What Brushing with a Hard Toothbrush Can Do to Your Gums
Posted on 4/10/2020 by Janie Scholes
With so many options available, choosing a toothbrush can be an overwhelming experience. They come straight or angled, in multiple flavors and forms, and soft, medium, or hard-bristled. For many options, personal preference is the only factor that makes one toothbrush stand out from the others. When it comes to bristles, however, it's important to base your choice on the recommendations of dental professionals. For the vast majority of patients, we will recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and gums.
Won't Hard Bristles Clean My Teeth Better?
Although some patients prefer how their mouth feels extra clean after brushing with a hard toothbrush, the extra abrasion is not necessary and can harm your teeth and gums (gingiva). It's important that you clean the area around the base of your teeth thoroughly when you brush, but soft bristles provide a more appropriate amount of abrasion if your brushing technique is up to par. A gentle, circular motion around the gumline with a soft toothbrush is sufficient to remove plaque and bacteria, and soft bristles are much more effective for hard-to-reach areas, such as your rear molars or wisdom teeth.
How Can Hard Bristles Harm My Gums?
In addition to wearing down the enamel of your teeth, especially at the gumline, bristles that are too firm can damage gum tissue, causing sores that could lead to infections and gum disease (periodontitis). These can lead to bad breath, pain, and periodontal treatment. Consider the difference between cleaning your skin with a pumice stone instead of a soft washcloth that still makes you feel clean. Your mouth is at least as sensitive as your skin, so it's important to use gentle oral care products.
Although it's impossible to get your teeth clean, using a hard toothbrush in the hopes of cleaning your mouth better can result in damage that can lead to expensive dental procedures. If you have questions or concerns about your oral care routine and what products are the most effective at preventing gum damage and disease, contact our office for more information.