It can already be overwhelming to shop for toothpaste even without braces, since there are so many different brands, styles, and flavors of toothpaste available that claim to address different issues. If you have braces, you might be even more confused about what toothpaste you should be using. It is very important to clean your braces thoroughly twice a day and after meals, and the toothpaste you use can make a difference. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a toothpaste to use with traditional braces. Fluoride Hopefully you already used a toothpaste containing fluoride before getting braces, as this is the most important ingredient to look for in toothpaste regardless of whether or not you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Fluoride is a mineral that keeps your enamel strong and prevents tooth decay, which is important before, during, and after you wear braces. If you find it difficult to clean all the surfaces of your teeth with braces, fluoride is especially beneficial for boosting your oral health. Tartar Control A toothpaste formulated for tartar control is a good choice if you wear braces. Tartar is a hard deposit that results from plaque building up and hardening on your teeth. Tartar contributes to tooth decay and gum disease and is very difficult to remove. It can accumulate around the brackets and wires of braces, so a toothpaste with tartar control is highly beneficial for people with braces. Avoid Whitening Products You should not use toothpastes containing whitening ingredients if you wear braces. Most people who have braces need to wear them for several months at minimum, and often for over a year. If you brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste for this whole period, your teeth might become discolored in the areas where the brackets were after your braces are removed, while the rest of your enamel could be several shades whiter. For recommendations on what toothpaste to use with traditional braces, contact our office today.