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by Noelle Copeland December 17, 2021 4 min read

DISCLOSURE: Noelle Copeland RDH is an Oral Care Specialist and Dental Consultant who provides content for Brilliant Oral Care and Baby Buddy.

Not many people think about the bristle texture of toothbrushes, and that’s understandable. There are so many choices in life that need major consideration. It feels like a toothbrush should just be an easy decision, and for the most part, it can be. You can easily choose the right toothbrush. If you have your original God-given teeth and gums in your mouth, meaning you don’t wear dentures, then you need to use a soft or extra-soft toothbrush, and that’s it. It’s that simple. There are soft toothbrushes with different types of nylon bristles, but for the most part, there’s no way for you to know that anyways, so all you need to do is buy a SOFT or EXTRA-SOFT toothbrush.

Aside from using notable names like extra, ultra, unique, supple, or therapeutic, most of the toothbrush bristles you have access to will be measured in fineness by millimeters and then ranked as soft, extra soft, sensitive soft, or something else along those lines.

What should you choose?

  • The number one choice for most people should be an adult soft toothbrush.
Choose an extra soft instead of a soft toothbrush if…
  • For particular circumstances, like sensitive teeth or sensitive gums.

Soft Toothbrushes

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the best choice for healthy, everyday toothbrushing. A soft toothbrush has just the right amount of firmness to remove plaque and bacteria but is still soft enough to help control excessive toothbrush wear or abrasion. Someone still can brush too hard with a soft toothbrush, which can damage the teeth and gums. However, it's less compared to the damage caused by using a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush.
A soft toothbrush is like the Goldilocks of toothbrushes….. it's just the right size, with the right amount of softness for the job of cleaning teeth effectively. A toothbrush should be firm enough to remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris but soft enough not to damage teeth and gums when being used.

Extra soft

The extra-soft toothbrush has more delicate bristles, and sometimes even more bristles, in the hundreds to thousands. Those finer bristles are gentler on teeth and gums. An extra-soft toothbrush is a good choice for oral sensitivities like sensitive teeth and gums, where regular brushing has become more painful or less effective due to sensitivity. If a soft toothbrush is too painful to use, preventing regular and effective brushing, then the next choice would be an extra soft toothbrush.

Medium and Hard bristle toothbrushes

Medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes should not be used by anyone, which makes you wonder why it's even a choice, to begin with. Honestly, I have no idea why it's still an option, but what I do know is why you should never use them in your mouth.

When to use a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush

Medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes should only be used on "removable appliances, outside of the mouth, not while the removable appliance is still in your mouth. This includes:

  • Retainers
  • Invisalign trays
  • Partials
  • Dentures
  • Mouth/Sports/Snore/Nightguards
  • Nesbit / flipper

Brush all of your teeth, even the removable ones!

Just soaking or rinsing an oral appliance is not enough hygiene care to remove the plaque and bacteria that can build up on a removable device. You need to bristle brush a removable appliance with a medium/hard toothbrush or a specialty-made denture brush. One thing you don’t want to use on a denture is toothpaste. Toothpaste has components in it that are good for natural teeth but can damage and scratch a denture plate. If this happens, bacteria can colonize and infiltrate the crevices in the denture and become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, potentially leading to oral fungal infections.

If you were looking for the best way to establish an effective home care routine, you’ve found the right place at Brilliant Oral Care. Our patented round head bristle toothbrush not only removes the plaque on teeth, it simultaneously cleans and removes the plaque and bacteria found on the cheeks, gums, teeth, and tongue. If you want a toothbrush with 10000 bristles, look no further than Brilliant Oral Care. It’s the bristles that make all the difference in performing oral care for sensitive teeth and gums, being gentle yet effective. Why choose a thousand bristle toothbrush when you can have a 10000 to 24000 bristle toothbrush that cleans everywhere it goes?!?! Don’t forget to #BRUSHBRILLIANT.

© 2021 Compac Industries. All rights reserved. This article provides information about "oral health topics" as expressed through the perspective and experience of the author. The information provided does not substitute professional advice or counsel, including diagnosing or treating any condition. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, an oral condition, an illness, or treatment of any listed or unlisted situation above. Using this site signifies your consent to our Terms and Conditions. Do not use this site if you don’t agree to all Terms and Conditions.


Noelle Copeland
Noelle Copeland

Noelle Copeland is a licensed dental hygienist and Brilliant’s® first oral care specialist. She brings 25 years of clinical dental experience to the Brilliant® family and has become a regular contributor, creator and editor to the overall content and presentation of Brilliants® oral care line. She graduated with honors, Phi Theta Kappa, from Georgia State University Perimeter College in Dunwoody, Georgia, where she had been president of her dental class. Noelle has spent the majority of her career in the direct treatment of patients clinically and specializes in patient education and prevention strategies. She enjoys studying nutrition, oral care science and natural health.


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