Optimal oral hygiene is always a struggle with orthodontic appliances or braces. They braces make it much more difficult to access the areas of the tooth adjacent to the gums. This can result in plaque accumulation which in turn can lead to gingival inflammation and even decalcification or white spots on the teeth.
A recent independent randomized controlled clinical trial has shown that the Braun Oral-B oscillating rotating toothbrush results in significantly greater plaque removal over a manual tooth brush. In the study, the authors compared the efficacy of the oscillating rotating brush versus a manual tooth brush. In addition they compared the efficacy of the electric brush with a conventional brush head and an orthodontic brush head. The results showed that the the oscillating brush results in greater plaque removal than the manual tooth brush and that the orthodontic brush head results in greater plaque removal than the regular head.
I have long felt that brushing technique is more important than the actual toothbrush that a patient uses. That being said, the reality is that many patients are not able to manipulate a manual toothbrush well enough to remove all of the plaque. This is especially the case for young children or disinterested teens (and even the rare adult). Thus, after reviewing this study, I am advocating the use of an electric toothbrush with an oscillating orthodontic head for all patients. This particular brush also had the added benefit of a mechanical feedback mechanism for those that brush too hard. It is a win for any type of brusher!