Should I Use Soft or Hard Toothbrushes?

August 16, 2017 3:00 pm | Published by
pair of manual soft and hard toothbrushes sitting on counter

In the toothbrush aisle, there are so many choices these days, from electric toothbrushes to hard and soft-bristled brushes. It’s no wonder you may be confused about which brush is right for you. We’ve broken down the things to consider when you’re choosing a bristle type to make this process a little easier.

What Are the Different Bristle Types?

In toothbrushes, you can choose between extra soft, soft, medium, and firm-bristled (hard) toothbrushes. However, you may notice that the firm-bristled toothbrushes are not as widely available as their soft and medium-bristled counterparts. The type of bristle you should use depends on your specific needs and the oral health issues you have at the time.

Generally, dental professionals agree that soft bristles are the best choice for most situations; hard or medium bristles are a bit too harsh. If you are suffering from sensitive teeth or weakened enamel, you may even do additional damage to this problem. If you’re dealing with either of these issues, we may recommend you even go for an extra-soft bristled brush to protect your teeth.

When Do You Need Hard Bristles?

It may seem counterintuitive, but the harder you brush your teeth, the more damage you can do. If you’re brushing hard and using a hard-bristled brush, you may even do irreversible damage to your precious enamel. How often you brush, the pressure you apply, and the hardness of your brush’s bristles all affect your teeth and gums. In fact, some studies looking into “traumatic tooth brushing” have found that brushing too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush could lead to the development of gum recession or even lesions (ouch!) on your gums. The wear and tear on your gums can be worsened with a too-hard bristled brush.

Which Bristle is Right for You?

We can determine your needs in your next appointment. Let us know you’re looking for a toothbrush (or even toothpaste!) recommendation, and we will go over your oral health history and current treatment plan and will advise you on the bristle that’s best for you. Call us today to schedule your appointment!


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