There are many different toothbrush options out there, but the biggest difference between these options is the type of bristles they have. Some toothbrushes have soft bristles, while others have medium or hard bristles. Soft bristles are the best option because they are gentler on your gums and other parts of your mouth. Hard bristle toothbrushes can actually damage your gums.
Why You Should Avoid Hard Bristles
When you use a hard bristle toothbrush, you run the risk of injuring your gums. The bristles are so stiff that they can cut into the gums, causing them to bleed. If you have gingivitis, your gums are already weakened and prone to bleeding very easily. A hard bristle toothbrush will easily tear them open. Even if there's no pain, which there often isn't with gum disease, you still don't want your gums to bleed. When they do, it creates an opening for bacteria to get into the gums, and that only makes your gum disease worse. These harder bristles can also hurt your tongue if you use your toothbrush to clean it.
Hard Bristles and Your Teeth
In addition to damaging the gums and tongue, hard bristles can also have a negative impact on your teeth. The stiff bristles can actually scrape the enamel off of your teeth, making them vulnerable to cavities. This is especially true if you brush after eating or drinking something acidic such as orange juice. These acidic foods and drinks temporarily weaken the enamel, so brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush can easily strip that protective layer off the teeth. If you tend to apply more pressure than necessary when brushing, the damage caused by a hard bristle toothbrush can be quite extensive. If you use a hard bristle toothbrush, you should give us a call so we can check your teeth and gums for damage.