Dentists always tell you to use a soft toothbrush as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), but have you ever wondered why soft bristles are better? It would make sense that harder bristles are more effective at removing plaque from your teeth, but there is such a thing as too effective. If you clean your teeth too aggressively, part of your vital tooth structure will be removed along with plaque and oral bacteria. Here’s why a more gentle approach is in order when cleaning your teeth.
Benefits of a Soft Toothbrush
Hard bristles are very abrasive to the tooth enamel, while soft bristles gently clean plaque from the teeth and keep the enamel intact. Hard bristles are also irritating to the gums and may push them away from the teeth. One function of your gums is to protect your tooth roots, but when your gums recede due to hard brushing, your roots are exposed, making them vulnerable to decay and causing sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
Other Considerations for Choosing a Toothbrush
Always choose a toothbrush that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the package label. Toothbrushes must undergo rigorous testing to obtain this seal of approval, and they must be proven safe and durable for everyday use. Always choose a toothbrush that fits your mouth and allows you to brush all tooth surfaces with ease.
Care of Your Toothbrush
You should rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use and allow it to air dry if possible. Your best bet for keeping your toothbrush free of germs is to store it upright in a toothbrush holder, but make sure it does not touch any other toothbrushes to avoid spreading bacteria. Do not store your toothbrush in a drawer or container, especially if it is still wet, because a warm, moist environment encourages bacteria growth. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or more frequently if the bristles start to become frayed. Always replace your toothbrush if you have a bacterial infection such as strep to avoid re-infecting yourself.
To learn more about taking better care of your teeth and gums, call Dr. Stefan Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule a consultation. Hilltop Family Dental serves patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.Share on Facebook