A toothbrush is a relatively small-sized device. Despite the small size, a good quality toothbrush is perhaps the single most important component required for good oral hygiene.

Dental health practitioners often have slightly varying recommendations when it comes to the frequency of toothbrush replacement. Patients also often have a number of questions when looking to replace their old toothbrush with a new one. Three of these questions are answered in the article below.

Is A Hard-Bristled Toothbrush Better At Cleaning Teeth?

In a large number of cases, the bristles on a toothbrush are made of nylon. Depending on the degree of elasticity of the nylon bristles, a toothbrush can be soft-bristled, medium-bristled or hard-bristled.

Many people believe that hard-bristled brushes clean teeth better than their soft-bristled counterparts. This is because hard-bristled brushes make for a more vigorous scrub on the tooth surface. However, it's important to point out that the "more vigorous" scrub can be counter-productive. This is because the extra vigour is known to have an abrasive effect on tooth enamel, which makes the enamel wear down gradually. Tooth sensitivity is among the common complications associated with a worn-down enamel.

Hard-bristled toothbrushes may also cause damage to the gum-line if you apply excessive force when brushing teeth.

A soft-bristled toothbrush and the right brushing technique can be just as effective at cleaning teeth. Also, hard-bristled brushes would not be an ideal choice if you're recovering from a dental procedure (like dental implant surgery).

How About Electric Toothbrushes?

Many people falsely believe that the vibrations produced by an electric toothbrush have a damaging effect on the gums. On the contrary, the vibrations mentioned are actually beneficial. This is because electric toothbrushes are usually fitted with pressure sensors that detect (and stop automatically) when the device applies excess pressure on your teeth. This is helpful in preventing gum damage.

Also, the vibrations from an electric toothbrush may have a massaging effect on the gum-line. This may improve blood circulation within the oral cavity.

Potential drawbacks associated with electric toothbrushes include the fact that they're often more expensive than the conventional-style toothbrushes. Also, an electric toothbrush may not be very useful for those who frequent remote areas that may lack a constant supply of electricity.

What About The Old Toothbrush?

You don't necessarily have to throw old toothbrushes into the trash bin when they're replaced with new ones. An old toothbrush can be used as a multi-purpose cleaning device around the house.

Old brushes are ideal for various cleaning tasks including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Getting rid of debris lodged between adjacent buttons on the computer keyboard
  • Polishing items of jewelry (like rings and necklaces)
  • Cleaning of floor and bathroom tiles.