Best Toothbrush for Braces 2024

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A round-up review of the best toothbrush for braces, as recommended by a dentist.

What is the best toothbrush for braces?

A common question my patients have once they get their braces, is which is the best toothbrush to keep their teeth healthy. It can be a lot more tricky to clean your teeth effectively with braces. You may notice bits of food getting stuck, and your gums looking red, or sore.

The best toothbrush for braces has a small soft head to reach under wires and around brackets, for a thorough clean.

We recommend the Oral-B Smart 5 as the best toothbrush for braces. This electric toothbrush is good value for money. It has an effective cleaning head, a pressure sensor to prevent damage, and can help you improve your technique with a timer and app. 

The best toothbrush for braces

Why trust us? After helping thousands of patients over the last 10 years, we know what works. We tell you what the gimmicks are, so you can maintain your oral health for the best value for money.

We’ve carefully put together a list of brushes, both electric and manual, to help you make an informed decision.

Our Top Picks

OverallOral-B Smart 5

Budget ElectricOral B Pro 3 

Top of the RangeSonicare Diamond Clean 9000

Best ManualCOLGATE Toothbrush Orthodontic Compact Soft

Budget ManualTEPE Orthodontic Brush

Sensitive GumsDoctor Plotka’s Mouth Watchers Antimicrobial Floss Bristle

TravelV-Trim Double-Ended Brush

Best Overall Toothbrush for Braces

Oral-B Smart 5

Oral-B Smart 5 Electric Toothbrush, White, Old

Key features 

🔋Battery life is 2 weeks + 

🚨 Pressure sensor

⏱️ Timer, pacer and app for compliance.

✈️ Travel case + 3 replacement heads

📈 5 brushing modes

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

The Oral B Smart 5 toothbrush oscillates and rotates and has 5 modes: daily clean, sensitive, deep clean, gum care and whitening modes. The mode of action is proven to be very effective at removing dental plaque from around brackets.

Importantly, this brush has a pressure sensor which flashes red if you’re brushing too hard. This is useful to avoid irritation to your gums and helps to prevent dislodging brace wires. It’s important to clean thoroughly but gently, and avoid traumatising your gums. 

A built in timer helps to ensure you’re brushing for the recommended 2 minutes, and a quadrant pacer reminds you move across to the next quarter of your mouth after 30 seconds.

The Oral B Smart 5 features a downloadable app with bluetooth connectivity that you can access with your phone. The app offers a guided brushing experience, which helps to be systematic with your brushing, and ensures full coverage of your mouth.

Another plus, is its long battery life. At 2 weeks, it is longer than the more premium Oral-B iO model, though this is likely due to the added feature on the iO of a digital screen display.

Long battery lifeA little noisy
Thorough clean 
Red pressure sensor light
Excellent value for money

Best Budget Electric Toothbrush for Braces

Oral B Pro 3

Oral-B Pro 3 Electric Toothbrushes For Adults, Gifts For Women / Men, 1 Cross Action Toothbrush Head & Travel Case, 3 Modes with Teeth Whitening, 2 Pin UK Plug, 3500, Black, Oral B

Key Features

🧊 3D movement for enhanced cleaning: oscillates, rotates and pulses

🚨 Pressure sensor

⏱️ Timer

🔋Battery life is 2 weeks + 

📈 2 brushing modes

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

The Oral B Pro 3 with its 3-dimensional cleaning head, offers optimal plaque removal for healthy teeth and clean braces.

At a cheaper price point than the Oral B Smart 5, but with many of the same advanced cleaning features such as the visual pressure sensor and in built timer, I recommend it as the best budget electric toothbrush for braces.

A downside to this toothbrush is that due to the lack of bluetooth connectivity, you’re unable to use the Oral B app with it. The app is particularly useful if you’re new to electric toothbrushes, to help you improve your technique. It’s not essential, and although it generally works well there are some limitations in the real-time brushing feature, where it doesn’t really recognise where in your mouth you’re aiming your toothbrush.

If you’re keen on the app feature, consider the Smart 5 instead. Otherwise, the Oral B Pro 3 is an excellent toothbrush.

Oral B also offer a Vitality range at a lower price point, however I wouldn’t recommend it for brushing with braces because it doesn’t have a pressure sensor; in my opinion an essential feature for protecting the gums as well as the braces. 

Cheaper than Oral-B Smart 5 No app for guided cleaning
Timer and pacer
Has a pressure sensor
3D oscillating rotating clean

Top of the Range Toothbrush for Braces

Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000 Black Electric Toothbrush, 4 Modes, 3 Intensities, Gum Pressure Sensor, App, Connected Handle, UK 2-Pin Bathroom Plug, Packaging May Vary

Key features

🪶 Sonic motion is gentle

🪥 Sleek design

🚨Pressure sensor vibration 

📈 4 modes, and 3 brushing intensities

📱 App connectivity

📳 Brush head replacement reminder

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

The Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 head is packed with loads of useful features, and I would definitely recommend it as an excellect toothbrush for braces, if your budget allows.

Sonic technology provides more of a massaging brushing experience, compared to the Oral B range of brushes, and it effectively removes plaque by pulsing liquid at the gum margins.

The intensity of brushing can be changed at the push of a button, for a personalised experience. You can use a higher intensity for cleaning the brackets and wires, switch down to the lower intensity for your teeth, and then an even gentler setting for the gums.

It has a built in timer, and a pacer which signals 6 times, every 20 seconds to focus your cleaning in each sextant of your mouth.

The toothbrush head is slightly larger than Oral B brushes. so care needs to be taken to get around difficult areas, but it is also lighter and quieter to use.

Good quality travel case, with a built-in USB charger that can replenish the battery while the brush is still in the case.

Slim for easy handling Expensive
Charging is easy when travelling Large head
Multiple cleaning modes, and intensity levels for bespoke cleaning No light for pressure sensor,

Best Manual Toothbrush for Braces

Colgate Toothbrush Orthodontic Compact Soft

COLGATE Toothbrush Orthodontic Compact Soft

Key features

🪥 V-Trim bristles designed for orthodontics

🪥 Soft 

🪥 Ergonomic and slimline design

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

With a manual toothbrush, consider the shape and firmness of the bristles. The Colgate Orthodontic brush head has been specifically designed with braces and brackets in mind. 

The outer layer of bristles are soft and V-shaped for gentle cleaning of the gum margin and the surface of your teeth. The inner bristles are shorter and firmer, and this is designed to cleaning the brackets and around the thin wires of your brace. Thorough cleaning of the brackets is very important, to reduce the chances of enamel demineralisation.

A good technique is needed with a manual toothbrush, as it’s less forgiving than an electric toothbrush.

Cheaper than electricTechnique sensitive
Doesn’t need chargingCheaper manual alternatives are available.

Best Budget Manual Toothbrush for Braces

TEPE Orthodontic Brush

TEPE Implant/Orthodontic Brush / For Cleaning Near Implants And Orthodontic Wires / 1 X Implant And Orthodontic Brush

Key Features

2️⃣ Just two rows of bristles

🔹 Narrow head

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

The TEPE orthodontic toothbrush has an especially narrow head with only two rows of bristles. This is advantageous for reaching above and below orthodontic brackets and wires. Tepe is a well known brand specialising in interdental brushes, but this toothbrush has a similar build quality.

Easy to use, cheap and simple, but may need replacing sooner than 3 months.

The toothbrush bristles are soft to minimise irritation to gums or damage to braces, but some may prefer a firmer option.

Pros Cons
CheapNo timer or assistance
PreciseTechnique sensitive
DurableWon’t do a good job if you rush

Best Toothbrush for Sensitive Gums

Dr Plotka’s Extra Soft Flossing Toothbrush

MOUTHWATCHERS Doctor Plotka's Mouthwatchers Antimicrobial Floss Bristle Silver Toothbrush, Adult, Orange

Key features

🪶 Soft head

〰️ Thin multilayer bristles

🥈Silver infused for cleaner bristles

4️⃣ Lasts 4 months instead of 3

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

If you have noticed sore gums since you started wearing a brace, Dr Plotka’s Extra Soft Flossing Toothbrush could be a good option for you. The soreness could be caused by using a toothbrush with hard bristles.

This tootbrush brush is super soft, and gentle on your gums. 

It has bristles of ‘flossing’ bristles which are 1 micron thick, to get into hard to reach places between teeth. 

You will have to get your angles, pressures and positions right.

An online video tutorial may help with this.

Quality soft bristles – gentle on gums Need an excellent brushing technique
Antibacterial (Silver infused)Won’t remove staining well 
Lasts longer

Best for Travel Toothbrush for Braces

V-Trim Double-Ended Brush with Interproximal Head 

Orthodontic Toothbrush x 1 V-Trim Double-Ended Brush with Interproximal Head for Cleaning Ortho Braces (Purple)

Key Features

⚒️ 2-in-1 

🪥 Brush and Interdental

Why our dentists recommend this toothbrush for braces:

We often think of travel cases for taking your toothbrush on the go, but we also came across this innovative manual solution that we really liked.

This orthodontic toothbrush is double sided, with a brush on one side, and an interdental aid on the other. This is ideal for ensuring you keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible.

Removing food debris that gets trapped around your brace wire, is difficult to remove with brushing alone. Interdental brushes are an excellent tool for reaching between your teeth, and behind the brace wire. This double sided toothbrush, removes the need to remember to pack interdental brushes separately.

V-trim has a dual brush solution to remind you to clean between your teeth after brushing for healthy teeth and gums.

Never forget your interdental brushID brush is only one size
May get through some gaps but not others
Standard medium brush on the other end

Other Essentials for Braces

Fluoride Mouthwash – Colgate Fluorigard Daily Rinse (Alcohol Free)

Colgate Fluorigard Daily Rinse Mouthwash 400ml

Why do I need this?

After a brace bond up, I always include a bottle of Colgate Fluorigard in my patient’s take home pack.

A fluoride mouth rinse used daily, at a different time to brushing, is an important addition to your oral health regime.

It helps to reduce risk of demineralisation and decay forming at the margin of brackets, and keeps your mouth feeling fresh. 

Interdental Brush Set – TePe Angle Interdental Brushes Mixed Pack

TePe Angle Interdental Brushes Mixed Pack - Samples of Every Size, easy and simple interspace cleaning with long handle and angled neck, 1 x 6 brushes

Why do I need this?

This mixed pack comes with all the different sizes you need to try when you first get your brace.

The long handles make the brushes much easier to use.

Once you know what your favourite sizes are (by colour) you can just buy a couple of packs of the specific sizes you like. 

This pack takes the stress out of cleaning between teeth when you’re starting out. 

Quick overview: Electric vs Manual

Electric Toothbrush
✅ Better clean❌ Expensive
✅ Can help enforce good habits❌ Needs Charging
✅ Sensors help protect teeth, gums and brace
Manual Toothbrush
✅ No charging❌ Can damage gums and braces if used incorrectly
✅ Always ready ❌ Technique sensitive
✅ Cheaper❌ Not as thorough clean

Our Dentists’ Guide to Buying the Best Toothbrush for Braces

Wearing a brace is often a 2 year investment in getting your teeth straightened for a perfect smile. Though well worth the effort, it isn’t always easy. There is a need for a long term commitment to maintaining an excellent oral hygiene regime when you have your braces on. I recommend brushing 3 times daily with an electric toothbrush, and using interdental aids and a fluoride mouthwash regularly. The cleaner you keep your teeth and braces, the less chance you have of developing issues such as permanent brown marks, and tooth decay. 

Diet is also an important consideration. Avoid hard, chewy and sticky foods that can damage the brace and be difficult to clean. Sugary fizzy drinks should be kept to a minimum and drunk only with a straw well back in the mouth, to avoid the risk of enamel demineralisation.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t looking after your teeth and braces well enough, there are a number of oral health problems you may encounter.

Potential Dental Problems

Unfortunately, if you aren’t looking after your teeth and braces well enough, there are a number of oral health problems you may encounter.


With brackets and wires of braces covering a large portion of your teeth surface, brushing effectively can be much more difficult.

With a high sugar diet, and a poor cleaning technique, you are at a high risk of developing enamel demineralisation. This presents as unsightly yellow/brown marks on your teeth around the bracket margins, noticed when your braces are removed.

If teeth are not cleaned efficiently and regularly, bacteria in plaque produces an acid which causes the enamel to wear away. This leads to white spots on teeth or brown marks on your teeth, which cannot be easily reversed.

The toothbrush you choose should be able to clean around brackets effectively. A small round oscillating head can do this.

Tooth Decay

Wearing braces can create many crevices where food can easily get trapped. If left unremoved, particularly when eating sweet or sticky foods, this can lead to tooth decay and cavities. The last thing you want after multiple visits to the dentist for orthodontic treatment is to need fillings once your braces are finally removed and your X-rays taken.

To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to clean your teeth thoroughly and regularly. A toothbrush with a floss action head can help you reach the little tight areas between your teeth, where food tends to get stuck. Additionally, using a single tufted manual brush or an interdental brush along with your regular toothbrush can help reduce the chance of food getting trapped in those hard-to-reach spots.

Bleeding gums

Wearing braces can pose a significant challenge to gum health, especially if you have small teeth mostly covered by brackets. The presence of plaque around the brackets can easily irritate the gums, causing them to turn red, swell, and bleed. This condition is known as gingivitis.

If left uncontrolled, gingivitis can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to manage. While your teeth may look straight and attractive once the braces are removed, red and swollen gums can spoil the result.

To keep your gums healthy, it’s crucial to use a toothbrush that can gently but effectively clean at the gum margin. This will help remove plaque and prevent the onset of gingivitis. Regular flossing and using an antiseptic mouthwash can also be beneficial. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or orthodontist for additional tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment.


Gums are a sensitive soft tissue. You need to clean them well , but not too vigorously. If the bristles of your toothbrush are too hard, this can lead to the gums becoming traumatised, sore and painful.

Over-brushing and traumatising gums in the long term can lead to unsightly gum recession and sensitivity to cold air.

Soft bristles used effectively will negate this effect. You need to use a toothbrush with a pressure sensor which highlights to you when you are brushing too hard.

Damage to the brace and brackets

If you brush too hard it can dislodge wires or knock off a bracket. This will mean another trip to the dentist to get it reattached.

The rubber bands attaching the wire to the brackets can also break. Brushing gently but effectively is the key to preventing this. A spinning or sonic electric toothbrush can help with this.

The features that actually matter for healthy teeth

When it comes to selecting a toothbrush for braces, the cost can vary depending on the features you need. It’s essential to consider your requirements carefully before making a purchase.

One crucial factor to consider is durability. You’ll need a toothbrush that can outlast your braces, which typically takes around two years to complete. Fortunately, most toothbrushes come with a two-year warranty to provide you with peace of mind.

Aside from durability, other features to consider when selecting a toothbrush for braces include a compact brush head, soft bristles, and a comfortable grip. A compact brush head can help you reach tight spots between the brackets and wires, while soft bristles can prevent damage to the braces or gums. A comfortable grip can make brushing more comfortable and easier to control.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose a toothbrush that helps you to maintain good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment.

Best toothbrush for braces

Head size

Braces take up a significant amount of space on the teeth, leaving a small area between the braces and the gums. As a result, it’s essential to use a toothbrush with a smaller brush head to clean effectively in this area.

A smaller brush head can help you reach tight spaces around the brackets and wires, removing plaque and debris that can cause gum irritation and tooth decay.


Brushing your teeth for an adequate amount of time is crucial for maintaining good oral hygiene. However, our perception of time can be notoriously bad, especially when performing a routine and potentially boring task like brushing your teeth.

To ensure that you brush for an appropriate amount of time, it can be helpful to use a timer. A timer that beeps or vibrates after two minutes can let you know if you’ve brushed long enough. This way, you won’t have to rely on your own perception of time and can be sure that you’re brushing for the recommended duration.

Using a timer can also help you develop a consistent brushing routine, which is important for achieving optimal oral health. Toothbrushes with built-in timers or smartphone app help to keep track of your brushing time.

Pressure sensor 

When brushing with braces, it’s important to be gentle to avoid damaging the brackets and wires or traumatizing your gums. Applying too much force can cause brackets to come off, wires to shift out of place, or even damage the enamel on your teeth.

To help prevent this, it’s recommended to use an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor. These toothbrushes have a light that indicates when you’re applying too much pressure, which can help you adjust your technique accordingly. By using an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor, you can avoid damaging your braces and reduce the need for additional visits to the dentist.

Battery life  

Running out of battery in the middle of using your electric toothbrush can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have time to recharge it before your next brushing session. In such cases, you might be tempted to use a manual toothbrush or to use your electric toothbrush manually, but this can lead to issues with your gums.

To avoid this problem, it’s recommended to choose an electric toothbrush with a long battery life. Some electric toothbrushes can last for up to two weeks on a single charge, which can help you maintain a regular brushing routine without interruptions.

Travel case 

When you have braces, you’ll need to take your toothbrush with you when you’re away from home, whether you’re going to school, work, or traveling. It’s important to have a toothbrush case that can protect your toothbrush from damage during transit.

Look for a toothbrush case that is strong and sturdy, made from durable materials that can withstand bumps and scratches. Some cases even have shock-absorbing features to protect your toothbrush from impact.

In addition to providing protection, some toothbrush cases also come with charging ports that allow you to charge your toothbrush while it’s in the case. This can be especially convenient if you’re traveling and don’t have access to a power outlet.


Some electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that vibrates every 20-30 seconds to remind you to move on to the next area of your mouth. This can be especially helpful when you’re wearing braces, as it can be more difficult to reach all areas of your teeth and gums with a manual toothbrush.

By using an electric toothbrush with a timer, you can ensure that you’re spending an equal amount of time brushing each section of your mouth. This can help you maintain good oral hygiene and prevent issues such as gum disease and tooth decay.

When using an electric toothbrush with a timer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for brushing. Typically, this involves dividing your mouth into four sections (upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right) and spending 30 seconds brushing each section. After two minutes, the toothbrush will typically beep or vibrate to indicate that your brushing session is complete.


In the age of technology, some electric toothbrushes are now app-connected, which can help you see exactly where you’re brushing and train you to perfect your technique. This can be especially helpful for teenagers who are learning good oral hygiene habits.

With an app-connected toothbrush, you can download a smartphone app that syncs with your toothbrush via Bluetooth. The app can track your brushing habits and provide real-time feedback on your technique.


When choosing a toothbrush, it’s important to find the right balance between the hardness of the bristles. A brush that is too soft may not clean effectively, while a brush that is too hard can traumatize the gums and cause damage to the teeth.

A medium-bristled brush is a good balance between being effective at removing plaque and being gentle on your teeth and gums. However, it’s important to choose a brush that is comfortable for you to use. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, you may prefer a softer-bristled brush, while those with stronger teeth and gums may find a firmer brush more effective.

When in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and choose a softer-bristled brush. You can always switch to a firmer brush later if you find that a softer brush is not cleaning your teeth effectively.


One of the most common obstacles people face when using an electric toothbrush is losing the charger. It can be frustrating to have to search for a specific charger that only works with your toothbrush, especially if you’re traveling or away from home.

Fortunately, there are now electric toothbrushes available that can be charged with the same charger as your phone or any USB plug. This makes it much more convenient to keep your toothbrush charged and ensures that you can maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, even when you’re on the go.

By choosing an electric toothbrush with a universal charging feature, you can eliminate one of the biggest barriers to maintaining good oral hygiene. So why not make things easier for yourself and opt for a toothbrush that charges with a USB or phone charger?

Cleaning Modes

When it comes to choosing an electric toothbrush for use with braces, you might be tempted to go for a model with all the latest bells and whistles, including multiple brushing modes. However, it’s important to remember that some of these extra features may not be relevant or necessary when it comes to cleaning your teeth with braces.

For example, some toothbrushes have modes that tweak the motor to run faster or pulsate more often, but these features may not provide any additional benefits when it comes to cleaning teeth with braces. In fact, they may even be distracting or inconvenient.

So, if you’re looking to save money and simplify your oral hygiene routine, you may want to skip over any extra modes that are not specifically designed for use with braces. Instead, focus on choosing an electric toothbrush that is effective, easy to use, and has a comfortable grip and brush head size that makes it easy to clean around your braces.

How to brush with braces (top tips) 

Plaque and food gathers around teeth and braces throughout the day. A good cleaning regime will help prevent the dental issues outlines above.

Ideal Cleaning regime

Step 1. Remove any detachable bands from your braces

Step 2. Use an interdental aid, such as small brushes or Superfloss to remove debris between teeth and behind the brace wire.

Step 3. Use an electric toothbrush for at least two minutes, spending 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth (upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left). Focus the toothbrush bristles to make sure your are cleaning above and below each bracket, and at the margin of your gums. You should brush 3 times daily when you have braces

Step 4. Fluoride Mouthwash, at least 20 mins after or at a different time to brushing, to prevent enamel demineralisation.

Top Tip

You can use a disclosing tablet to stain the plaque on your teeth. This shows you exactly plaque accumulates by highlighting high risk areas.


Manual vs Electric for braces; what do dentists recommend?

I would recommend using an electric toothbrush to effectively clean all wires, brackets, teeth and gums.

Is it safe to use an electric toothbrush when you have braces?

Some electric toothbrushes offer an intense clean, so use carefully, but they are generally safe to use. 

How often do you brush with braces?

Brush at least 3 times a day, ideally after every meal to prevent issues and get the best results once your braces are off.

How often do you replace heads on an electric toothbrush?

Replace heads every 3 months, for hygiene purposes or more often if they become frayed.

How do I clean a removable brace?

In some cases you may have to wear a removable brace for a portion of your brace treatment. This should be cleaned regularly with a soft toothbrush and soap, and rinsed thoroughly under warm (but not hot!) running water. Do not use toothpaste to clean a removable brace. Retainers and clear aligners such as Invisalign should be cleaned in the same way. I would also recommend weekly soak of removable braces in a cleaning solution, such as Retainer Brite.

Our Verdict

Cleaning your teeth when you have braces can be difficult. Without an effective toothbrush and good technique, you can end up with dental problems.

Its’ small oscillating head, pressure sensor and training app make the Oral-B Smart 5 the best value electric toothbrush. It will help you keep your mouth perfectly clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces. 

Picture of Dr Jarri Amini

Dr Jarri Amini

BDS (Honours) London 2012. Jarri has worked as a General Dentist in West Yorkshire for over 10 years. He firmly believes that educating patients about their oral health is one of the most impactful aspects of his job. He has worked on the NHS and in Private Practice.

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