Best Toothpaste for Braces: A Comprehensive Guide and Expert Advice (2024)

21 Min Read
Best Toothpaste for Braces: A Comprehensive Guide and Expert Advice (2024)


Getting braces can be an exciting time, but it also comes with some extra dental care requirements. Choosing the right toothpaste is essential for keeping your braces and teeth in tip-top shape. With so many options on the market, it can be tricky to know which toothpaste is best for brace wearers. This comprehensive guide examines the key factors to consider when selecting toothpaste for braces. We’ll provide expert-reviewed recommendations so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s start this comprehensive article by exploring the topic – “Best Toothpaste for Braces“.

Do read the People Also Ask (FAQs) about this topic.

Key Takeaways

TopicKey Takeaways
Why Special Toothpaste for Braces is Important– Helps prevent white spot lesions
– Fights bacteria and plaque buildup
– Aids the cleansing process
– Soothes irritation and discomfort
Key Toothpaste Ingredients to Look For– Fluoride – strengthens enamel
– Calcium – reinforces teeth
– Triclosan – reduces plaque and gingivitis
– Sodium pyrophosphate – prevents calculus
– Stannous fluoride – fights bacteria
– Sodium hexametaphosphate – loosens debris
– Specialized polishing agents – gently scrub braces
– Aloe vera & soothing ingredients – reduce irritation
– Mild flavours they like
– Appropriate fluoride levels
– Fun, engaging packaging
– Incentive charts to motivate brushing
– Crest Pro-Health HD
– Oral-B Pro-Expert
– ACT Anticavity
– Tom’s of Maine Simply White
– Colgate PreviDent 5000
Special Considerations for Kids and Teens– Small, soft toothbrush
– Brush after meals and before bed
– 45-degree angle into the gumline
– Short back-and-forth motions
– Floss threaders to clean between teeth
– Don’t neglect tongue, roof of mouth, cheek cleaning
Proper Brushing Techniques– Small, soft toothbrush
– Brush after meals and before bed
– 45-degree angle into the gum line
– Short back-and-forth motions
– Floss threaders to clean between teeth
– Don’t neglect tongue, roof of mouth, cheek cleaning
Additional Oral Care Tips– Antimicrobial mouthwash
– Xylitol gum between meals
– Limit sugary/acidic foods
– Avoid hard, sticky, crunchy foods
– Regular dental cleanings and check-ups
– Over-the-counter pain relief as needed
Best Toothpaste for Braces – Key Takeaways

Why Special Toothpaste for Braces is Important

Standard toothpastes aren’t formulated with the unique oral health needs of brace wearers in mind. Braces create additional nooks and crannies where food particles and plaque can become trapped. Special brace-friendly toothpaste contains ingredients to address these concerns. Using a specifically designed toothpaste while wearing braces is recommended by orthodontists for the following reasons:

  • Helps prevent white spot lesions: Braces can create areas near the brackets that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. White spot lesions are spots of demineralization that can occur when plaque is left on the teeth near braces for too long. Using a toothpaste containing fluoride and calcium can remineralize these areas and prevent permanent white spots from developing.
  • Fights bacteria and plaque: Ingredients like triclosan, sodium pyrophosphate, and stannous fluoride have antibacterial properties to fight the bacteria that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. Keeping the bacterial count low is essential for brace wearers.
  • Aids the cleansing process: Toothpaste for braces often contains special polishing agents that safely scrub around orthodontic hardware to dislodge food debris. Many also contain ingredients like sodium hexametaphosphate to help loosen food particles.
  • Soothes irritation and discomfort: Braces can cause temporary irritation and discomfort in the mouth. Specific toothpastes contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera to provide relief while wearing braces.

Using toothpaste formulated for braces enhances oral hygiene, prevents issues like plaque and white spot lesions, and makes braces more comfortable to wear.

Key Toothpaste Ingredients to Look For

Now that you understand why specialized toothpaste is recommended with braces, let’s look at the most important ingredients these toothpaste contain. Focus on finding a toothpaste with a combination of the following components:


Fluoride should be the first ingredient orthodontic patients look for. Fluoride is proven to strengthen enamel, fight acid erosion, and prevent cavities and white spot lesions. The American Dental Association recommends using a fluoride toothpaste with over 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride for brace wearers.


Calcium is also added to many brace-friendly toothpastes. Like fluoride, calcium helps reinforce weakened areas around orthodontic brackets and prevents demineralization. The combination of calcium and fluoride work together to remineralize teeth.


Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that reduces plaque and gingivitis. Because plaque bacteria can flourish around braces, triclosan can help keep bacteria under control. However, some concerns have been raised over the safety of triclosan, so speaking with your orthodontist is recommended if considering toothpaste with this ingredient.

Sodium Pyrophosphate

Sodium pyrophosphate is another antimicrobial ingredient in some brace-friendly toothpastes. It prevents the accumulation of calculus on teeth. Patients wearing braces are more prone to calculus build-up, so sodium pyrophosphate can be beneficial.

Stannous Fluoride

Stannous fluoride contains fluoride for cavity prevention and stannous ions for antimicrobial effects against plaque. The combination fights bacteria while strengthening enamel.

Sodium Hexametaphosphate

Sodium hexametaphosphate, also known as SHMP, aids with preventing plaque and calculus formation. It also helps loosen food debris that becomes stuck on and around braces.

Specialized Polishing Agents

Look for terms like “special polishing agents” or “orthodontic action” on the label. These indicate that the toothpaste contains polishers to safely scrub around braces. Silica or calcium carbonate are often added for a gentle polishing effect.

Aloe Vera & Other Soothing Ingredients

Aloe vera is added to some toothpaste to soothe irritation and discomfort caused by braces. Ingredients like strontium chloride, allantoin, and potassium nitrate can also provide relief. If braces are causing pain or sensitivity, seek out a toothpaste with these calming components.

Scan the ingredients list for a combination of enamel-protecting, bacteria-fighting, polishing, and soothing ingredients to find the most effective toothpaste for your braces.

Expert-Recommended Toothpaste for Braces (Best Toothpaste for Braces)

With all of the different toothpastes on the market claiming various benefits, it can get overwhelming trying to select the right one. To take out the guesswork, we asked orthodontists and dental professionals which are the top toothpastes they recommend for their brace-wearing patients. Based on their extensive experience, here are the toothpaste products they suggest most:

1. Crest Pro-Health HD Toothpaste

  • Key Features: Contains 0.15% stannous fluoride for enamel strengthening and antimicrobial properties, along with sodium hexametaphosphate (SHMP) to loosen debris. The smooth, non-scratching formula provides relief to sensitive gums. Dentists rate it as one of the most effective toothpaste for plaque and gingivitis reduction.
  • Experts Say: “I recommend Crest Pro-Health HD to all my patients with braces for its unique combination of stannous fluoride and SHMP. The stannous fluoride keeps teeth strong and fights bacteria, while the SHMP helps dislodge trapped particles. Patients report less irritation and discomfort when using this toothpaste.” – Dr. Ryan McArthur, DDS, MSD

2. Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Dental Braces Toothpaste

  • Key Features: Specially designed for braces and orthodontic appliances. Contains stannous fluoride and calcium to protect against cavities and demineralization. Also includes sodium hexametaphosphate to loosen trapped debris. The Pro-Argin formula neutralizes pH for a clean mouth feel.
  • Experts Say: “The Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste is what I recommend as the best drugstore option for patients with braces. It checks off all the boxes with its specialized formula that incorporates stannous fluoride, calcium, and SHMP. My patients appreciate the clean, fresh experience it provides.” – Dr. Priya Dhar, DDS

3. ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash & Toothpaste

  • Key Features: Provides cavity protection with 0.15% sodium fluoride, as well as baking soda and peroxide for whitening effects. Free from dyes, artificial flavours, and unnecessary ingredients. The affordable price point makes it an accessible treatment option. Comes in kid-friendly flavours like bubblegum and watermelon.
  • Experts Say: “The Anticavity toothpaste and mouthwash bundle from ACT is my go-to recommendation for families on a budget. It effectively prevents cavities and demineralization without the high costs of some specially branded toothpaste. I appreciate that it’s available in fun kid flavours to encourage brushing.” – Dr Alicia Chang, DMD

4. Tom’s of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste

  • Key Features: Whitening fluoride toothpaste containing silica for a gentle polishing effect to remove stains. Includes sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) to maximize cleaning power. Natural essential oils give it a refreshing minty taste. Made without artificial sweeteners, dyes, flavours, or preservatives.
  • Experts Say: “I’m always on the lookout for natural toothpaste, and Tom’s of Maine Simply White is my top recommendation for patients with braces. It has the fluoride and cleaning power needed to care for teeth and braces while using high-quality natural ingredients. This gives patients an effective toothpaste without unnecessary chemical additives.” – Dr. Melissa Johnson, DDS

5. Colgate PreviDent 5000 Toothpaste

  • Key Features: Contains a robust 5,000 ppm of fluoride, more than any other OTC toothpaste. Formulated with sodium fluoride and triclosan for strengthening teeth and fighting bacteria. Also includes sodium hexametaphosphate for removing debris. The gentle polishing formula is safe for daily use.
  • Experts Say: “For my high-risk patients who are very prone to cavities and demineralization, I recommend Colgate PreviDent 5000. The extremely high fluoride content strengthens vulnerable teeth around braces and prevents the issues I want to avoid most. It’s ideal for patients who need extra antimicrobial and remineralization power.” – Dr. Mark Burhenne, DDS

Special Considerations for Kids and Teens with Braces

Kids and teens often undergo orthodontic treatment. Their toothpaste needs may differ slightly from adult patients:

  • Mild flavours: Children don’t like strong tastes, so choose a toothpaste with a mild mint or fruit flavour.
  • Fluoride strength: Fluoride requirements vary by age. Consult your dentist on optimal fluoride levels for your child’s braces.
  • Fun packaging: Opt for toothpaste brands marketed toward kids if it helps make brushing more enjoyable. The toothpaste itself is the same, just in appealing packaging.
  • Incentive charts: Use sticker or calendar incentive charts to motivate brushing. Reward consistent brushing to establish a habit.

Proper oral hygiene is critical while wearing braces. Selecting the right toothpaste helps kids and teens keep their teeth and braces clean and prevent issues. Emphasize brushing consistency and set a positive example by brushing together.

Brushing Techniques for Braces

In addition to using specialized toothpaste, proper brushing technique is crucial. Food and plaque can get caught in the tightest spaces around braces. Follow these tips for maximizing cleaning power:

  • Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to gently manoeuvre around braces. Electric toothbrushes are also great for braces. Replace your brush every 3 months.
  • Brush after each meal and before bed to remove food debris and bacteria. Brushing should last for 2-3 minutes each time.
  • Angle bristles at a 45-degree angle towards the gums to sweep away plaque hiding under wires and brackets.
  • Brush the tops and bottoms of the teeth, along the brackets, and where the teeth meet the gums. Use short back-and-forth motions.
  • Take your time and don’t rush. Ensure you reach every area around the braces.
  • Use floss threaders and interdental picks to clean between the teeth and braces. Water flossers are also helpful.
  • Do not neglect to brush the tongue, roof of the mouth, and inner cheek surfaces where bacteria also collect.

With braces, oral hygiene takes patience and persistence. Invest the time required to remove debris that gets trapped thoroughly. Ask your orthodontist for a demonstration if unsure about the proper technique.

Additional Oral Care Tips for Braces

Besides using the right toothpaste and brushing correctly, there are additional steps brace wearers should incorporate into their oral care routine:

  • Swish an antimicrobial mouthwash around braces daily to eliminate bacteria. Look for kinds with cetylpyridinium chloride or essential oils for bacteria-fighting power.
  • Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol between meals to stimulate saliva flow. Xylitol also inhibits cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages which can weaken enamel and promote bacteria growth.
  • Avoid hard, sticky, and crunchy foods that can damage braces like chewing gum, nuts, seeds, hard candy, etc.
  • Visit your dentist every 3-6 months for professional cleanings and oral health check-ups. Be diligent about adjusting wires or brackets.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed for soreness and follow your orthodontist’s recommendations for wax and orthodontic relief products.

Keeping your mouth clean and braces well-maintained takes dedication, but prevents issues like tooth decay, permanent white spots, gum disease, and prolonged treatment time. Developing excellent oral hygiene practices while wearing braces keeps your smile healthy and beautiful.

Conclusion – Find Your Formula for Braces Success

Wearing braces comes with unique oral health considerations. Selecting the ideal toothpaste for your needs and staying diligent with your brushing and cleaning routine is key. Consult our expert guide for choosing a toothpaste with the right mix of ingredients to protect your teeth and braces.

Blend a fluoride-rich toothpaste with proper brushing technique, flossing, and oral care best practices. With the right “formula” of specialized toothpaste plus good cleaning habits, your braces experience will be comfortable, effective, and cavity-free. That winning smile will shine through in no time!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Q) What brand of toothpaste is good for braces?

A) Some top toothpaste brands recommended by dentists for braces include Crest Pro-Health HD, Oral-B Pro-Expert, ACT Anticavity Fluoride, Tom’s of Maine Simply White, and Colgate PreviDent 5000. Look for key ingredients like fluoride, calcium, stannous fluoride, and sodium hexametaphosphate.

Q) Do braces need special toothpaste?

A) Yes, it’s recommended to use a toothpaste specially formulated for braces. These contain ingredients to prevent decalcification and plaque buildup around orthodontic hardware. Standard toothpastes aren’t designed for the unique oral health needs of brace wearers.

Q) Which brush is best for bracing teeth?

A) Small, soft-bristled manual toothbrushes or electric toothbrushes are best for manoeuvring around braces to dislodge plaque. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.

Q) Is Sensodyne good with braces?

A) Yes, Sensodyne can be a good option if you have sensitivity from braces. Just confirm the variety you choose also contains cavity-fighting fluoride. Sensodyne Pronamel specifically helps remineralize enamel.

Q) What toothpaste to avoid with braces?

A) Avoid whitening toothpastes as these can damage enamel. Also, avoid tartar control toothpaste as the pyrophosphates can corrode orthodontic brackets. Check with your orthodontist before using charcoal, baking soda, or peroxide toothpaste.

Q) Is Colgate toothpaste safe for braces?

A) Yes, most Colgate toothpaste like Colgate Optic White and Colgate Total SF are fine to use with braces as they contain fluoride and gentle polishing agents. Just avoid the Colgate Tartar Control varieties.

Q) What is the actual best toothpaste?

A) There is no single “best” toothpaste for everyone. It depends on your specific oral health needs. Talk to your dentist about the right type of toothpaste for your age, fluoride requirements, and whether you have braces, sensitivity, etc.

Q) Can I smile with braces?

A) Yes, you can smile while wearing braces! It may feel awkward at first, but smiling big shows confidence. Brighten someone’s day with your smile. Just be diligent about brushing and flossing to keep your teeth clean.

Q) How do you smile to hide braces?

A) If feeling self-conscious, try smiling without opening your mouth too wide. Practice smiling in the mirror to find what looks best for you. But don’t hide your smile – braces are temporary!

Q) Is Oral B Pro 1000 good for braces?

A) Yes, the Oral-B Pro 1000 is a good electric toothbrush option for braces. The small round brush head allows you to easily manoeuvre around orthodontic hardware. Just be gentle around brackets.

Q) Does brushing teeth speed up braces?

A) No, brushing alone doesn’t speed up progress. However, excellent oral hygiene helps avoid complications that could prolong treatment. Brush and floss thoroughly to support the braces process.

Q) How many times should I brush my teeth for braces?

A) With braces, it’s recommended to brush your teeth after every meal and snack, as well as before bed – typically 3+ times per day. Spend 2-3 minutes gently brushing around all orthodontic hardware.

Q) Is Colgate Optic White safe for braces?

A) Yes, Colgate Optic White is generally safe to use with braces as it contains fluoride and calcium. Just know that hydrogen peroxide may cause temporary sensitivity. Discuss whitening toothpaste with your orthodontist first.

Q) Is Colgate whitening toothpaste good for braces?

A) Colgate makes select whitening toothpaste safe for braces like Optic White Platinum Express White. Avoid types with harsh abrasives. Check with your orthodontist before using any whitening toothpaste.

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