It can be not uncommon that you pick up your toothbrush only to find that those once soft bristles are now hard and even brittle. You may be confused and wonder why. Even ultra-soft bristles can wear down and harden after repeated use. It’s worth noting that keeping your toothbrush soft can’t be too important. Only a clean toothbrush can promote good oral hygiene, but stiff bristles can make room for bacteria, which can aggravate existing oral problems. It may even cause cracks in tooth enamel and recede gums. Learning how to soften your toothbrush can help you take better care of your teeth. Read on for more information.

First of all, what causes your toothbrush bristles to harden?

Your bristles are likely to become hard for a variety of reasons, including wear down from too much use, bad water quality when brushing your teeth, a lot of toothpaste residue attached to the bristles, and the aggregation of bleaching gel.

1. Have you not changed your toothbrush for a long time?

One reason leads to your stiff toothbrush bristles consists in that your brush is too old. The bristles of a toothbrush that has been used for too long will lose the elasticity to clean your teeth effectively and will not look soft and beautiful enough. In addition, keeping the old toothbrush not only affects how they look but also tends to make it easier for the toothbrush to accumulate a lot of bacteria, especially when you expose them on the bathroom counter, close to the toilet. The buildup of these bacteria tends to damage your teeth and harm your oral health, so you need to make sure to replace your old toothbrush at least every three months.

2. Do you use hard water when brushing your teeth?

The hardness of water refers to the amount of calcium, magnesium, and other substances dissolved in the water. The more of these elements, the harder the water. Using hard water when brushing your teeth can easily lead to water stains and spots on the toothbrush head, and the bristles often become brittle and hard, with a strong toothpaste smell. In addition, studies have proved that drinking hard water for a long time can cause cardiovascular, nervous, and other system lesions, and taking a hard water shower can accelerate aging and damage the skin.

3. Is there too much toothpaste on your toothbrush?

In everyday life, you may not rinse your toothbrush properly when brushing your teeth, for example, by rubbing it with your thumb. This leads to the fact that there may be some residual toothpaste on the bristles of your toothbrush. When this happens many times, the toothpaste will eventually accumulate at the bottom of your toothbrush bristles. The bristles gradually bend less and you feel them stiffer.

4. Do you brush your teeth immediately after whitening?

If you brush your teeth immediately after whitening, bleaching gel may accumulate in the bristles. The situation gets worse when you don’t rinse it well after use. This can occur whether you use a strip, a tray, or a whitening pen. You may be surprised to learn that the hardening of your toothbrush bristles has something to do with your bleaching routine, but we need to admit that the attachment of bleaching gel to the toothbrush is probably a contributing factor.

So how do you soften your toothbrush? Here are some tips that can be helpful.

Soften your toothbrush bristles

1. Rinse your toothbrush with hot water.

Holding the toothbrush under hot water is one of the most effective ways to soften the bristles. When the bristles are washed with hot water, they become softer and more resilient. Hold the handle of your toothbrush during this process to avoid burning yourself. You can put your toothbrush under a water faucet, or try soaking it in a cup of hot water. But keep in mind that if you choose the latter, you’ll need to refill the cup regularly with hot water to ensure results, given that the water in the cup will cool quickly. It’s important to note that while hot water can soften the bristles, it may at the same time make the toothbrush less effective, as it’s also more likely to absorb metals and other harmful chemicals from the tank or municipal pipes.

2. Massage the bristles

Some people find that massaging the bristles is an effective way to make them softer and more broken in. The following steps are recommended for massaging bristles. To begin with, you need to wash your hands, hold the handle of the brush with one hand, and be ready to touch and rub the bristles with the other. Next, you press the bristles in one direction with your fingers or palm, while gently pushing the brush in the opposite direction with your other hand. Then, switch directions. Finally, work the bristles side to side against your palm and move them with a circular motion, trying to massage the bristles evenly in both directions. Generally speaking, after massaging the bristles about 20 times, the bristles can be fully softened.

3. Soak your toothbrush in vinegar.

This is a common technique for softening the nylon bristles of a hand-held paintbrush, but can also be applied to soften toothbrushes. First, you need to fill the glass or mug with enough vinegar that completely submerges the bristles. Second, heat the cup in the microwave until it is warm to the touch. Third, dip the toothbrush upside down in a cup of warm vinegar, making sure the bristles are completely covered. After soaking for about 30 minutes, remove the toothbrush and rinse it with hot water to remove excess vinegar. Since vinegar has a slight antibacterial effect, this is also good for removing plaque left over from the brush head.

4. Buy a softer toothbrush.

Whether your toothbrush is worn due to use over time or the toothbrush you bought before is with stiff bristles, it’s a good idea to invest in a softer toothbrush. Toothbrushes generally come in several grades, from ultra-soft, soft, medium, and hard. While ultimately your choice is a matter of personal preference, most dentists recommend using a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush. After all, hard bristles can damage your teeth and gums, and you may experience enamel loss, gum recession, and other problems. Try a soft or ultra-soft toothbrush, considering the health of your enamel and gums.

In conclusion, there are various factors that can contribute to the result of your toothbrush bristles becoming hard, but the best thing to do is to rinse the bristles or buy a new one right away. After knowing how to soften your toothbrush, we believe you can take better care of your teeth. If you have any questions about the toothbrush, please feel free to contact us. We are always at your service!