Hard bristled toothbrushes can give your teeth a more vigorous scrub, so they’ll clean your mouth better, right? Actually, no. It’s a common misconception that hard bristled toothbrushes clean better.
The truth is, they can actually damage your teeth and gums. Your goal is to remove plaque as gently as possible to protect your teeth and gums as you get them sparkling clean. That’s why soft toothbrushes are the safer and healthier option.
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. Too much enamel gone and you might start experiencing uncomfortable symptoms like tooth sensitivity, yellowness, and rough uneven edges on your teeth as the inner layers become exposed.
Hard bristles can also damage your gums and eventually cause them to recede.
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.
If you’re used to firm bristles, a soft brush might take some getting used to. But give it some time. Your mouth will thank you!