This population-based cross-sectional study investigated the association between toothbrush bristle stiffness and the occurrence of erosive tooth wear (ETW) among 15- to 19-year-old adolescents from southern Brazil. Data collection included the application of questionnaires and clinical examination. One questionnaire on sociodemographic information (sex, age, and socioeconomic status) was sent to the parents/legal guardians, while the other was applied to students and collected data regarding oral hygiene habits (toothbrushing frequency, toothbrushing after meals, and toothbrush bristle stiffness) and dietary habits (frequency of consumption of soft drinks, citric fruits, and fruit juice). After tooth cleaning and drying, all erupted permanent teeth were clinically assessed and classified according to the Basic Erosive Wear Examination (BEWE) by 2 calibrated examiners. The association between explanatory variables and ETW prevalence was assessed using Poisson regression models. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. A total of 1,197 adolescents were included (participation rate 72.3%). The overall prevalence of ETW was 57%. The final model showed that individuals who used toothbrushes with soft (PR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.02–1.60) or medium (PR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.01–1.69) bristles presented a higher ETW prevalence than those who used toothbrushes with extra-soft bristles, even after the adjustment for important cofactors. In conclusion, this study found a very weak but significant association between toothbrush bristle stiffness and ETW among Brazilian adolescents. Considering the cross-sectional design of this study and considering that some association was found even in such a young population, future studies using different designs and including different age-groups might elucidate the clinical relevance of this finding.

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