Your toothbrush has gone a long way. From chew sticks to pig’s hair bristles, to nylon bristles that we use today. The nylon toothbrush bristles have three classifications. These are hard, medium, and soft bristles.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the most recommended by dentists. But have you ever wondered why companies still sell hard-bristled toothbrushes when dentists don’t recommend them? Read through and know the reasons why!

What are the bad effects of using hard-bristled toothbrushes?

Your teeth and gums are very sensitive. It is important to be gentle when brushing. But most toothbrushes have hard bristles. This type of bristles can cause multiple damages.

Using hard-bristled toothbrushes can cause tooth abrasion. This abrasion can lead to loss of enamel. Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth. It covers the inner softer layers. When the inner layer of the teeth is exposed, it causes sensitivity. It can also lead to tooth decay and tooth loss in the long run.

Hard-bristled brushes are the major cause of gum recession as well. When not treated, gum recession can lead to gingivitis and other gum infection. In the long run, the risks of using hard-bristled toothbrushes outweigh its benefits.

Aside from the bristle used, other factors can also cause tooth and gum recession. Examples are improper ways of brushing and using too much pressure. Most people brush too hard. Regardless of the bristle used, doing this can cause oral damages.

What are the reasons why dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes?

Dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes because of the many benefits. This type of bristle is usually thinner, easier to flex, and has round tips. Because of this, it can clean hard-to-reach areas of your teeth. Most of them are arranged in varying heights as well. This helps in reducing pressure on the gums and increasing pressure on the teeth. The main goal of tooth brushing is removing plaque and food debris. Soft-bristled brushes can do this effectively while keeping the teeth and gums healthy. Other purposes like whitening or removing stains can be done in other ways.

Why do they sell hard-bristled toothbrushes if dentists recommend soft bristles?

Many companies still sell hard-bristled toothbrushes and here are the reasons why.

They sell what people buy.

Many people still buy hard-bristled toothbrushes because of these reasons.

  • They prefer it because it’s more affordable. Budget is one of the major things people consider when buying any item.
  • People use hard-bristled toothbrushes because of the feedback stimuli to “feel” clean. This clean feeling makes them think that hard bristles remove plaque better.
  • They don’t care about the long-term effects of tooth and gum abrasions.
  • Some people do not believe that hard-bristled toothbrushes have bad effects.

It is made for people with special needs.

Hard-bristled toothbrushes were also made for people with poor manual dexterity. Those with joint problems who cannot apply enough brushing pressure use it as well. The hard bristles would ensure that the teeth are clean with less pressure. But dentists rarely recommend this now because of the arrival of electric toothbrushes.

What are the things to consider when choosing a toothbrush?

Nowadays, there are so many toothbrush choices in the market. Aside from the bristles, you can also consider these when buying a toothbrush.

A manual or electric toothbrush

  • For manual or electric toothbrushes, each has its advantages. Both can effectively clean your teeth as long as you brush properly. But remember that your choice can impact the bristle you want.

Synthetic or natural bristles

  • The majority is toothbrushes in the market are made of synthetic or nylon bristles. But recently, brushes with natural bristles are getting popular. These brushes are usually made of plant fibers and biodegradable materials. Either of these is fine, as long as it has soft bristles.

Size of the toothbrush head

  • When choosing a toothbrush, don’t forget to consider the head’s size. If the brush’s head is too big, it can hardly reach the back of your mouth.

Size and shape of handles

  • Look for a handle that is comfortable to hold. Using handles that are too short, too long, or awkwardly shaped can be uncomfortable. This can impact your tooth brushing efficiency.

Can the design of a toothbrush reduce the risk of bacteria buildup?

The bristles of your toothbrush can host bacteria. These bacteria can cause diseases and infections. A study shows that these bacteria become trapped in the bristles of a toothbrush. It was also indicated that the design of the toothbrush is a factor for contamination. Later research showed that toothbrushes with smaller heads minimize bacterial growth.

Further, it was also identified that closely knit bristles allowed maximum bacterial growth. This study concluded that when a toothbrush is widely spaced and has two bristle rows, contamination is minimal

Toothbrush tips for a healthy mouth

Keeping your toothbrush clean can go a long way. It can prevent the buildup of disease-causing bacteria.

Clean your toothbrush after each use by rinsing it properly. Make sure to remove excess toothpaste and food debris. These can be a home for bacteria if not taken care of.

Store your toothbrush in an open container and let it air dry. Do not keep it in a closed container as it can cause moisture. A moist environment is a perfect place for bacteria to grow and multiply.

Replace your toothbrush regularly. It is recommended that you do this every three to four months. It can be earlier if they’re worn out after you got sick.


When choosing the right toothbrush, you should consider the type of bristles. A hard-bristled toothbrush can cause teeth and gum abrasions. Soft-bristled toothbrushes work best in cleaning the teeth. It effectively removes food debris without brushing away enamel and gum tissue.

The design of the toothbrush is also important for efficient brushing. Certain designs can lessen bacterial growth. It is best to store your toothbrush properly as well.

Remember that whichever toothbrush you use, it is important to brush twice a day and two minutes each. Oral health care also includes having your teeth professionally cleaned.