We often talk about the importance of great oral hygiene, especially during braces treatment or treatment with clear aligners. We talk about why it’s so important to brush your teeth regularly, especially during treatment. You know how to brush and floss your teeth correctly, but do you know if you’re using the right tools for the job? You may think that it doesn’t matter what toothbrush or toothpaste you use, but choosing the right toothpaste is important. The wrong toothpaste could mean less protection for your teeth or could even cause discoloration later. 

Larson Orthodontics will guide you through your treatment with braces or clear braces, which includes recommending the best methods and tools to maintain great oral hygiene. Keeping your teeth clean and strong is vital during treatment because treating cavities or gum disease could delay your treatment time. One of the most important tools is the right toothpaste. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to get the best toothpaste to use during your treatment. 

Best Toothpaste for Braces

What is the best toothpaste for someone with braces? The first thing to look for is an easy one. You need a good fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride works with saliva to strengthen your enamel, the hard shell protecting your living tooth. Fluoride helps protect your teeth from tooth decay caused by bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. 

The good news is most toothpastes nowadays have fluoride in them, so it’s easy to find fluoride toothpaste. The tough part after that is sorting out the right toothpaste from all the other options available. 

Can You Use Whitening Toothpaste With Braces?

Many people use whitening toothpaste to brighten their smiles. Over the years, your food and drink consumption can discolor your teeth, particularly if you consume a lot of dark-colored foods and dark drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas. There are loads of whitening products on the market nowadays to lessen or remove stains, including several toothpastes. 

Patients have asked, “can I use whitening toothpaste with braces?” They want to know what whitening toothpaste is best with braces. The answer is simple: None of them. 

You shouldn’t use whitening toothpaste with your braces. Why? Discoloration! The whitening toothpaste won’t reach behind the bracket bonded to your tooth. That means that after a year or two of braces, you’ll end up with lovely white teeth with not-so-white squares in the center when the brackets come off. That’s why we discourage our patients from using any whitening products while they’re in braces. 

Whitening toothpaste can be used if you are undergoing treatment with our Spark or Invisalign clear aligners. Since they must be removed to brush and floss your teeth, they won’t leave any discoloration when you use your whitening toothpaste.

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Can I Use Charcoal Toothpaste With Braces?

Some patients use charcoal toothpaste, which is believed to have whitening properties. But should you use charcoal toothpaste with braces? Definitely not. As with other whitening toothpastes, charcoal toothpaste can change the color of your teeth around the brackets while leaving the tooth color the same under the bracket. That means you will have discolored spots on your teeth once the brackets are removed. So don’t use charcoal toothpaste with braces. 

We need to offer a word of caution when it comes to charcoal toothpaste. This type of toothpaste contains abrasives that essentially buff off stains, but using it too often — especially daily — can damage your enamel and make your teeth sensitive. It can also make your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay. In addition, charcoal toothpaste does not contain fluoride, so you will be missing out on getting that extra protection regular toothpaste provides. 

If you must use charcoal toothpaste, use it very sparingly and not with braces.

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What Toothpaste Is Best With Braces? 

We’ve established that whitening and charcoal toothpaste aren’t ideal with braces. With all the options out there, which toothpaste is best for braces? Sensitive toothpaste, extra minty toothpaste, regular toothpaste, basically, they’re all acceptable to use with braces. The only thing you need to have is the fluoride. As long as that ingredient is in there, the rest is up to you as far as brand or special features, like breath freshening or tooth sensitivity improvement. 

Braces Treatment in Alexandria, VA

Larson Orthodontics is about more than “just” a smile. We provide encouragement and support throughout your treatment so that you are ready to show off your new smile with confidence! We know a great smile can transform your self-esteem, and we do all we can to make you proud of your treatment progress. If you’re in the Alexandria, VA, area, you can start your treatment journey by scheduling a consultation with us. Let us show you the tools to successfully create the smile you’ve always dreamed of having!

Never Just A Smile

Learn why we never say “just” at Larson Orthodontics

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