A fantastic dentist once told me that one should never use a toothbrush with hard or medium bristles, as it erodes the enamel on one’s teeth and can also lead to sensitive teeth (not a nice problem to end up with, believe me as I know all about it!). I did some research and found out that this is actually very true.
Here are the facts that I wanted to share with you, to save you from falling into the trap that so many people do with regards hard bristled toothbrushes:
Caitlin Batchelor Dentistry explains it perfectly at https://www.batchelor-dentistry.com/blog/why-switch-soft-toothbrush. Here’s an excerpt:
Yes, hard bristles are great at removing plaque and stain, but they also wear down something you don’t want to lose — your tooth enamel. Enamel is the pearly, hard white part of the tooth that covers the inner, softer layers. Enamel is there to protect your teeth from harmful bacteria, so you’re not doing yourself any favors by scrubbing away at it with too-hard bristles. Wear away too much enamel and you might start experiencing uncomfortable symptoms like tooth sensitivity, yellowness, and rough uneven edges on your teeth as the inner layers become exposed.
By brushing thoroughly but gently with a soft bristled brush, you can get rid of bad bacteria but keep your teeth’s natural layer of protection.
They Protect Your Gums
Enamel isn’t the only part of your mouth you have to worry about. Hard bristles can also damage your gums and eventually cause them to recede. You really don’t want receding gums. When gums recede and the root surface of the tooth is exposed, you may experience sensitivity and you’re at greater risk for developing cavities in these areas – both because the root does not have a protective enamel layer. If gum recession gets bad enough, the bone supporting your teeth can be seriously damaged and slowly lost over time, and if recession gets really bad you may actually risk losing your teeth.
Still not ready to throw away your hard or medium-bristle brush?
Soft Toothbrushes Can Clean Just as Well
Believe it or not, a good soft toothbrush can get your teeth just as clean as toothbrushes with harder bristles. Even Oral-B, who makes both kinds, says so. If you have plaque on your teeth that a soft bristle brush can’t remove, chances are that harder bristles won’t be able to clean it off, either. Dentists can get rid of that nasty stuff safely with a thorough cleaning.
If you’re worried you won’t get your teeth as clean with a soft toothbrush, it may be time to focus on your brushing technique. To clean teeth and gums most effectively, angle your toothbrush bristles toward the gum line, and use gentle, circular, massaging strokes to remove plaque. Gentle pressure is all that’s needed to remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles – it’s more about the amount of time spent brushing each area of the mouth than it is about the pressure used to brush. Heavy brushing pressure can result in many of the same problems as using a medium or hard bristle toothbrush.
Even though dentists and toothbrush manufacturers have recommended soft toothbrushes for years, almost half of toothbrushes that Americans buy have medium or hard bristles.
Most people just don’t know why soft toothbrushes are better. You can help me spread the word by sharing this article!
For some unknown reason, in South Africa, soft toothbrushes are very difficult to find. If one peruses the toiletry area in a shop, one will see that there are many different makes of hard and medium toothbrushes, but very few soft ones.
I have found one that I really like, but was very surprised at first at the quality of it. It is a Clicks Tooth, Tongue and Gum soft toothbrush. I usually do not buy shop’s own brands of products, because I find that the quality is inferior and there is usually something wrong with it; they seem to cut corners most of the time. I could not find another soft toothbrush though, and so I bought this one, thinking that I will buy a different one when I eventually find it. It was not expensive and looked very interesting, so I thought it could be an interim brush. I was thrilled when after using it for the first time I found that it was fantastic! On the back of the box it says:
- The brush head features a specially designed bristle, to provide effective cleaning of the tooth surface and reaches deep around the molars to maintain oral health.
- The soft, outer gum massager bristles help stimulate gums, promoting healthy gum tissue.
- The tongue cleaner helps to remove bacteria on the tongue and cheeks for fresher breath.
My mouth felt really clean! Yes, not only my teeth but my entire mouth too: cheeks and tongue. I could not believe how good my teeth felt after using a toothbrush that was not Aquafresh or Colgate…
The good thing about Clicks is that they have a Clicks Promise whereby if you are not entirely satisfied with their product then you can return it for a full refund. But I will not be returning this product of theirs, and I would like all of you to know what a great toothbrush it is. I highly recommend it.
Try it out and let me know what you think.