What type of bristles should you choose for your toothbrush?
Rounded or not, soft, medium, hard, nylon, plastic, natural fibers.... Over time, the types of bristles on our toothbrushes have multiplied, and they now exist in all kinds of materials , colors and thicknesses.
However, not all of these filaments (because that is the correct word) are equally effective, and others can even have harmful effects on your smile, which makes the choice of your toothbrush much more important than it seems (and more complicated)!
Do you feel a little lost when faced with all these options? Don't worry, Sustainable Tomorrow will guides you through this article...
What are the different types of toothbrush bristles?
Generally, hairs are differentiated according to the following criteria:
- Their material (plant fiber, nylon, etc.);
- The fact that they are rounded or not at the end;
- Their diameter (or thickness);
- Their hardness;
- Their implantation pattern in the brush head (uniform or not).
Faced with these criteria, it can be difficult to make a choice adapted to your needs. Remember that the most important criterion, and the one which has the most significant impact on brushing, is the hardness of the brush bristles .
The bristles of your toothbrush can be soft , medium or hard . A survey aimed at determining what hardness was favored among 32,421 people. This study highlighted the fact that 38% of respondents used a toothbrush with medium bristles or hard bristles. Those under 30 are the most likely to use a toothbrush with hard or medium bristles, going completely against the recommendations of professionals in the medical-dental sector.
The main advantages of the soft toothbrush
Opting for soft bristles has several advantages for your oral health.
Soft bristles are gentler on the gums . They reduce the risk of irritation and bleeding . Their flexibility also allows the brushes to reach hard-to-reach areas without damaging the enamel of your teeth.
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are particularly recommended if you have sensitive gums or problems with gum receding. A soft brush provides deep cleaning while preserving the health of your gums . Increased gentleness of brushing is necessary during the “convalescence” period. They remove dental plaque very well , and without you needing to brush hard!
The main disadvantages of the medium or hard toothbrush
Even though brushes of different hardnesses exist (extra-soft, soft, medium, hard), all dentists agree in recommending the use of toothbrushes with soft or extra-soft bristles, even more so for people with sensitive teeth or gums.
These are much more respectful of the enamel and gums, and their use, with the right movements and the right frequency, is just as effective (or even more)!
Conversely, despite giving the impression of more vigorous and thorough brushing, toothbrushes with medium/hard bristles can create lesions on the enamel, allowing bacteria to penetrate the teeth. teeth, risking cavities and loosening. They are also irritating to the gums, which can ultimately lead to recurrent gingivitis, periodontitis and inflammation, thereby sensitizing originally healthy gums.
We take this opportunity to remind you that the head of an electric toothbrush also represents much less plastic waste than an entire manual brush!
Now that you know more, choose soft bristles when buying your next toothbrush (which should ideally be changed every 3 months).
If you want to become an expert in oral hygiene, take a look at the other Sustainable Tomorrow articles, by clicking right here: https://thesustainabletomorrow.com/blogs/sustainably-blog
Comparison table for soft vs. medium and hard bristles
Experience shows that soft bristle brushes remain the most effective.
Be aware that stiffer bristles sometimes exert excessive pressure. If you are prone to gingival retraction, we advise you to favor brushes with soft bristles so as not to aggravate these problems. You will quickly see a difference. And don't press harder on your toothbrush!
Furthermore, the force exerted when brushing can contribute to premature wear of the enamel. Using a brush with stiffer bristles does not promote effective cleaning of interdental spaces. The softness of electric brushes does the job very well! We too often think that the bristles of a soft brush are too soft. As long as your soft brush (electric or manual) is of quality, and your toothpaste respects your teeth, your brushing will be very effective.
Additionally, dental professionals generally recommend avoiding toothbrushes with medium or hard bristles. Instead, they recommend gentler options to preserve the overall health of your teeth and gums. Note that these recommendations apply to both a manual brush and an electric one.
You will have understood, a soft brush helps to keep a healthy mouth and preserves the delicacy of the gum tissues!
Medium and hard bristles
Soft and gentle for sensitive gums
May cause excessive pressure and irritation
Minimize the risk of gingival irritation
Increased risk of gum irritation and bleeding
Less likely to damage tooth enamel
Potential for premature wear of enamel, promoting cavities and tooth sensitivity
More effective in reaching interdental spaces
Less effective in removing plaque residue between teeth
Recommended for sensitive gums
Recommended if you have sensitive gums
Not recommended, may aggravate gingival irritation and gum problems
Optimal oral hygiene
Promote optimal oral hygiene
May degrade the overall health of teeth and gums
How to brush your teeth for good oral hygiene?
Brushing your teeth well is more than just a morning or evening routine. We could almost say that it is a ritual to preserve your oral hygiene ! Here is a short summary guide so you don't forget any of the steps for optimal tooth brushing.
Start by choosing a toothbrush (whether an electric brush or a manual brush) that meets your needs and desires. To make this choice, do not hesitate to use our table to help you. summary. The bristles of a soft brush are more respectful of sensitive teeth. An electric brush will always be gentle.
Make the right move. Even with the best toothpaste in the world and the best soft brushes, your teeth will not be any cleaner if you don't take the right steps. And this is even more true with a manual brush.
Adopt a gentle brushing technique using circular motions. Tilt your electric brush or manual brush at a 45° angle to your gums. Remember to reach the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You will thus put all the chances on your side to have good oral health and remove dental plaque.
Watch how long you brush for. To best remove plaque, spend at least two minutes on your oral care. Little tip: Divide your mouth into four areas to make sure you cover them all.
Don't forget your tongue! Fresh breath goes hand in hand with a bright smile. To do this, gently brush your tongue to eliminate the bacteria responsible for bad breath.
Change your toothbrush regularly. Old habits are certainly good, except when it comes to your toothbrush! Replace it every three months, or as soon as the brush bristles show signs of fatigue.