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Soft Bristle Toothbrush vs Medium Toothbrush

Many people believe that their biggest decisions when buying a toothbrush involve choosing between manual and electric designs and straight and ergonomic handles and grips. Yet, the cut, length and firmness of toothbrush bristles matter just as much as the overall design. Consider the following:

Purpose of a Toothbrush

When you eat food and drink beverages, particles from both build upon the surfaces of your mouth, including the teeth, gums, and tongue. If you don’t clean away these particles, a film is known as plaque forms that contain bacteria that feed it and generate acids that cause tooth erosion. The film can also build up at the gum line and harden into a substance called tartar that causes gum inflammation. Plaque can even give you bad breath.

As time passes, the biofilm stains teeth, which can make you appear years older than when you have white teeth. A toothbrush helps you to improve your smile and health by removing plaque and reducing the risk of cavities, gum disease, stains and other problems associated with poor oral hygiene.

Bristle Strength of a Toothbrush

You’ve probably learned at some point in life about bristle strength if you’ve used cleaning brushes on carpets, floors, and other home surfaces. No matter how you use a cleaning-related brush, bristle strength refers to the firmness or stiffness of the bristles.

Common brush bristle strengths include extra soft, soft, medium, firm, and hard. Unlike cleaning a home when you might use a firm-bristled brush to remove hard material stuck on a floor, you never use a toothbrush to scrub away tartar. Instead, you use the nylon bristles of the toothbrush to remove particles before they can build up and harden.

Soft Bristle Toothbrush

Soft bristle toothbrushes have bristles that bend under pressure to reduce the amount of force exerted on your teeth and gums when you clean your teeth. When you touch the bristles with your thumb, they have a noticeable give that you can feel. For effective cleaning, you must brush longer when using a soft bristle toothbrush. They’re usually cut at an angle or designed with bristles of varying lengths to increase their cleaning efficiency.

Medium Bristle Toothbrush

Medium bristle toothbrushes have firmer bristles that exert more force on surfaces so that you don’t have to brush as long. When you touch the bristles with your thumb, they bend less than their softer counterparts. They’re also available in a variety of cut angles and multi-length bristle designs.

Which Bristle is Best: Soft or Medium?

Although medium bristle toothbrushes remove plaque faster even without the use of toothpaste and last longer than soft bristle toothbrushes, dental professionals recommend softer bristles. Many people have a natural tendency to brush too vigorously or long, which damages the gums and causes inflammation that makes the gums recede away from the teeth and their roots.

Eventually, overbrushing with a medium bristle toothbrush causes early gum disease, exposes roots and erodes tooth enamel and bone. Although you can still cause abrasions with a soft bristle toothbrush if you use it for longer than five minutes each time you brush or use an old one with smashed bristles, you reduce abrasion and erosion risks with soft nylon bristles.

You can also find soft bristle toothbrushes designed with special layers of silicone bristles that help stimulate blood flow to the gums. These toothbrushes fight infections and remove some particles more efficiently along the gum line. When gum stimulator bristles are slightly longer than soft nylon ones, they also help to remind you not to brush too hard.

Juliana Mejía Zuliani

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