The Hard Toothbrush is the way to go

Well, every once in a while I gotta throw in a post about something completely off topic, and today that post is about my toothbrush. The toothbrush is something everybody uses everyday (at least you better you sick bastard) so why not address proper hygiene?
by Quinton Figueroa on June 21st, 2007

The best tool for the job

The Benefits of Using a Hard Toothbrush

The hard toothbrush gets the job done efficiently. I don't get how anyone could use soft bristles when they don't scrub as hard. The idea of brushing your teeth is to remove all the food and stuff that gets caught on them throughout the day, so why not remove it right? The hard brush scrubs harder and does more than the medium or soft brush. You don't need to be easy on your gums, you need to toughen them up and let them know who's boss.

Where to buy

I have found it increasingly harder to find a hard toothbrush these days. If you go to the store and check out the dental section you will find a pretty even split between soft and medium brushes, but you will have trouble finding a hard brush. I don't know why this is but I have my suspicions. Perhaps the large corporations that create the toothbrushes are looking to give us less efficient tools to keep us coming back and having to spend more money with them. I really can't think of why else there would be a drop-off in the number of hard brushes. Like even 5 years ago I could go around and spot countless numbers of hard brushes. These days the only one I can find is a hard brush made by Reach. It's a treasure hunt just to brush my teeth the right way.


So there you have it. I sport the hard brush as should you if you are all about maximum cleaning. Everything about the hard brush makes sense.

 Filed under: Health / Fitness, Toothbrush, Hygiene

About The Author

Quinton Figueroa

Quinton Figueroa

Hollywood, CA

I am an entrepreneur at heart. Throughout my whole life I have enjoyed building real businesses by solving real problems. Business is life itself. My goal with businesses is to help move the human ...



Anonymous's picture
: Agreed! I don't think its a
7 years 9 months ago

Agreed! I don't think its a conspiracy though, probably just the pussification of america and consumer demands for ultra soft snuggly toothbrushes.


Quinton Figueroa's picture
Quinton Figueroa: Yeah true, it's probably not
7 years 9 months ago

Yeah true, it's probably not a conspiracy... still crazy tho.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard toothbrushes
6 years 5 months ago

A Hard brushe was the best thing for my teeth. Now my teeth are yellow. Yuk! Hard ones disappeared from the stores more than 5 years ago. I found a site once that said it was because people were bruising their gums with it. Okay, then, those folks should buy medium or soft -- a no-brainer. Why should we Americans who want hard brushes be deprived of that option? Is this a democracy or not?

But, really, I suspect the true reason manufacturers removed them from the market is to force us to buy sonic oral brushing contraptions. I have one -- not much used. I just like to pick up a regular toothbrush, any time of day, and clean my teeth to a nice plaque-free, rub-your-tongue-smoothnes white like they used to be. No plug-ins, no charge-up, no battery operations; just pure, clean brushing for the sake of it.


Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard Toothbrush
5 years 9 months ago
@Anonymous (view comment)

I have always used a hard tooth brush until they started to disappear from the stores.My teeth and gums always felt very clean . Now to get the same squeaky clean feel I have to go for a cleaning every 2 months which can get quite expensive and I have to keep my fingers crossed that she does it as good each time. I too miss the nice plaque-free, rub-your-tongue-smoothness feeling, white like they used to be. I have also checked Walmart for this crystal clean toothbrush. They don't have it,not here anyway.

Anonymous's picture
Dr. Jared Jones: The downside to using a hard
6 years 4 months ago

The downside to using a hard toothbrush is that you may damage your gums eventually. Not everyone knows how to brush properly, especially along the gum lines. Softer bristles are my recommendation for these type of individuals.

Anonymous's picture
Mrs Shirley Garrad: Hard toothbrushes
2 years 9 months ago
@Dr. Jared Jones (view comment)

Maybe some great person finds out that softer toothbrushes are good for one or another, but that is no excuse for taking the hard bristle brushes off the market. I don't like being bullied into having to spend my pension money on something that leaves my teeth needing a clean, and I don't have enough pension to keep paying £35-£45 a time to have them cleaned! I think it is just a ploy for the poor hardup dentists, who have achitecturally built houses, large expensive cars etc, etc, to make even more money. I have a plate with four teeth on it, but the rest of my mouth is full of my own teeth and I am nearly 75. I think the world is becoming even more of a despotic place to live and something should be done about it. I agree that knew thinking about things is right, but I really do think it is important for people to make up their minds about what they want to do. It is virtually criminal to take off the market something that you think is not good for people. THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES. I need to know where I can buy a proper hard bristle toothbrush because I hate using something that is more like cleaning my teeth with cotton wool.

Anonymous's picture
Gerry: I know, right? It's like lead
1 year 6 months ago
@Mrs Shirley Garrad (view comment)

I know, right? It's like lead paint in toys. I mean, parents should be allowed to decide whether their children should be able to play with toys that have lead paint in them, right? It was virtually criminal to take lead-saturated toys off the market; it was all just a ploy by those toy manufacturers to boost the prices of their products with the excuse that lead-free toys are more expensive to manufacture. I mean PARENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES IF THEIR CHILDREN END UP WITH LEAD POISONING AND MENTAL RETARDATION. It's not like anyone else's tax dollars end up paying for health care, welfare, and possibly correctional facilities for those affected, all of which result from the parents' stupid, uninformed decisions. Ya know? Lead paint colors are just so much more vivid!

Anonymous's picture
Lynn G: Hard Toothbrushes
6 years 2 months ago

My grandmother recently passed away. She was 96 years old. All of her life she used hard tooth brushes. She brushed her teeth, religiously, four times per day- every day. She died with ALL of her adult teeth. She never had a root canal nor a cap. Dentists will tell you that hard tooth brushes damage your gums. I have two grandparents left. Both are in their 90's and have all of their teeth as did my other grandmother. They also use hard tooth brushes. If you use a hard tooth brush, you won't need to go in to have your teeth cleaned as frequently. Dentists won't make as much money. Tooth brush sales drop because they last longer than soft and medium brushes. Removing hard tooth brushes from the shelves will boost profits for dentists and tooth brush producers. I have been looking for a hard tooth brush for two weeks now. If you find a store that carries them, please let me know.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard Toothbrush
4 years 11 months ago
@Lynn G (view comment)

Hello there, in my opinon it is always best to do research and invest in the best, regarding quality longevity and ease of use. Try a "Kent" hard bristle toothbrush I have used this hard bristle brush for a very long time now and have been thrilled. It will last ages given proper care and it is an absolute pleasure to use. Cheers!

Anonymous's picture
Zan: Dental conspiracy
2 years 9 months ago
@Lynn G (view comment)

I've always thought that most dentistry is a scam. All I do is use a hard brush
3X a week, and the other nights- rinse with hydrogen peroxide, followed by a
good picking or vice versa. Once every 2 or 3 weeks.. I flush with a Waterpik
as well. I am 71 and have the best teeth and gums. I haven't seen a dentist
in 4 years and sure don't miss him! Most dentists are in the business for the
money, just like lawyers, etc.

Anonymous's picture
Dr. D.C. Reeves: not for everyone
6 years 2 months ago

A hard toothbrush might be what you need now, but for some people, all they need is a soft-medium bristle brush. It would be beneficial if you know how to properly brush your teeth; otherwise, it might cause damage to your gums. Also don't forget to change your toothbrush every 3 months and get to visit your dentist regularly.

Anonymous's picture
Dr. Roger Portland: It's possible that you have
6 years 2 months ago

It's possible that you have tougher gums so it doesn't hurt you much. However in the long run, the damage might pile up resulting to worse gum problems. Also, not all people have the same gums as yours. Some have sensitive so they need softer brushes. It wouldn't hurt to visit your dentist once in a while.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: majority vs minority
5 years 8 months ago
@Dr. Roger Portland (view comment)

And again another "Dr" to tell me how to run my life. I was married to a dentist. The only reason the dental association reccommends the soft ones is to keep the "dr" fully staffed. It is a your own admission "dr" you state "some" have sensitive gums. Once again glad to live in america where "some" the minority dominates the majority. Do you really think everyone buys this CRAP or are you as fooled by your own programming that you don't recognize it even when you spew it.

Quinton Figueroa's picture
Quinton Figueroa: Ha! Love it!
5 years 8 months ago
@Anonymous (view comment)

Ha! Love it!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: you are so retarded it hurts
4 years 10 months ago
@Anonymous (view comment)

you are so retarded it hurts

Anonymous's picture
heydari: toothbrush
6 years 2 months ago

Dear Sirs,
We are contacting you on behalf of Industrial Group Co.
It is a large commercial company which carries out hygienic & cosmetic products.
Now we are interested in following product:
Tooth brush
Hereby we want to know if you can kindly provide us your products &price list along with your comment.
Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Your quick attention will be highly appreciated.
Best regards

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard Toothbrushes
6 years 1 month ago

I can't stand the new soft toothbrushes that now dominate the market. It's taken me years to finally find a toothbrush as firm as ones make 5 or 10 years ago. I often find ones marked as hard or firm but most often they really quite soft. There is one that will fill the bill. It's sold at Walmart. It comes in a twin-pack and it's made by "Reach". It's labeled as "Crystal Clean" Toothbrush. It also labeled as "Firm" Full Head. No doubt about it, this comes very close to the old 1990's style "Firm" toothbrushes.

Anonymous's picture
francis: FIRM Toothbrush
4 years 4 months ago
@Anonymous (view comment)

Yes we've been using those Crystal Clean firm brushes,
Now I suppose we will be forced to ORDER firm brushes
from overseas or else LOSE OUR TEETH.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Well as of 11/10/10 Walmrt
4 years 4 months ago
@Anonymous (view comment)

Well as of 11/10/10 Walmrt does nopt sell REACH toothbrushes. You can get them at Dollar General.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard toothburshes
5 years 8 months ago

When I was in elementery school during the 1940's, teachers advised everyone to use a hard bristled brush that was strong enough to go between the teeth as well as under the gums. We were told it might get some blood going at first, but that the gums would toughen up in time. Now, it's soft, soft, soft,...and I love soft in some cases. But, in some other cases, only HARD will do, and tooth brushes are one of those cases. I'm typically for new and improved, but this is one time I must be old fashioned. Of course dental offices are for soft bristles. Anything to support the buildup of plaque is money in their pockets. I'm all for everyone making a living, and I'm willing to help out but not at the expense of a raunchy breathe or fuzzy teeth.
Eddie from Louisiana

Anonymous's picture
peter : hard bristle
5 years 8 months ago

I get my hard bristles from Europe.

Springfield_rifles's picture
Springfield_rifles: A Skeptics Take
5 years 3 months ago

For years, I would get plaque build up on my lower incisor teeth that would cause my gums to bleed. I used a soft toothbrush, floss, gum stimulator and other gadgets to try to keep it clean. I had an old hard toothbrush at work that I used occassionally and always felt like my teeth were cleaner. Recently, I changed to a hard toothbrush (found on the bottom shelf at Walmart). Within two weeks all the plaque was gone and there is no more bleeding from any place in my gums. The gum checks (where they count out 1, 2, 3 etc to describe the health of the gums) all came in 1 or 2. The only thing I changed was my toothbrush.

My skeptical nature says that it is a revenue issue with the companies that sell dental products. If a toothbrush kept your teeth clean, why would you buy electric toothbrushes, gum stimulators, water picks and all the other expensive hardware?

The Mohs scale suggests that a brush can't wear away enamel unless there is an underlying problem with the tooth. (Wouldn't a steel dental pick be worse on enamel than a hard toothbrush bristle?) And stimulating gums with another instruments seems redundant with a better brush.

I would never go back to a soft brush.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: hard toothbrushes
4 years 4 months ago

For ten years I have not had any cavities/ I too get compliments from my hygenist and dentist that my gums are strong! Well, its because I use a firm brush.
they are hard to find. Walmart has dropped them from their sales. BUT you can find them at Dollar General. The REACH brand. Never use soft or medium again.

ProudPrimate's picture
ProudPrimate: Simplistic thinking
5 years 1 month ago

I am 63 and have all my teeth but one (a result of an accident). I always get compliments from my hygenist and downcast sighs from my dentist because I need so little repair work.

When I was younger, I did do damage my teeth, wearing a groove along the gumline. It wasn't fatal to those teeth, though. They're still on the job, groove and all.

When I learned to brush properly (perpendicular to the gumline, and away), the hard brush was no longer dangerous. Ever see a dog scratch his ear with his hind foot? Very carefully.

Plus, as others say above, soft brushes don't get the teeth really clean.

It seems that bureaucracies, in medicine, government, and business, always have to defer to the most inept and unthinking patients, citizens, and employees. "Oh, no, you can't use that knife — take this clumsy, useless one."

Anonymous's picture
perfect smile: toothbrush
5 years 6 days ago

Yes, the "corporations" are making us buy soft toothbrushes so "they" can make more money.
It's a conspiracy. They are all out to get us. We need Jason Bourne to save us.

Paaleease !!!!!

Anonymous's picture
Ashley: If anything, it's a
2 years 9 months ago
@perfect smile (view comment)

If anything, it's a conspiracy that they make hard and medium brushes. Over the years, it has been proven over and over again by numerous studies that soft toothbrushes are the way to go. They simply sell them because they know they're are uneducated & ignorant people in this world that will actually buy them. So why stop making them when they make money off of them? Maybe if everyone on this website did their research or picked up a book or two, they might would get that...

Anonymous's picture
francis: hard toothbrushes
4 years 4 months ago

Go ahead and laugh about conspiracies but there are
thousands of us who KNOW soft bristle toothbrushes
contribute to more plaque buildup and add to tooth
decay and loss.
For the last 10-15 years we have had no problem
in buying hard bristle toothbrushes off the shelf.
Well it is FACT that we are being SPRAYED with
chemicals from planes almost daily. This is NOT
conspiracy but FACT. The "chemtrails" contain
aluminum oxide and barium sulfate, both VERY
dangerous to human health.
There is an orchestrated PLAN, outlined in documents
written by elites and printed on the "Georgia Guide-
stones" that declare they are working to LIMIT the
world population to 500 million, to "save the planet".
This means that OVER 6 BILLION SOULS will have to be
eliminated by war, disease, abortion, genocide, etc.
RESEARCH IT BEFORE YOU LAUGH! Start by checking out and
they DENY them to the public.
Just as they are working to ELIMINATE healthy herbs
and vitamins people may use to stay healthy and ward
off disease. There are organizations actively involved
REASON for the lack of proper toothbrushes. Its just
as easy to manufacture and sell HARD brushes as it is

Anonymous's picture
Asagao: Hard brushes
4 years 2 months ago

Yeah, I agree. I think this is some marketing crap so our teeth get worse and send us running to the dentist. I've used a hard bristle my whole life and it wasn't like I brushed every single day, not gonna lie. Not trying to brag, but I have yet to have a single dental issue. Now that it's time to replace my old faithful, I can't even find the Reach hard brushes. There are literally no hard bristle brushes anywhere that I've been. I went everywhere near me(4 pharmacies, 2 Wal-marts and a Target) and have yet to find a singly hard bristled brush. I keep reading these articles about how hard brushes are horrid for your teeth, well, I'm living proof that they're fantastic for your teeth. All of -and I mean every single one- of my associates, coworkers, and friends has had dental trouble somehow and yet, here I stand. The difference? I use hard bristle. I want ma freakin' brush back! ~shakes fist angrily at marketing dogs~

Anonymous's picture
TheWaywardTooth: You are thinking too much into it
4 years 3 weeks ago

It is not a conspiracy, not even close. Hard bristle brushes cause gingival damage, recession, abrasion, abfraction, and thus induce tooth sensitivity. The point is not to "SCRUB" your teeth. You need to remove all the plaque, but if you brush efficiently and correctly, you don't have to use a hard brush. The soft bristle brush is much more effective. What matters is the correct angulations ( 45 degrees toward the gingival margin) and using small light vibrating circles. It is important the the bristles are soft so they can gently go under the gingival margin to remove plaque in the sulcus ( the gingival pocket around each tooth). The companies only continue to sell medium and hard brushes because they profit off the 'conspiracy' that you all create. It is my duty to care for and educate my patients and make sure they improve their health. NEVER under any circumstance would I wish to profit off my patients' poor health! I want to help them!
Don't be afraid of change. Research has indicated it is better for you for YOUR benefit! Do not reason with something you have not studied or researched.

I recommend you talk to your hygienist. We specialize in oral hygiene instructions and information for our patients.

- An offended Hygienist

Anonymous's picture
Trevor: Firm Bristles
4 years 1 week ago
@TheWaywardTooth (view comment)

Oh yeah? If hard-bristle brushes are so bad for your teeth, then why do dentists and hygienists use a HARD METAL SCRAPER to remove plaque? Huh? Surely that's worse than a firm nylon bristle. And if you use a firm-bristle brush, then you don't HAVE to get your teeth scraped. I'm sorry, Tooth, but this is a no-brainer.

The ADA is conspiring to get more money out its unwary patients. They want you to think that if you don't do it THEIR WAY, you'll lose all your teeth. But THEIR WAY involves semi-annual trips to the dentist at outrageous costs (most health insurance plans don't cover dental), filling cavities that wouldn't be there if you used a firm-bristle toothbrush, and scraping to remove all the plaque that you could have removed yourself if you had a hard-bristle toothbrush.

I understand that SOME PEOPLE don't have enough sense to brush their teeth in a way that doesn't damage their gums. But why should all of us who DO have enough sense be stuck with soft- or medium-bristle toothbrushes? SOME PEOPLE don't know how to operate a motor vehicle without wrecking it. Do we BAN motor vehicles? Hell no! SOME PEOPLE can't operate a power saw without cutting their hand off. Do we BAN power saws? Hell no!

And so what if I damage my gums or my enamel? Big deal. So I have to get false teeth. If I have to use to soft-bristle brush, I'll have to get false teeth ANYWAY, because they'll all rot out from cavities. And it will cost me a lot more money along the way.

Quinton Figueroa's picture
Quinton Figueroa: Well said :)
4 years 1 week ago
@Trevor (view comment)

Well said :)

Anonymous's picture
YEAHNOTSOMUCH: "Oh yeah? If hard-bristle
4 years 1 week ago
@Trevor (view comment)

"Oh yeah? If hard-bristle brushes are so bad for your teeth, then why do dentists and hygienists use a HARD METAL SCRAPER to remove plaque? Huh? Surely that's worse than a firm nylon bristle. And if you use a firm-bristle brush, then you don't HAVE to get your teeth scraped. I'm sorry, Tooth, but this is a no-brainer."

Wrong! They use scalers to remove tarter/calculus which is plaque that has been there so long that it has calcified into a hard deposit. Tarter cannot be removed with a toothbrush. If your hard bush theory was correct and it cleaned your teeth perfectly then you wouldn't need scaling, but guess what?......

Anonymous's picture
Ashley: You and the author of this
2 years 9 months ago
@Trevor (view comment)

You and the author of this article are obviously very uneducated about the subject. So...let me enlighten you..

As a Registered Dental Hygienist & a Certified Dental Assistant, I have many years of dental education & experience under my belt. Let me first start off by informing you on the proper brushing method. The toothbrush should be angled at the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Very light pressured strokes should be used in either a circular motion or a vibrating motion, and then rolling the toothbrush down towards the biting surface of the tooth. So when you brush, the toothbrush should come in contact with the gums to adequately remove all the plaque at the gum line. It must be done with light pressure to not eat away at the gums. "Scrubbing" is NOT at all the way to brush. If you scrub, whether you use extra soft or hard, it's going to damage your gums. Scrubbing + a hard toothbrush will damage them even more. No matter what kind of toothbrush you use, you are still going to get tartar build-up. Even people with the best oral hygiene get build-up, and therefore still need regular dental cleanings. Using a hard brush doesn't mean you don't have to get your teeth "scraped." And actually, my patients that I have to put on 3 or 4 month recalls, versus the traditional 6 months, due to more dental problems, most of them are using either medium or hard brushes.

The fact that you compared toothbrushes to the "hard metal scrapers" that are used to clean teeth shows how uneducated you really are. The two are very different and used for completely tasks, so it's like comparing apples and oranges. Toothbrushes are used to brush away plaque, a soft sticky substance that is constantly being formed on your teeth. So, since it is a SOFT substance, it only makes sense that it only takes a soft brush to remove it. When the plaque is not adequately removed, it hardens and calcifies to become calculus/tartar, which is what you come to the dentist to get cleaned off. You try removing calculus with something that's soft & see how successful it is. Those "hard metal scrapers," which are referred to as scalers, are used in a completely different manner than a toothbrush that does NOT harm the gums or enamel. They are not used to scrape at the enamel or gums, like a hard toothbrush. They are used to get under hard calculus deposits to remove them.

There have been many, many studies done over the years that show that plaque can be adequately removed using a SOFT toothbrush, so I don't see how this is some kind of conspiracy. Maybe you should have done some research. Using a soft toothbrush will NOT, in any way shape or form, cause one to have to go to the dentist more. Dental decay and other dental problems can be a result of several different factors - poor oral hygiene, heredity, poor/sugary diet. But it is not at all caused by soft toothbrushes. One can have dental problems no matter what kind of toothbrush they use, everyone's mouth and oral flora is very different. But using a hard bristle toothbrush puts you at an even higher risk for these problems. Of course, someone can use a hard bristle toothbrush their whole like and never have major dental problems, but it's more likely to happen when using a soft brush. However, it's very unlikely for one to use a hard brush all their life & not have any issues. Maybe not decay, but definitely gingival recession or even perio pockets.

Gums are a very delicate tissue & should be treated as such. Of course, you are brushing away plaque when using a hard toothbrush, but you are also brushing away your gums, and eventually your enamel. I see sooo many patients daily that use hard and medium toothbrushes & ALL of them have recession, which will eventually lead to periodontal disease & bone loss if the habit is continued. A good majority of those patients also have enamel abfractions from their toothbrushes & increased sensitivity! So my point - while all these things can still happen from brushing hard with a soft brush, using a hard toothbrush put even the most gentle of brushers at higher risk for all these problems.

oh and by the way, I have used an extra soft toothbrush my entire life, along with every other member of my family & we none have false teeth. With the 4 members of me immediate family, there are only 3 cavities all together. so your theory ... wrong

Ashley, CDA, RDH

Anonymous's picture
Victoria: Yeah, right, drink some more
1 year 3 weeks ago
@TheWaywardTooth (view comment)

Yeah, right, drink some more of the Soft brush kool-aid. I gave it try after the last reproach from my dental hygienist, who is always amazed at my lack of cavities and no dental problems caused by brushing more then 3-4 times a day with a Medium brush. So when I gave the Soft brush a try, the Soft bristles sagged and therefore could not remove food particles which allowed a film to build up on my teeth in about a week of using the Soft brush. I returned to using a Medium brush and the Medium brush removed the film from my teeth. Sorry dentist and staff no Hawaii paid for by me this year.

Anonymous's picture
never had a cavity: hard toothbrushes
4 years 2 weeks ago

I am 48+ years old, never had a cavity, until my dentist suggested using a soft brush with a ultra-sonic soft brush, within the year, a tiny pin mark of a cavity. I went back to hard brushes. And I use with proper "angulation". My teeth are not sensitive, my gums are fine, the only bristles that can clean into the crevices of my teeth are the hard bristles.

The soft bristle theories are one-dimensional.
Oh, yea, I am a research Ph.D.

Anonymous's picture
Kenny Reede: hard toothbrush and gum disease
4 years 2 weeks ago

Everyone talks about "brushing your teeth". They should talk about "brushing your gums".

I am 71, have all my teeth, and they are tight in the gums. I have only about 2 - 3 mm of gum tissue holding them in but won't have to worry about it too much longer.

I had my first gingival recession at 20 years of age. The dentist asked me how often I brushed and said, "Maybe you are brushing too much" when I replied, "Twice a day". I believed the are soul. After all, he is the great dentist and knows what he is talking about.

At age 30 - 35 I went on a 5 day camping trip in Mexico. Didn't brush a single time in the 5 days. Putting the brush to my gums resulted in a mouthful of blood. I telephoned the dental association and asked if there were dentists who specialize in gums. They gave me the name of several.

The gum specialist measured the depth of the pockets around my teeth for the first time in my life. He did a "radical gingivectomy" and left me with the 2 - 3 mm of gum now holding my teeth in. He took a chainsaw to my gums. There is a concave ring around all my teeth in what used to be below the gum line where the root rotted away below the gum line.

I had my wisdom teeth removed in Mexico City at age 36. The Mexican dentist gave me a lecture on how to brush my teeth. First rule, you don't need toothpaste.

I have had the dental picks to scrape my teeth for 20 or 30 years now. Do it myself. I have two. One with a needle point to get between the teeth and one with a flat chisel edge to scrape the surface. The picks are beside my desktop and I use them while reading something on the screen or other idle time. It takes about a week for plaque to build up on the teeth to the point it needs to be scraped off. (No toothpaste, remember?) That means that from one week after your are soul dentist cleans your teeth until the next time you go in for a f-ing, plaque is cutting and slicing away at your gums. Of course that is good because your are soul dentist would not have an income if you had good oral hygiene.

A year or two ago I got a severe pain in my molar. No choice. (Or so I thought.) Went to an are soul dentist. He demanded I relinquish my privacy rights before he would treat me. Went to another. She gave me a quotation for extracting the molar and cleaning my teeth. Neighborhood of $1000. This motivated closer attention to my problem. First, I knew my teeth did not need cleaning because I do it myself. (Yes, I give close attention to every square micron. Or so I thought.) Turns out I had been neglecting the space behind the one molar and the gum was simply swollen. The are soul wanted to extract my molar for a swollen gum.

I thought, "I need to be more vigorous in brushing my teeth!" I graduated to hard toothbrushes. It wasn't easy. It took about three months to get the gums hard enough to use a hard brush with the same comfort I use the soft and medium brushes I have. What do you know? Now hard toothbrushes are impossible to find.

I have about 30 toothbrushes. I have a system of keeping them 6 -7 in a small glass and transfer them to another glass in order to rotate them. If you have only one toothbrush, it goes bad so slowly that it is difficult to detect the time to replace it. Not so if you have several of different ages. You detect an old brush instantly when you compare it to the fresh ones bought every 3 - 6 months. Allowing them to dry out between uses prolongs their life also.

I keep a box of baking soda for use about once each week. That is where the soft brushes come in. I cannot tolerate a medium or hard brush with abrasive dental powder. This is one reason the are soul dentists say you cannot use a hard brush. The other, main reason is that if you use a hard brush, your gums will be tight and hard and you will not need a dentist.

To the dentists and orall hygenists who have written in to this forum. FY FY FY FY FY. It will be a pleasure to go to hell just to watch you there roasting in the deepest pit.

Now that I finally have learned to use a hard brush after 70 years of misery caused by listening to are soul dentists, I cannot buy them easily. They started disappearing about 6 months ago.

It is not comforting to have despotic do-gooders, oral "hygenists", and dentists motivated by avarice telling me what kind of toothbrush I can buy.

Hey, "Oral Hygenist", who did the "research". I have done more research than you ever will and know the methods used in medical research and meta studies. For example all the blather about heart disease and plaque in the heart is based on one study. One. One only. The Framingham Study. That was done many years ago using sloppy techniques. People in the medical trade have a bad attitude.

Anonymous's picture
Ashley: If you did so much research,
2 years 9 months ago
@Kenny Reede (view comment)

If you did so much research, then why did you say that it takes a week for plaque to form on your teeth? It actually starts to form IMMEDIATELY after brushing .... yea, you did a lot of research.

Ashley, RDH

Anonymous's picture
Teacher: Correct me if I'm wrong, but
3 years 11 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't scar tissue stronger than the tissue it replaces? So if firm brushing scars the gums and they cosmetically still look fine, are they then stronger than before?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Soft brushes are a con that even dentists believe.
3 years 11 months ago

Hard is better! My gums have never been better since ive been using a hard brush (after using and believing the soft brush crap for years. I had badly receding gums from plague n calculus but after a few weeks of using hard brush I noticed a difference and now my gums have returned! And they dont bleed anymore. No, they dont bleed anymore... now that im using a hard brush. Nothing else has changed. I floss sometimes -as before- and i dont brush twice a day or even 7 days a week -the only change is the brush.

I have thought the same thing (about why is dental industry pushing soft brushes?) My thoughts were also = to make more money, yes.. its the modern mantra. No matter what the cost is: people's/animal's/planet's health or life... make more money no matter what u gotta do. Regular Pharma does it shamelessly.. and the dental industry is just an appendage.. so why would it be immune?

This is just another symptom of a greater disease.
-Greed. Im SO over this greed. This buy-more-new-stuff crap. It is now alot worse than the 80s ever was. It has to stop. We must stop planned obsolescence. Products must be made to last ...or be upgradable. If we dont stop this we will kill ourselves.
It is that simple and it is that serious.

Offended Hygienist- you are perpetuating a myth. Just try it for a few weeks (if you can even find a hard brush) and brush properly as normal - vertically from gumline. You will see the difference. Notice how there are always new kinds of toothbrushes out. They dont evolve - they just change... but they are always soft.

Anonymous's picture
Richard: No Firm Brushes
3 years 10 months ago

Did you notice that Dentists now want you to come in every Six months for cleaning instad of one year. Thats because the brushes are softer . If You look back about 15-20 years I think you will see an infulance by the Dental Association or Lobyest. The propane Lobyest Did the same thing about 3 years ago they made the propane valves illeal and rendered all the tanks usless scrap. The companys stock took off. Everythings a gimic anymore.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard is the way to go.
3 years 8 months ago

I've always used hard toothbrushes as I felt the others didn't do anything except spread apart. I would sometimes only brush every 3 days. Then when I couldn't find hard for a while, I used the others. Before I knew it, I had 2 small cavities, my first, at the age of 22. I went to the dentist (had not been for about 10 years)and they were surprised what good shape my teeth were in and couldn't believe it had been that long since I saw the dentist. They fixed the cavities, and shortly after I found the Reach hard bristle brushes at Wal-Mart. I have not had any issues since. I get positive comments on my teeth all of the time and I still only brush about every other day.

My girlfriend tries to tell me hard brushes are bad because of blah blah blah. She uses one of those electric ones at least twice a day. Guess how many cavities she had within 6 months of seeing the dentist last? 7!

The dentists and my girlfriend can take their own advice and suffer because of it, I will keep using my firm brushes.

Anonymous's picture
CACMAN83: Off the mark
3 years 8 months ago

I just think every ones off the mark on this, its not a dental conspiracy it's just a marketing conspiracy, its simple a hard tip brush last up to three times longer then the alternatives yet the cost is the same so by eliminating hard tip tooth brushes they stand to triple their income plus if you look at most electric tooth brushes you fined that the tip is med to hard (no dick jokes please) this is clearly an attempt to make us spend more for something a lot of us don't feel we need and it is very true that corporations have people on staff ho's soul job is to find new and exciting ways to squeeze money out of the working poor, that's me by the way, Jesus just look at my spelling i don't stand a chance against these @#$@**.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: this convinced me to buy a
3 years 6 months ago

this convinced me to buy a firm toothrush. has 2 for 1.49 of the reach ones that everyone is talking about here, so imma buy a bunch of them

Anonymous's picture
AMB: Hard Toothbrushes
3 years 6 months ago

Personally, I use a hard toothbrush. But dentists now recommend only soft. This is why hard toothbrushes are increasingly more difficult to find--the ADA now recommends only soft. The reason stated is that only soft bristles are flexible enough to get into all the crevices and crannies of the teeth to clean them efficiently. They also claim that hard bristles can injure the gums. That's the "official" word on the matter, anyway.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: Hard bristle tooth brushes
3 years 4 months ago

I've used hard bristle toothbrushes for years and prefer them to get my teeth the cleanest. Even my dental hygienist said I'm one of those people who needs cleaning 3 times a year as I tend to get a lot of plaque build up. My dentist also recommends his patients use soft bristle toothbrushes. I think it's a conspiracy, if we use soft bristle toothbrushes, patients such as myself, are not going to be getting as much plaque removed as with a hard bristle--therefore 3 cleanings a year at $95.00 per cleaning (w/o insurance) so who's gaining here?

Anonymous's picture
Nathan Woodbury: Dental website marketing
3 years 2 months ago

If you want hard brushes go ahead use them, that is your right, but don't get mad if you can't buy them in the market.

Anonymous's picture
2 years 6 months ago


Anonymous's picture
mary: to offended hygienist........
2 years 2 months ago

to offended hygienist........ all that bull shit coming from the same people who put poisonous fillings. mercury is highly toxic but go ahead after all, we're totally looking out for the patient. - deceived patient

Anonymous's picture
Saskia: Go Figueroa
2 years 2 months ago

Hard brushes rule!

I'm loving this blog, finally something worthwhile - they need to bring back hard brushes all around the world, not just the USA! We should unite under the umbrella of the "Firm Toothbrushes International" and lobby the multinationals. Haha or I'll just order a new hard brush online...

Anonymous's picture
KElsie: Go Hard or Go Home!
2 years 1 month ago

I am pissed I cant find any hard tooth brushes at the store! The have soft medium medium full , like who cares they do not get the plaque off the teeth! I might have to look online for them but for now I had to spend 8$ on a electric tooth brush. "They" who ever are doing this on purpose and I am pissed.

Anonymous's picture
Not a robot: They don't have hard
2 years 1 month ago

They don't have hard toothbrushes because it is the same thing
That dentists use to clean your teeth and was putting
Them out of buisness

Anonymous's picture
Tom: This is a passionate topic. I
1 year 9 months ago

This is a passionate topic. I have used firm or hard toothbrushes for as long as I can remember. They have become hard to find in the last 5 years or so, so when I'm looking and find them I buy in bulk. I think the real reason they are disappearing could either be the manufacturers or dentists. Dentists claim the hard toothbrushes remove the enam off your teeth and damage your gums. As far as I go that's bull shit. My teeth are fine. I don't floss buss get an awesome clean from my toothbrush . Gums might bleed if your new to a hard brush and get carried away, if you use regularly your gums strengthen, like hands with physical labour, and it's good for you. No gingervitus ect. As far as the manufacturers go. A hard tooth brush last ak least twice as long.

That's my two cents. Cheers

Anonymous's picture
Gerry: " if you use regularly your
1 year 6 months ago

" if you use regularly your gums strengthen, like hands with physical labour, and it's good for you."

That's right, Tom. Me, I eat a big bag of broken glass every day. Those little pieces really cut my mouth somethin' fierce when I started (and let's not even TALK about toilet time hahaha!). But let me tell you, now I'm used to it, and I can eat anything I want and I don't get heartburn, gingervitus ect. Bring on the vindaloo!

Just my two cents.

Anonymous's picture
Ladan Zinati: Right Toothbrush
1 year 5 months ago

Obviously, you are not a certified dentist Mr. Figueroa based on your thoughts expressed in this article, am I right? Anyway, I don't know what exactly inspired you to publish this article in connection with oral hygiene. But you might have some good points when using a hard tooth brush. It can heavily wipe out the plaque that accumulates on your teeth during the day but it is not advisable to use because it can damage the gums. Dentist do not recommend this because it's a conspiracy so that they can have more patients and more teeth to drill on. This is recommended because plaque material is soft and it can be easily removed with a soft bristled toothbrush and avoid damaging your gums at the same time. If the dentists didn't "actually" believe in this, they wouldn't use soft bristled toothbrush themselves.

Anonymous's picture
Kim: Wondered where the hard brushes went - long-time user
1 year 5 months ago

Well, I confess. I never went to the dentist when I was young. My parents were working poor, no dental, and just didn't take us. I've always, always used hard brushes and never had a cavity in my life. My gums are fine.

Went into the military and they demanded a thorough cleaning at the dentist. When I got there, the dentist and the assistant MARVELED over the condition of my nice, straight, clean teeth. I was not anti-dentist then, but I am now. They cleaned my teeth thoroughly. And within a year, I had a cavity. Yes, for the first time in my life, after the dentist scraped all the protection off my teeth, I got a cavity. I was shocked.

I managed to avoid the dentist after that and went back to my hard brushes and no cleaning from the dentists, using just what God gave me to protect my teeth, and I haven't had a cavity since.

Explain that one!

Now I have to buy my toothbrushes through the Internet because the stores don't carry them any more.

My husband believes in soft toothbrushes and what the dentist tells him. He's had soooo many cavities, it isn't funny. And he's very thorough at cleaning his teeth. Poor guy....

I've tried soft brushes for a while, mainly because that was all I could get until I found hard ones online. Well, I'd brush, and still felt a gritty, sticky crud on my teeth. I'd spend 5 mins brushing and still they felt grimy. They don't get your teeth clean, don't care what anyone says. And no, I didn't push too hard, etc. I've used electric toothbrushes with the same results. I hated the electric ones.

Let me tell you something else I got from the dentist--the usual "you've got to floss regularly" lecture. I faithfully went out and bought floss.....used it every time I brushed.

A friend of mine and I got to discussing this flossing thing, because we both noticed the same thing:
She never flossed, either, when she was younger. Her teeth were nice and tight together. Mine was, too. We flossed because we were told to floss, and now there is a miniscule gap between our teeth where food gets caught!!!!! Never had that problem until I started flossing every day.

Thanks Dentists, for messing up my teeth. Now I have to floss to get the crap out of the caverns you've created in my teeth....


Anonymous's picture
Alicia: Hard Tooth Brush
1 year 3 months ago

On and some chemistdirect website from the UK have Wisdom Addis extra hard smokers toothbrushes. The amazon reviews are good. I think this is what everyone is looking for. My boyfriend likes a nice hard toothbrush, but we can't find them. Only Firm, which isn't hard enough for him, he wants wire brush strength I think! lol

Anonymous's picture
Victoria: Brushes of Medium Hardness or Hard Brushes Work Best
1 year 3 weeks ago

Soft & Medium are two different types of brushes as is Hard different from soft & medium. I don't know if I've ever used a Hard brush, but I know I've always preferred a Medium brush over a Soft. Yet when I go to the dentist and get the "use a Soft toothbrush" lecture, I am reproached by either a long sad, stern faced hygienist or dentist. So last fall when I couldn't find a Medium hardness brush, I tried a soft brush for not quite 2 weeks. I brush my teeth at least 3-4 times a day and I started to notice after about a week of using this Soft brush there was a film of food on my teeth that the soft brush just would remove. I tried and tried, thinking maybe I'm not brushing long enough, no the film stayed. So finally I went out shopping and found a Medium brush and it removed the film. I too think that it is to the benefit of dentists and their hygienists, if a soft brush is used because the eventually occurring cavities bring them more business and the foolish companies go along with it. Of course there maybe some folks who benefit from a soft brush, yet I would bet most people would benefit from using either Medium or Hard toothbrush. There are probably many folks who have all kinds of dental problems which are caused by their soft bristle toothbrushes because they don't remove the food particles from the teeth, but instead allow a film of food to build up on the teeth.

Anonymous's picture
Dr. Nelson D.O.: agreed
9 months 2 weeks ago

Love this thread! Totally agree that firm is the best! Also agree that the only brand I can find that's good enough are the Reach pictured above! If you have sensitive gums buy softer brands! Suspicious about the conspiracy theory as well. This theory has independently crossed my mind as well as I cannot conjure up any other justification for the lack of selection.

Anonymous's picture
Whatever: Some of you ppl don't know
8 months 4 weeks ago

Some of you ppl don't know anything… Some people have sensitive gums that can be completely destroyed by improperly using hard bristle toothbrushes. So if some of you brilliant know-it-alls end up with major gum recession later on, you can't say you weren't warned.

Anonymous's picture
jerry : amazing that the number one
8 months 2 weeks ago

amazing that the number one cause of liver failure is the overuse of tylenol yet it is available at every grocery store, quick stop, drug store, gas station, 7-11 etc. yet you can't
find an old fashioned hard toothbrush in the usa since it might bother some peoples gums.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous: My thoughts exactly, I am
7 months 3 weeks ago

My thoughts exactly, I am actually so passionate about this, all my friends think I'm nuts haha. Hard work better and so I believe the dentists want them off the market. I used hard toothbrushes all my life and never had a speck of plaque, using medium in the last few months, I already have a TONNE off plaque buildup that I can't get rid of! …unless I see Mr Dentist of course. Also I never *had* to replace my toothbrush for like 9 months, now it seems they only last 2-3 months ("recommended time")… definitely could have been taken off the market due to Dentists and manufacturers alike. Anyone recommend a good place to buy from?

Anonymous's picture
Riya: Informative post
6 months 2 weeks ago

this post is very interesting and will be useful for us.thanks

Anonymous's picture
Jessica: Study says:
4 months 6 days ago

Hard-filament toothbrushes remove more plaque than soft filament brushes, but also cause a higher number of gingival abrasions.

Anonymous's picture
simon: hard toothbrushes 'conspiracy'
3 weeks 5 days ago

everything that's been written in the article is completely true and exactly what i think about hard toothbrushes from being a better clean to it being a conspiracy.

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