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  #1  
Old 08-26-2006, 04:41 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Why do they sell hard bristle toothbrushes?

Soft, medium, and hard bristle toothbrushes are available. I have always heard that dentists recommend using a soft bristle toothbrush. I can understand how someone might want to use a medium. But why would someone use a hard bristle toothbrush when there is a consensus amongst dentists that they should not be used? Why do the toothbrush manufacturers even make them? Aren't they setting themselves up for lawsuits?
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:21 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man
But why would someone use a hard bristle toothbrush
Denture cleaning?
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2006, 06:23 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Some people like them, probably. They sell what moves, and I guess some people probably don't feel they're getting "clean" unless they use a sandblaster.
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2006, 06:24 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Some people just like to BLEED.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2006, 06:27 PM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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The hard ones might be good for non-dental applications, like scrubbing the floor in a Marine barracks.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2006, 07:25 PM
Dr. Drake Dr. Drake is online now
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They're actually really useful for housework. Note to houseguests: the toothbrush with the black bristles is for scrubbing grout, not teeth.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2006, 07:47 PM
Shirley Ujest Shirley Ujest is offline
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I like hard bristley toothbrushes and haven't been able to find them for a long time. ( Not that I look too hard, but yeah, the whole bleeding gums thing is appealing and I really can't get the deck washer wand in my mouth much to my husband's disappointment.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2006, 02:15 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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My partner is one of those people that just don't feel like a soft or medium brush is doing any good - they want to feel some scrubbing going on.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2006, 03:59 AM
Thalion Thalion is offline
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My wife absolutely refuses to use anything but a hard bristle brush. Her dentist complains about it every time he sees her, but she won't budge.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2014, 06:31 PM
mantis3dfx mantis3dfx is offline
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I think you have to "Factor In" the commercial sytem to a large extent too. They want to sell more toothbrushes, and regardless of what a dentist says, he gets all his info from above - where the money changes hands - and if you think this is far fetched, do some research - the medical profession is unfortunatelly tailored more toward "Business policy" and "Profit" than most people realize (or want to realize). Kickbacks for putting slants on certain things which, (apart from them making massive extra profits), are neither here nor there healthwise for us, happen all the time - It's just business!

For me, soft and medium brushes had become a weekly expense that only ever did a partial job. The result over time was that I was spending extra time brushing, yet areas of my gums were becoming softer. After 6 or so months, I started getting signs of gingevitis in those places, and it seemed to be spreading farther out ino healthy tissue. My teeth felt as though they were becoming loosish coupled with a sensation in the areas of gum around them which I can only put down to an inflamation sensation. They started to bleed - Quite badly. ...No matter how much I brushed, I felt as though I must constantly have bad breath due to bleeds throughout the day, and I probably did! - All it took for my gums to start bleeding (in the end) was to create a slight suction in my mouth equivelant to sucking a chocolate thickshake through a blocked straw, or even just eating harder type fruits - such as apples!

I didn't really "Zone In" on the "soft brush" cause, until I went into my bosses office one day whilst he was opening a parcel he'd received from ebay with 10 tooth brushes in it.

I asked him why he was buying tooth brushes (of all things) from eBay and he said it's because it's the fastest way he can actually get hold of "Hard" brushes these days because less places are stocking them as they're "Not Recommended". ..He then proceeded to explain his "Oral Health" issues with the softer brushes, and that's when the cause of my own issues finally hit home and made sense! Because inadvertantly he'd just described my own exact situation!!

Once you understand that using hard or soft brushes on teeth and gums is no different to having hands wih calases vs hands without calases, you start to realize that soft gums will initially bleed until they adapt, in the same way as softer hands will blister until they adapt (to the type of working environment, such using a pen vs using a pick axe)

Everyone's situation is different. Just as everyones work environment is different. So to, everyones teeth and gum needs are different. Some people can easily get between teeth for a good cleanse with soft or medium brushes, others (like myself) end up getting only a partial cleans, because certain teeth are tighter together and the brush bristles fold over before getting where they need to get!

It all makes perfect sense really - IF you think about it. ...It's just the way the human body works, it's brilliant, it adapts to whatever it needs to adapt to for the specific circumstances at hand. ...Heavy lifting = larger muscle mass for example. The brain is also geared the same way when it comes to thought processing. Focusing on specific types of things will eventually strengthen that type of thinking ability, weather it be math, problem solving puzzles, reading - developing different skills - whatever.

Basically - Since I've been getting hold of harder brushesagain, my gingervitus has gone, teeth feel tight and strong (not loosish) gum bleeds are minimal (slight red in spit about once in every 3 or 4 brushings on average and NO BLEEDS AT ALL during the course of the day.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2014, 06:37 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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I prefer hard bristle, but haven't been able to find one here anywhere in maybe 15 years.

I only recently started going to the dentist after decades and the dentist was not fond of hard bristles at all; medium was his preference.

Last edited by Leaffan; 01-25-2014 at 06:42 PM..
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2014, 06:38 PM
turtlescanfly turtlescanfly is offline
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Originally Posted by mantis3dfx View Post

For me, soft and medium brushes had become a weekly expense that only ever did a partial job.
You buy a new toothbrush every week?
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2014, 06:48 PM
randompattern randompattern is offline
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Hard brushes are excellent for cleaning parts and whatnot.
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2014, 08:24 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Recognize that a hard bristle toothbrush of today is a lot softer than one bought in, say, the 1960s. So the answer might be that so-called hard bristle toothbrushes are actually fairly soft.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:44 PM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drake View Post
They're actually really useful for housework. Note to houseguests: the toothbrush with the black bristles is for scrubbing grout, not teeth.
You have house guests that use your toothbrush?
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  #16  
Old 01-25-2014, 10:17 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
My partner is one of those people that just don't feel like a soft or medium brush is doing any good - they want to feel some scrubbing going on.

This is me. Soft brushes feel like I'm brushing with a cotton swab.

I've used a hard toothbrush all my life. No bleeding gums or other problems. My dentists have never asked me what firmness of brush I use, so I assume it's not causing any problems that they can see. What problem is it supposed to cause, gum calluses?

I also can't find them in stores, so I order them from amazon.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2014, 11:11 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture View Post
I've used a hard toothbrush all my life. No bleeding gums or other problems. My dentists have never asked me what firmness of brush I use, so I assume it's not causing any problems that they can see.
Seconded. Never any bleeding gums or issues like that, and generally pretty good teeth for my age.

Where I'm living right now, you can only buy soft-bristled toothbrushes. Even the toothbrushes labelled medium are soft compared to the country I'm from.

And they're hopeless. I'm still using a firm toothbrush I bought more than a year ago and it leaves my teeth feeling noticeably cleaner than a brand new soft brush.
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  #18  
Old 01-25-2014, 11:30 PM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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IME, they're useful if you're detail cleaning an M-16A1.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2014, 12:48 AM
astro astro is online now
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At 15 bucks each for "extra hard" pig bristles you had better love them

3M makes a hard bristle brush


Tons of them on ebay

Last edited by astro; 01-26-2014 at 12:53 AM..
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2014, 12:52 AM
guizot guizot is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
Seconded. Never any bleeding gums or issues like that,
My understanding is that bleeding gums are not the problem hard bristles cause, but rather receding gums and enamel damage.
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2014, 12:59 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
My partner is one of those people that just don't feel like a soft or medium brush is doing any good - they want to feel some scrubbing going on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture View Post
This is me. Soft brushes feel like I'm brushing with a cotton swab.

I've used a hard toothbrush all my life. No bleeding gums or other problems. My dentists have never asked me what firmness of brush I use, so I assume it's not causing any problems that they can see. What problem is it supposed to cause, gum calluses?
No, erosion of the enamel of the tooth itself.

You do realize, do you, that how it feels to you is not evidence either that a brush is, or is not, getting you appropriately clean, or that it is not doing any harm. I am pretty sure that "scrubbing" of the teeth is considered to be very bad for them.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2014, 06:12 AM
j_sum1 j_sum1 is offline
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To the OP, Why don't they sell hard bristle toothbrushes. Where I live in oz it is really difficult to find them. I just want a plain ordinary toothbrush with a straight handle and all of the bristles the same length and angled the same way. I don't want to pay through the nose for some fancy strip bristles in some strange swirly pattern. I don't need rubberised grips made from three different materials that look like they were made in a sports shoe factory. I don't need the head contoured or "angled like a dental instrument". Just plain and ordinary and reasonably hard suits me just fine.

FTR, I have only once in my life had (extremely minor) issues with the toothbrush damaging the gums. I have had only one dental procedure in the last 19 years. I really see no need to change. What I am doing works. (But I do need to shop around for brushes and straighten the handle when I get home.)
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2014, 08:41 PM
mantis3dfx mantis3dfx is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
No, erosion of the enamel of the tooth itself.

You do realize, do you, that how it feels to you is not evidence either that a brush is, or is not, getting you appropriately clean, or that it is not doing any harm. I am pretty sure that "scrubbing" of the teeth is considered to be very bad for them.

LOL! - I think 48 years of once to twice per day usage, with no issues and less cavities/etc compared to everyone else I know more than amply qaulifies as evidence.
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:33 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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They also make super-soft toothbrushes, which is what I use, after the dentist scolded me for brushing too enthusiastically and causing sensitive spots on my teeth from loss of enamel.
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:07 AM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
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For cleaning grout, of course.
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  #26  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:43 AM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
And they're hopeless. I'm still using a firm toothbrush I bought more than a year ago and it leaves my teeth feeling noticeably cleaner than a brand new soft brush.
Why not pair it up with Comet and make sure they're extra clean and white?

Last edited by bump; 01-27-2014 at 10:43 AM.. Reason: fixed quotation
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  #27  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:49 AM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I prefer hard bristle, but haven't been able to find one here anywhere in maybe 15 years.
Same here! My wife has had a heck of a time finding hard bristle toothbrushes for me.

When I brush I really get in there, and medium bristle toothbrushes simply can't give me the familiar tingle I've associated with 'clean' since I was a kid.
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  #28  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:28 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
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How much does the pressure we put on the brush with our hands change things? Perhaps hard bristled brushes are no big deal if you brush softly enough, and dentists recommend soft brushes because their experience is that people brush as hard as they can and soft bristles mitigate that?
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:53 AM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is offline
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Originally Posted by Dr. Drake View Post
They're actually really useful for housework. Note to houseguests: the toothbrush with the black bristles is for scrubbing grout, not teeth.
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Originally Posted by don't ask View Post
You have house guests that use your toothbrush?
Do they look for them in the toolbox? Or do you keep them in the medicine cabinet in the guest bathroom
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  #30  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:00 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
My partner is one of those people that just don't feel like a soft or medium brush is doing any good - they want to feel some scrubbing going on.
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Originally Posted by Thalion View Post
My wife absolutely refuses to use anything but a hard bristle brush. Her dentist complains about it every time he sees her, but she won't budge.
Add Mrs. B. to this peculiar list, along with the conviction that they're about to stop making hard toothbrushes (dark aura of conspiracy theme music here), so she buys six at a time.

But then again, she thinks every household cleaning job needs abrasives from Comet upwards, so I guess I should count my blessings that she doesn't know how to use my sandblaster.
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  #31  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:05 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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How much does the pressure we put on the brush with our hands change things? Perhaps hard bristled brushes are no big deal if you brush softly enough, and dentists recommend soft brushes because their experience is that people brush as hard as they can and soft bristles mitigate that?
I don't have to use nearly as much pressure with a hard-bristled toothbrush to get a better clean than with a medium. I definitely brush harder with a medium-bristled toothbrush but I am almost immediately through the bristles to the base because the bristles simply can't hold up to the pressure, and afterwards I always have that 'bleh' feeling like I still need to brush my teeth. It's probably all in my mind but there it is.

And to those who say their gums bleed with a hard-bristled toothbrush, they may be dealing with more than simply needing to brush their teeth. My gums don't bleed while brushing regardless how much pressure I apply or the hardness of the bristles.

Last edited by Onomatopoeia; 01-27-2014 at 12:07 PM..
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  #32  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:18 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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My partner is one of those people that just don't feel like a soft or medium brush is doing any good - they want to feel some scrubbing going on.
Yep.
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  #33  
Old 01-27-2014, 12:31 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Originally Posted by turtlescanfly View Post
You buy a new toothbrush every week?
If I buy from a local retail outfit they last just a few weeks for me. I was using these, but the bristles tend to begin falling out after a month or so, and although they are firm, they are not as hard as I like. I've been using these for a while, which are just okay to be honest, but they are hard to find.
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:09 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Why not pair it up with Comet and make sure they're extra clean and white?
Huh? Is Comet a toothpaste?
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  #35  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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I should add also, that I don't use a firm-bristled brush so I can scrub the hell out of the easily-accessible surfaces of the teeth.

Firm bristled are less easily deflected, so they get into the nooks and crannies with sufficient pressure to lift the bacteria, food residue etc. It makes a pretty big difference IME.

As to why dentists advise against them, god knows. Maybe some percent of people do scrub too hard with a firm-bristled brush?
The "dentists recommend" tag seems to get applied to a lot of things, many of dubious benefit, so I'm a little skeptical of what the consensus really is on such things, and whether it's been arrived at scientifically or through groupthink.

Last edited by Mijin; 01-27-2014 at 09:26 PM..
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  #36  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:32 PM
Strangeland64 Strangeland64 is offline
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My teeth never feel clean with the soft or medium bristles. So I search high and low for firms, and when I find them I buy several at a time. I try not to scrub too hard , so hopefully the damage isn't too bad.
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  #37  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:18 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
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Those wanting to use a soft toothbrush and have their teeth feel nice and polished might try a Sonicare toothbrush like this or perhaps this. I use them intermittently with my soft toothbrushes.
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  #38  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:58 PM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Every dentist I e er asked this question has always said, "I don't care, just brush more often."
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  #39  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:14 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
As to why dentists advise against them, god knows. Maybe some percent of people do scrub too hard with a firm-bristled brush?
It comes down to this: if you can't get it off with a soft brush, it's not going to come off without damage to your gums.

Tartar build up and such can't be brushed off; trying to means you only get what the hard bristles can reach on flat surfaces and does nothing about build-up in the crevices - less, actually, than softer, more flexible and penetrating bristles.

Hard bristles are extremely hard on your gums. Your gums are what you have to take care of if you plan to keep your teeth into old age; when your gums get weak and diseased, your teeth fall out or have to come out. Your teeth can be dead, amalgam-filled rocks and last you until you're 100, but if your gums and the root cavities get infected and diseased... no more tooth.

So in the end, all that "extra cleaning" you think you're getting from harder brushes is both false and counterproductive - you're not cleaning deep and you're doing damage to the parts you can reach that will lead to more problems. It's on the same scale as the Victorian practice of swishing out with nitric acid - the ladies got super-white teeth by dissolving the enamel. At the cost of a mouthful of rotting stumps a few years later.

Really, folks, listen to the pros on this one and learn to use a soft brush properly.

(But who am I kidding, here, when even the Mrs. won't listen to this argument...)
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  #40  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:44 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
It comes down to this: if you can't get it off with a soft brush, it's not going to come off without damage to your gums.

Tartar build up and such can't be brushed off; trying to means you only get what the hard bristles can reach on flat surfaces and does nothing about build-up in the crevices - less, actually, than softer, more flexible and penetrating bristles.
...
(But who am I kidding, here, when even the Mrs. won't listen to this argument...)
Well, perhaps you don't listen to her either, because you completely ignored what I actually said.

I said specifically that the reason I used a hard brush is not to be extra-vigorous on the accessible surfaces, and that IME firm bristles get into crevices better than soft bristles.
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  #41  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:52 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
Every dentist I e er asked this question has always said, "I don't care, just brush more often."
The American Dental Association has a webpage on toothbrushing recommendations. I don't see any reference to "hard bristles bad".

Personally, I do not like soft mooshy toothbrushes. I use a firm brush and do a reasonable job without scouring. I have never gotten scolding at the dentist for rubbing off enamel.

It is difficult to find hard bristle toothbrushes these days, possibly because Americans are weenies.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 01-28-2014 at 09:53 AM..
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  #42  
Old 01-28-2014, 09:53 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
...IME firm bristles get into crevices better than soft bristles.
It's not a matter of my listening. In the vast body of dental research, you'd find your E laughed at. For hard bristles to get even a fraction of the cleaning depth of soft ones, you have to inflict gum-tearing effort and will get poorer inter-tooth cleaning.

Ask any competent dentist - they'll show it to you with little models and everything, and back it with any level of research you care to follow. "Hard bristles clean better" is a counterproductive, if not somewhat dangerous (to your tooth longevity) folk myth.

I suspect hard-bristle users have gotten completely intolerant of even slight tartar build-up and don't feel like their teeth are clean unless it's scoured off the tongue surfaces. If you're prone to tartar build-up, the only solution is more frequent professional cleaning. There is no home substitute.
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  #43  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:04 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
The American Dental Association has a webpage on toothbrushing recommendations. I don't see any reference to "hard bristles bad".
The public documents from places like the ADA are always going to focus on basics like "brushing good, not brushing bad" and omit (by committee-think) anything that might discourage people from doing the right thing. If you dig deeper you'll find information about toothbrush approval and statements about how harder bristles are not approved unless specific testing shows them to be non-damaging... which is not the same thing as recommended. A more general search will turn up plentiful expert advice to avoid harder toothbrushes, and why.

Quote:
I have never gotten scolding at the dentist for rubbing off enamel.
It has nothing to do with rubbing off enamel - even floor brushes are far too soft to damage enamel. It's about gum damage, which is the reason people lose teeth even after a lifetime of reasonably good oral care.
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  #44  
Old 01-28-2014, 11:36 AM
GusNSpot GusNSpot is offline
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Water pick is the bomb. Good for your gums also.
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  #45  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:12 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
Every dentist I e er asked this question has always said, "I don't care, just brush more often."
Also, "floss, dammit!"
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  #46  
Old 01-28-2014, 07:32 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Also, "floss, dammit!"
Oh, yes, please do. No, brushing is not enough. And yes, I can smell your rancid mouth sewage from across my desk.
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  #47  
Old 01-28-2014, 10:23 PM
jabiru jabiru is offline
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For cleaning grout, of course.
That's what I use them for. Restocked my supply last week.
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