Before the invention of acrylic, toothbrush bristles were made from all kinds of materials we would not think of putting in our mouths today. While other mammals contributed to the animal hair toothbrush bristle industry, the most popular toothbrushes were made from boar’s hair bristles. One of the major disadvantages to these animal hair toothbrushes was hygiene. The bristles would never fully dry, attracting bacteria to the moistened hair. Another disadvantage was the harshness of the bristles.
Which Toothbrush Is Right for You?
Today we have toothbrushes made with acrylic bristles, and while we have many more hygienic options than in the past, some harder bristled toothbrushes can have the same damaging effects as boar’s hair toothbrushes of the past. Our Lafayette family dentist, Dr. Michael Young, will explain which toothbrushes to avoid.
In your grocery store’s dental hygiene aisle, you may find yourself staring at hundreds of toothbrushes at once. Each claims a different unique feature to fit your needs and each has varying bristle hardness. Many people think that harder toothbrush bristles means deeper cleaning. On the contrary, harsher toothbrush bristles can actually harm your teeth.
Hard Bristles Weaken Tooth Defenses
The American Dental Association recommends buying soft bristled toothbrushes because hard bristles wear away tooth enamel. As the hard outer layer of defense on each tooth, your enamel protects your smile from cavities and tooth sensitivity. Hard or medium bristles can erode your tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to these dental health issues.
Harsh Bristles Contribute to Gum Recession
Another danger of hard bristled toothbrushes is gum recession. Your damaged gingival tissue will shrink away from your teeth exposing sensitive tooth roots. This will not only create extreme tooth sensitivity, but also make your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.
Why Choose Soft Bristle Toothbrushes
A soft bristled toothbrush is just the right amount of firmness that will not damage your smile. Remember to brush in circles, lightly touching your gums. The soft bristled toothbrush will remove plaque and bacteria without eroding enamel or causing gum recession.
Preventive Dentistry in Lafayette
We love helping our patients achieve optimal oral health with dental advice from our Lafayette family dentist, Dr. Young. For more information about dental hygiene, or to schedule a dental cleaning, call (337) 237-6453 to schedule an appointment with our family dentist office in Lafayette.