliminate plaque. This toothbrush features an automatic timer that stops the brush’s spinning after 2 minutes.
It also has a built-in pressure sensor that will alert you if it senses you applying too much pressure to your teeth and gums. With oral hygiene, it’s important to be thorough. But you also need to be sure not to damage your gums by overdoing it.
The ProtectiveClean 5100 also features something called BrushSync technology. This nifty tech lets the brush automatically select the appropriate brush mode and intensity. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of brushing. BrushSync also knows how long you’ve been using your brush head and how hard you’ve been pressing while brushing. When it’s time to change the brush head, a light will illuminate on the bottom of the toothbrush handle.
In addition to all of that cool stuff, the ProtectiveClean also lets you pick which brush mode you want to use. It offers three different modes, all of which correspond to a different brushing objective/goal. Mode 1 is Clean Mode, which helps you get the most superior clean possible.
Mode 2 is Whitening Mode, which focuses on eliminating surface stains. Lastly, mode 3 is Gum Care, which tacks on a third minute of brushing but at a reduced level of power that allows you to massage and stimulate your gums, optimizing gum health.
- 3 brushing modes
- Pressure sensor
- Automatic timer
- 14 day run time on one charge
- BrushSync technology
- Automatic timer helps you brush for the ideal length of time
- BrushSync technology helps you choose the right mode and tracks when to change your brush head
- Provides an excellent clean
- Pressure monitor prevents you from brushing too hard
- Long run time on one charge
- A bit pricey
- Handle doesn’t have a rubber grip so it can become slippery
2. Oral-B Pro 7000 Smart Series Electric Toothbrush
The Oral-B Pro 7000 is another fabulous electric toothbrush that provides the very best clean. This is largely thanks to the fact that this toothbrush provides 800 brush movements per second, which eliminates a lot of the work you would do yourself with a manual toothbrush. Instead, all you need to do is move the brush around your mouth and let the brush’s movements do all of the heavy lifting.
The Pro 7000 comes equipped with 6 different brushing modes. These are: deep clean, daily clean, sensitive, whitening, massage, and tongue cleaning. Like the previous toothbrush, this one also utilizes pressure sense technology to make sure you aren’t brushing your teeth with too much force.
According to Oral-B, the Pro 7000 is designed to eliminate 300% more plaque lining the gums than traditional toothbrushes, which is a very large claim indeed! This toothbrush is also Bluetooth-enabled and has an app that improves brushing habits over time. The brush and app are synced, and the app keeps track of brushing habits, brushing frequency, areas of neglect, and much more.
- 6 brushing modes
- Built-in pressure sensor
- Built-in timer
- 10 day run time on one charge
- Extra brush heads included
- Bluetooth technology
- Bluetooth app connectivity helps you track your habits and stay motivated to brush on a regular schedule
- 6 highly effective brushing modes to choose from
- Expert plaque removal
- Digital brush display provides information in real-time
- Battery life isn’t as robust as some
- Design isn’t as aesthetically sleek as some
3. Philips Sonicare Essence
The Sonicare Essence is a slightly simpler model than the first two on the list, but without losing any of the cleaning power. This is also one of the most popular models around, and for good reason. As with most Philips Sonicare brushes, the Essence also comes with sonic cleaning technology that provides up to 31,000 brush movements per minute.
This brush has a built-in timer that automatically shuts off the brush after two minutes have elapsed. Additionally, this brush has an awesome feature called Easy-Start, which helps new users acclimate to the brush in the beginning. This technology works by gradually increasing the power provided by the toothbrush over the first 12 uses, gradually ramping up to full power with each use after the first 12.
This is a great feature because it can be physically uncomfortable to abruptly transition from a manual toothbrush to an electric one, and this feature helps you protect your teeth and gums from a sudden increase in power and pressure. You will also receive a two-year warranty with this brush and can expect a single charge to last you for about 14 days.
- Automatic timer
- Two-week run time on one charge
- Easy-Start technology
- Easy-Start technology helps new users acclimate to the intensity of electric brushing
- Very affordable for the benefits and function
- Two-minute timer and automatic shut-off
- Replacement brush heads can be expensive
4. Triple Bristle Original Sonic Toothbrush
The Triple Bristle Original Sonic Toothbrush is equipped with the latest electric toothbrush technology for a very affordable price. This toothbrush has a patented and unique brush head design that features three sides of bristles, helping you achieve maximum cleanliness with minimal effort. The brush design is proven to lower your risk of plaque buildup, gum bleeding, mouth soreness, and more, and it’s capable of reaching the top, back, and front of your teeth at one time.
The sonic technology of this toothbrush sends pulses of vibrations to further enhance your teeth cleaning experience. In one minute, this brush produces about 31,000 brush movements, which is similar to the Philips Sonicare toothbrush above.
Additionally, the Triple Bristle Original features an automatic timer and shut-off function to help you brush for the perfect amount of time, every time. You can also select from three different cleaning modes: Gentle, High Clean, or Massage. The ergonomic design of the handle allows you to comfortably grip and maneuver this toothbrush at all angles, and the toothbrush’s battery charges very quickly and efficiently.
- Patented brush head design
- Automatic timer
- Up to three weeks of run time on one charge
- 3 brushing modes
- Triple bristle patented technology helps you clean your teeth in the most efficient way possible
- Extremely powerful battery with long-lasting charge
- Affordable for the technology
- Automatic timer
- Comfortable and effective ergonomic handle
- No pressure sensor
- The brush head design can take some getting used to
5. AquaSonic Black Series Ultra Whitening Toothbrush
The AquaSonic Black Series electric toothbrush is sleek in design and highly functional. This toothbrush features a powerful motor that generates 40,000 vibrations per minute, allowing you to achieve maximum clean. Compared with traditional toothbrushes, this brush eliminates 10x more plaque at the gum line, giving you a great clean feeling.
This brush also comes with 8 replacement heads (a rarity for electric toothbrushes), as well as a handy carrying case. According to the company, the included 8 brush heads should last you for roughly 2 and a half years if you follow the recommended schedule of changing your brush head after 4 months. This toothbrush also has an incredible run time of four weeks for every charge.
With the AquaSonic toothbrush, you can choose from 4 brushing modes to help you achieve the type of clean you’re looking for. The brush features a built-in timer and ultra-fast wireless charging.
- 40,000 vibrations per minute
- 4 week run time on a single charge
- 8 included brush heads
- Entirely waterproof design
- 8 included brush heads will last you almost three years
- 4 brushing modes
- Superfast wireless charging
- Travel case isn’t big enough to fit the charger
6. Dr. Jim Ellis Electric Toothbrush
The Dr. Jim Ellis electric toothbrush was designed by none other than Dr. Jim Ellis, a renowned dentist. Dr. Jim Ellis is listed in America’s list of top dentists, and his brush performs to the same standard that he does.
This toothbrush generates 40,000 movements per minute and the brush head features special bristles that are angled to maximize the reach and cleaning capabilities of the toothbrush. You can choose from three-speed settings while using this brush: pulsate, oscillate, and massage. These features are all designed to replicate the type of clean you could formerly only achieve with a visit to the dentist.
Dr. Jim’s toothbrush also features a built-in two-minute timer that is broken into four 30 second quadrants. These quadrants help you focus your attention equally throughout your mouth by notifying you when it’s time to move on to a new section. The toothbrush comes with two free replacement heads, which will last you 18 months.
- 3 speed variations
- Two-year warranty
- 2 free brush heads
- Built-in timer
- Automatic timer is broken into four quadrants to help you focus your attention equally
- High-powered motor produces a superior clean with 40,000 movements per minute
- Designed and distributed by a professional dentist
- High power can be uncomfortable for new users
Common questions about brushing with braces
Can electric toothbrushes break braces?
As long as you aren’t using an extreme amount of force or pressure during brushing, your toothbrush— whether electric or manual— should not be capable of breaking or damaging your braces. In order to understand just how firmly you should be brushing, you may want to bring your toothbrush with you to your next dental visit so your dentist can demonstrate the proper pressure for you.
That way, you can get a baseline feeling of the amount of pressure to use. You won’t have to worry about damaging your braces.
What happens if you don’t brush your teeth with braces?
We already know that everyone should brush their teeth at least two times per day for a period of two minutes each time. This is especially true for people with braces. Not only does brushing help eliminate cavity-causing elements like plaque, but it can also prevent you from ending up with stained teeth when your braces are finally removed. Regular brushing is a great way to buff away surface stains that can linger after you consume staining foods like coffee.
Failing to brush can cause these stains to build up and become harder to remove. It’s also important to remember that braces cover a portion of each tooth. So if you aren’t brushing regularly, the area underneath the braces will be a different color than the rest of your teeth when your braces are eventually removed.
Additionally, it’s even more crucial to keep your mouth and teeth as clean as possible while you have braces. Neglecting your teeth can have serious health consequences, and these risks are increased with braces. That’s due to the fact that when your mouth is full of sharp metal wires, your chances of receiving small cuts in your mouth are a lot higher. If you aren’t keeping your teeth super clean, you can get an infection in those cuts, which can cause a lot of problems.
Is it possible to brush your teeth too much with braces?
While we can’t speak for everybody in every situation, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to brush your teeth and braces too much. In fact, most dentists and orthodontists recommend that people with braces brush their teeth even more frequently than those without braces, especially in the beginning. Rather than brushing two times per day, many professionals recommend brushing every time you eat a meal or a snack to help you keep food out of your teeth and prevent a buildup of plaque.
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes?
The answer to this question is completely dependent upon you and your brushing habits. If you’re someone who diligently brushes twice per day, your manual toothbrush will likely be just as effective at plaque removal as an electric brush. If, however, you rarely brush for the full two minutes and find yourself rushing through brushing your teeth, the powerful vibrations of electric toothbrushes will undoubtedly provide a better clean for you than a manual toothbrush.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Toothbrush for Braces
Getting an electric toothbrush can really up your oral hygiene game, but you shouldn’t just buy the first one you see. Instead, consider the following factors when looking for the right electric toothbrush for you. These can help you assess which brush is right for your situation and which ones should be avoided.
Many electric toothbrushes feature multiple brushing modes to choose from while cleaning your teeth. The nature of these modes will vary depending on the manufacturer and the model, but most of them will include things like whitening, gentle, massage, or deep clean, among others. These modes can be helpful if you have specific dental goals you and your dentist are trying to focus on.
They can also be good if you have sensitive areas of your mouth that require gentler pressure or areas that are tough to reach and could use some extra cleaning oomph.
Many people accidentally brush with more pressure than they need to. When done with an electric toothbrush, this can lead to gum sensitivity or bleeding. If done for extended periods of time, you can even cause permanent gum recession (and it can damage your expensive braces). This is why some electric toothbrushes feature built-in pressure sensors that can detect when you’re applying more than the optimal amount of pressure to your teeth.
These pressure sensors will deliver a special vibration in the handle (or perhaps a beeping sound) to alert you when it detects that you’re using too much pressure on your teeth. Not all electric toothbrushes have this feature, and the ones that do tend to be a bit more expensive. That being said, if you are someone who is prone to over-brushing or using too much force, you might want to consider shelling out the extra bucks for this feature.
It’s pretty common knowledge that you should ideally brush your teeth for two minutes per brushing session. But for some reason, it’s still difficult for many people to keep at it for the whole two minutes. We get it— when you’re just standing in your bathroom brushing your teeth, two minutes can feel like an eternity (and 45 seconds can feel a lot like two minutes)! That’s why we love that so many electric toothbrushes feature an automatic two-minute timer.
This means that from the second you turn on your toothbrush, it will start counting down from two minutes. After two minutes have elapsed, the toothbrush will automatically turn itself off or indicate that your time is up in some other way. This is pretty helpful because you don’t need to set your own timer or wonder if you’ve brushed your teeth for long enough.
There are even some automatic timers that are broken into quadrants of 30 seconds each. These allow you to mentally divide your brushing focus into four sections of your mouth for an equal amount of time per section. That way, you can ensure that you’re brushing your upper right and left teeth just as thoroughly as your lower right and left teeth.
The run time of an electric toothbrush refers to the number of days you’ll be able to use it on a single charge. The run time given by the manufacturer often assumes that you will be brushing your teeth two times per day for no more or less than the recommended two-minute period per session. When looking for an electric toothbrush, you’ll likely find that there is a lot of variation in the run time of each toothbrush.
Some have really long run times that will last around six weeks, while others may only last about 10 days. We have found the average run time of an electric toothbrush to hover somewhere around two weeks on a single charge.
Run time isn’t the most important feature for most people, but it is important to consider if you’re someone who travels a lot and wants to figure out if you will need to bring your toothbrush charger along with you. Additionally, the nice thing about electric toothbrushes is that even when they run out of battery, you can still use them how you would use a manual toothbrush.
Replacement Brush Heads
This point is two-pronged: complimentary brush heads included with purchase and the cost of replacement brush heads. In many cases, your new electric toothbrush will come with a few replacement brush heads to tide you over for a while. This is pretty useful and can save you a trip to the store for up to a few years, depending on how many are included.
Most experts recommend that you replace your electric toothbrush head approximately every four months to maximize oral health and to get the most out of your bristles. By that standard, an electric toothbrush that comes with one brush head on the brush and two complimentary replacement heads can last you up to a whole year if you decide to replace the brush head exactly after four months of use.
Unfortunately, not every electric toothbrush comes with complimentary replacement brush heads, which means you’ll be running to the store sooner than you would have otherwise. This likely won’t be a point of contention for many people, but it is nice to get free things. The convenience of having included replacement heads is hard to beat.
Another point to consider here is the cost of your replacement brush heads. Electric toothbrushes can be pretty pricey on their own, and brush heads can really add up over time. Two packs of the brush heads for some Philips Sonicare toothbrushes, for example, can cost you about $30. That adds up to about $45 spent on brush heads per year if you replace your toothbrush head every four months as recommended.
In many cases, you’ll be able to find generic brand replacement brush heads that fit your electric toothbrush, as many of these are marked with things like “compatible with Philips Sonicare Toothbrushes.” These often work just as well as the name-brand ones and cost a fraction of the price, but they aren’t available everywhere.
There are a lot of electric toothbrushes on the market that come with fancy bells and whistles. These can range in form and function, but some may be enhanced physical design, special colors, ergonomic handles, unique brush heads, Bluetooth capabilities, facial recognition, and much more. You’d be surprised at how many different features you can put in one toothbrush, but the list is pretty endless!
Most of the time, you don’t need many of these features, strictly speaking, but they are pretty fun. Keep in mind that extra features may increase the price of your toothbrush, so whether or not you decide to get a simpler model or a fancy model depends on your budget and what you’re looking for in your new toothbrush.
Naturally, the price of an electric toothbrush will also be an important factor for many people. As with many things, electric toothbrushes can vary greatly in price depending on the brand, model, features, and design. Some electric toothbrushes might cost you between $100 – $200, while others are likely to cost around $50 or less.
The cheaper toothbrushes naturally will have fewer features and/or a cheaper construction, but often the fancy features of the expensive models aren’t necessary to achieve the ideal clean (but they can be pretty fun to use). Whatever your budget for an electric toothbrush is, however, you are sure to find the perfect one either on this list or with our tips for finding the best one for you.
When it comes to choosing an electric toothbrush, there are a lot of important things to consider. We suggest speaking with your dentist or orthodontist to determine which features you should prioritize before you make your final decision, as they’ll be able to help you figure out which features best accentuate the goals of your oral care.
Be sure you read a lot of online reviews before making your choice as well, as other peoples’ experiences can help you get a clearer picture of what to expect from your new electric toothbrush. You’ll also be able to use these reviews to figure out what others didn’t like about the toothbrush and decide whether those issues are likely to bother you.
Electric toothbrushes are an excellent way to achieve the highest level of clean possible. They are especially great if you tend to cut some corners when brushing your teeth. Many electric toothbrushes feature built-in timers that can help you brush for the recommended two minutes per session, as well as other features like pressure sensors to help you adjust if you press too firmly.
Electric toothbrushes are also a great way to achieve the best possible clean if you have braces, as braces are likely to trap bits of food and be difficult to clean with a manual brush. All of the toothbrushes on this list are excellent and have all received top ratings from happy customers. We hope this article was helpful in selecting the right electric toothbrush for the braces wearer in your life. Happy brushing!