“You can’t overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene — not only for dental health, but for your overall wellbeing. In fact, gum disease is a major risk factor for the development of serious health conditions, including heart disease, and diabetes. From the time we’re young, we’re taught that using a toothbrush regularly is one of the best ways to keep our teeth and gums healthy. But which toothbrush is best? In the late 1930s, when toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first invented, consumers choosing a toothbrush didn’t have many options. Now, the story’s completely different. Most stores that sell oral hygiene products now have an extensive collection of different types of toothbrushes on their shelves, including manual (disposable) and powered (electric) varieties” (WebMD). Your local dental experts at Comfort Care Family Dental are here to help you find the toothbrush hardness that is just right for you and your dental care needs!
Even though there are many different options easily available when it comes to how hard or soft your toothbrush bristles are these days, dentists mostly recommend toothbrushes that are on the softer side. As a matter of fact, many local dentists in the Naperville area, including our experts at Comfort Care Family Dental, recommend soft or extra soft bristles for almost every single patient we see. A soft-bristled toothbrush will do the job it is supposed to do without the risk or negative side effects. They will clean food particles away from your teeth and gums without causing irritation or injury to your teeth and gums in the process. This applies to manual as well as electric brushes as the basic pressure applies by both will be plenty to clean your teeth with softer bristles. The motor of an electric toothbrush helps fine bristles clean more thoroughly but manual brushing can also be successful with a soft toothbrush. Working with your local dental experts can make the process easier for you in the short-term as well as the long-term!
How do hard bristles affect dental health?
Some people use hard bristle brushes because they feel like they can get away with shorter brushing times or they believe that they are removing more plaque and food from their teeth and gums. However, there have been many different and separate clinical trials done that have highlighted many potential adverse effects of using a hard-bristled toothbrush. These can be both immediately seen such as bleeding gums or built up over time after months and years of abuse from hard bristle brushes. This is why many local dental experts recommend staying away from toothbrushes that have overly hard or stiff bristles.
“Tooth abrasion is one such adverse effect that leads to an irreversible loss of tooth structure. Studies indicate that using toothpaste with highly abrasive agents in combination with hard bristled toothbrushes accelerates the process of tooth loss. Other predisposing factors include the intensity and frequency of tooth brushing. A study conducted on 159 persons over one year showed that bristle hardness is a major predisposing factors for gingival recession (receding gums) that causes permanent damage. Research conducted over the past decade on the usage hard bristled toothbrush clearly indicates that the risks outweigh the benefits of using a hard bristled toothbrush” (News-Medical).
It is important to weigh the pros and cons and for many people, if they are honest with themselves, will see that saving a few minutes in rushing time each day is not worth the tradeoff that using hard bristle brushes can bring. If you have any concerns about the brush you are currently using and if it is too hard nor your teeth and gums, it is important to talk to your dentist and your local dental experts right away. Your Naperville dental team can help you make the right choice!
How can toothbrush design affect contamination risk?
Bristles of a toothbrush are designed to help remove food and other harmful particles from your teeth and gums. However, this is also what can cause them to easily host of various microbes both good and bad. These microorganisms can further cause various diseases, especially in hospital settings where the toothbrush is commonly used by nurses for oral care. The hardness of the bristles themselves can play a role in how easily these microbes can become trapped, how fast they will multiply, how easy they can spread, and how difficult it can be to clean the bristles properly.
Pathogens, once entrapped in bristles, can cause infections in the teeth and gums and cause existing dental concerns to worsen. Cavities can get bigger, gum disease can advance more rapidly, and other damage and wear and tear can be made worse by the introduction of these bacterial pathogens. It was demonstrated in recent studies that the design of the toothbrush is one factor that can contribute to microbial growth. Studies have also shown that toothbrushes with compacted tightly arranged bristles often seen much more bacterial growth than brushes with looser and more open bristle heads.
Other factors for choosing the right toothbrush
There are several other points that your local dental experts at Comfort Care Family Dental wanted to share with you to help you find the toothbrush that is right for you and your unique dental needs.
Shape – One important factor most people do not give much thought to when buying a new toothbrush is its shape. Basically, the handle of a toothbrush should be a little stretchy and easy to maneuver. Easy handling of the toothbrush will provide better access to all the areas of the oral cavity. Also, a brush with an overly large head can be problematic for many people, especially those with smaller mouths or tight teeth.
Frequency and intensity – Even though soft and extra soft bristles cause minimal damage you still have to be smart with how often and how hard you are brushing. Brushing with high intensity and frequency can cause damage to your teeth and gums, even with an extra soft bristle choice. Too hard and too often is never a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth.
Contact Your Naperville Dentists Today
To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush for your needs, contact your local dental experts and make an appointment with your Naperville dental team here at Comfort Care Family Dental today!