You just got braces and you can’t wait to see your new smile when your treatment is complete – but for now, you’re taking orthodontic treatment one step at a time. You have a braces care kit prepared with floss, orthodontic wax, toothpaste and a toothbrush. But what about mouthwash?

Can you even use mouthwash with braces? Yes you can and should! Mouthwash will not damage your braces. Your braces are made of high-quality, high-grade stainless steel materials that won’t rust or corrode. 

Using mouthwash daily with braces is essential for cleaning out your teeth, cleaning your brackets and wires, eliminating plaque and bacteria, preventing gum disease and cavities, and freshening breath.

So it’s settled; mouthwash is great – but is every mouthwash great? With so many mouthwash options out there, how do you know which is the most effective? Which mouthwash is best for braces?

Let’s dive into mouthwash and braces:

What is the best mouthwash for braces?

It’s best to use an antibacterial, alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash with or without braces. 

Though alcohol is used in a number of popular mouth rinses, it can actually do more harm than good. Have you experienced that near unbearable burning sensation when gargling mouthwash? That’s the alcohol! Alcohol is extremely drying/dehydrating and rather harsh on the skin and gums. It’s infamous for worsening common oral conditions, like gingivitis. 

  • It’s best to avoid alcohol mouthwash.Fluoride, on the other hand, is beneficial for your teeth and gum health.

Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent cavities and reverse early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) by strengthening the protective tooth enamel. When you strengthen the enamel, you give your teeth the best chance at protecting themselves against harmful bacteria and plaque. 

  • Fluoride is essential for strengthening your teeth.

So now we know to avoid alcohol and look for fluoride and antibacterial properties. Let’s explore a few of the best mouthwashes for braces:

  1. Ortho Defense Anticavity Fluoride Rinse. First up is Colgate Ortho Defense Anticavity Fluoride Rinse. This mouthwash is specially formulated for people undergoing orthodontic treatment, and it checks our criteria boxes: alcohol-free and includes fluoride.Ortho Defense mouthwash is approved by the American Dental Association, helps to remove white spots from the teeth, and strengthens enamel to help prevent cavities. It’s easily one of the best braces mouthwashes available!
  2. ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash. ACT Anticavity Fluoride Mouthwash is another highly-effective mouthwash for patients with braces. It includes 0.05% sodium fluoride, which is the max amount of fluoride available in mouthwash form.This braces mouthwash option is alcohol-free, approved by the ADA, and uses fluoride. ACT Anticavity wash supports the teeth in re-mineralizing the softer spots on the teeth that are more susceptible to damage.
  3. Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash, Multi-Protection. Crest Pro-Health Advanced Mouthwash Alcohol Free Multi-Protection also checks all of our criteria boxes. This specialized mouthwash helps to prevent cavities, kills bad breath germs, strengthens the enamel, includes fluoride and is alcohol-free.

With a multi-protection formula that kills 99.9% of germs, this mouthwash leaves you with stronger teeth and fresh breath. 

Do you need special mouthwash with braces?

You don’t need a special mouthwash with braces, but it doesn’t hurt to choose mouthwash that was specially formulated for smiles with braces.

While wearing braces, it’s best to avoid mouthwashes that have whitening agents in them. Whitening your teeth with braces on can leave discolored spots on your teeth when your braces are removed. Wait until your treatment is over to whiten your teeth without any brackets or wires in the way.

As long as your mouthwash has fluoride, is alcohol-free and is anti-bacterial, it’s a great option!

Still have questions about mouthwash with braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’ll also tell you everything you need to know when you visit us for your complimentary consultation. Our experienced orthodontists, Dr. Saxe and Dr. Drowley, are here for you and your family every step of the way. If you’re ready to get started, request your complimentary consultation with us today.