When is it better to use a soft toothbrush, i.e. a toothbrush with soft bristles? Is this question also important for electric toothbrushes? What models are available for soft toothbrushes?
These are questions that you are probably asking yourself and that we will answer in this article.
What is the difference between soft and hard toothbrushes?
A "soft" bristle is generally defined as having a thickness of about 0.15 mm, while "hard" bristles are closer to 0.23 mm. Soft bristles are effective and the best choice for people with dental problems. They are less likely to accidentally damage your gums or cause bleeding, but they are still effective in removing tartar and plaque. However, some people prefer the stiffer bristles because they feel they remove plaque more effectively. In clinical studies, stiff bristles have been shown to remove more plaque, but at the same time, they are more likely to cause gum damage. However, the difference in plaque removal is not significant, so hard toothbrushes may actually do more harm than good.
What are the benefits of using a soft toothbrush?
Toothbrushes with soft bristles have several advantages.
With sensitive teeth or mild gum problems, it's more comfortable and better for teeth and gums to brush with a very soft toothbrush.
Brushing perfectly with hard bristles is possible, but in reality the risk of cleaning errors must be taken into account, so for some users it is just smarter and better for the teeth to brush with a soft toothbrush and take care of the gums with complementary care.
Plus, there are near-perfect toothbrushes with soft bristles!
The benefits of soft-bristled toothbrushes:
- They allow you to clean everywhere, even sensitive areas;
- They help avoid brushing mistakes (overly aggressive brushing that can hurt your gums);
- The softer (and more elastic) bristles adapt well to the surface of the teeth;
- There is less risk of brushing the neck of the teeth with a bad brushing technique or pressing too hard.
- Teeth can still be brushed if the gums are already sensitive due to gingivitis or periodontitis.
Who should use a soft toothbrush?
A soft toothbrush is essential for people with very sensitive gums and exposed dental necks. Severely irritated gums can be brushed with them. If the gums are inflamed, it is especially important to remove plaque, as it can reinforce the inflammation.
People who are more prone to bleeding gums and inflammation brush better with a soft toothbrush for two reasons: first, they avoid pressure pain on gums that may already be irritated. On the other hand, the bristles of a soft toothbrush can better adhere to the surface of the tooth and in the spaces between the teeth, so that the transition between the tooth and the gum is better achieved. Since inflammation originates primarily between the teeth and gums, special attention must be paid to this area of the mouth.
In addition, "cleaning mistakes" with soft toothbrushes do not have as strong a negative impact as with hard-bristled toothbrushes.
What types of soft-bristled toothbrushes are there ?
In addition to the classic manual soft toothbrushes, toothbrush manufacturers also offer other models.
An electric toothbrush with soft bristles :
For anyone with receding gums, sensitive teeth or tender gums, there are electric toothbrushes with soft bristles. If you want to use an electric toothbrush, you should check before you buy whether soft bristle brush heads are available for the model you have chosen. Also, sometimes it is a good idea to choose a sonic toothbrush over an electric toothbrush with a round oscillating brush head.
If you can't find soft bristle heads, you'll have to go back to the manual toothbrush for a while before you find the right model.
An interdental toothbrush with soft bristles :
If you have gum problems, you definitely need to clean the spaces between your teeth every day. There are also interdental brushes with especially soft bristles, dental floss, which can be used without hurting your gums, or soft oral irrigators.