Bristle is a home testing kit that analyzes your oral microbiome.
You provide a saliva sample, then get a complete report on your oral health and oral microbiome. Bristle can give you personalized product, diet, and lifestyle recommendations based on your results.
Is Bristle worth the hype? How does Bristle work? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Bristle’s oral health test today in our review.
What is Bristle?
Bristle is an oral health test found online at BristleHealth.com.
Using Bristle, you can identify and measure the 100+ bacteria in your saliva that cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum inflammation.
Each kit comes with a saliva testing kit. You provide a sample of your saliva in that kit, then receive a complete analysis.
Bristle delivers a report of your oral health and oral microbiome. Then, it uses this information to recommend actionable changes to your diet and lifestyle.
You also get one-on-one coaching with an oral health specialist. That oral health specialist can walk you through Bristle’s results and what they mean – including some of the changes you can start making today to optimize your oral microbiome.
Each Bristle testing kit is priced at around $119. Or, you can subscribe and save, paying $109 per year (2 tests per year) or $99 per year (4 tests per year).
How Does Bristle Work?
Your mouth is the gateway to your body, and it’s filled with bacteria that play a crucial role in health.
Studies show your oral microbiome is linked to disease and illness. If you have poor oral microbiome balance, for example, then you may have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and fertility, among other issues.
Bristle aims to help your oral microbiome by revealing crucial insight into your health. Here’s how it works:
Step 1) You order a Bristle testing kit and collect a saliva sample at home.
Step 2) You ship that saliva sample to Bristle’s CLIA-certified lab. The company developed a test with the University of Pacific School of Dentistry, and their science is backed by decades of research and 200+ scientific studies.
Step 3) You receive a complete report on your oral health and oral microbiome.
Bristle is HIPAA-compliant, and the company takes extra measures to make sure patient data is secure. Data is protected with state-of-the-art encryption, for example, and stored securely.
What Will You Learn from Bristle?
Most of us have gone our entire lives without thinking about the bacteria living in our mouths. Why take a Bristle test? What can you learn from Bristle?
The goal of Bristle is to measure your current oral microbiome levels, then track those levels and improve them over time:
Measure: Bristle measures the levels of good and bad bacteria in your mouth. You get a breakdown of all bacteria levels in your saliva, including both beneficial and harmful bacteria. On average, your mouth is home to 100 to 200 unique species, and Bristle can explain what each species of bacteria means.
Track: Whether you subscribe to Bristle or order individual testing kits over time, you can track your oral microbiome to view results. You can see how diet and lifestyle changes have impacted your oral microbiome, for example. Bristle tells you how your unique oral microbiome impacts your oral health, including how it impacts your risk of cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other issues. Bristle cites professional research with all of these recommendations, making it easy to see what the science says about your oral bacteria levels.
Improve: Bristle delivers actionable, personalized coaching, giving you hygiene, product, diet, and lifestyle recommendations to help improve your oral health. The company also works with scientists and oral health experts to find the best oral care products for your mouth, customized to your unique oral bacteria levels.
Other things you’ll learn from a Bristle test include:
- The makeup of 100 to 200 bacteria and fungi species in your mouth
- Which species of bacteria and fungi in your mouth are beneficial for your health and which ones are harmful
- The bacteria and fungi in your mouth that are linked to conditions like halitosis (bad breath), tooth decay, gum inflammation, and other issues
- The identity and relative abundance of bacteria in your saliva
- The root cause of oral symptoms and connections to other chronic conditions
- Science-backed product, diet, and lifestyle recommendations based on your unique oral microbiome, including changes you can make today to start improving your oral health
Bristle Can Help Identify the Root Cause of Symptoms
A single Bristle test can help identify the root cause of many symptoms you are experiencing, including:
- Chronic bad breath
- Tongue coating
- Inflamed gums
- Tooth decay
- Gut inflammation
- Burning mouth
- Weird taste
In many cases, these issues are linked to your oral microbiome. A Bristle test can determine the balance of bacteria in your mouth that could be causing these issues.
How to Provide a Saliva Sample
Bristle makes it easy to provide a saliva sample. Here’s how it works:
- Bristle’s test uses a small sample of your saliva
- To provide your sample, you spit into a small tube
- The Bristle tube contains a clear, liquid solution to stabilize your saliva
- You ship the saliva tube back to the Bristle lab using the prepaid envelope
- Then, Bristle tests your saliva for the items above
- Each Bristle testing kit comes with detailed, step-by-step instructions, making it easy to see exactly how the testing kit works and how to use it.
- Bristle delivers results within 2 to 3 weeks of mailing the sample back to the lab.
Bristle Reviews: What Do Users Say?
Bristle’s users tend to be happy with the oral health test and how it worked. Like other personalized health testing programs, Bristle delivers unique insight into your health beyond what you learn from a general physical or similar test.
Here are some of the reviews from Bristle users:
Many users use Bristle to identify the source of their bad breath. If you have chronic halitosis, for example, then you may have struggled to fix that problem using diet and lifestyle changes. Bristle can help you get to the bottom of the issue.
Others describe Bristle’s test results as “amazing,” and they like how Bristle broke everything down in a no-nonsense way, making it easy to understand the information regardless of your science background.
Others take Bristle to help with gum disease. One reviewer had a family history of gum disease, for example, and Bristle helped him understand the bacteria that could make that problem worse. Now, that person is taking actionable steps to reduce his risk of gum disease.
The Science Behind Bristle
Bristle has a science page where they break down the science behind their test, the importance of oral microbiome balance, and other information informing their recommendations. We’ll review some of that science below.
First, we all have trillions of microbes in our mouth. This is known as our oral microbiome. Just like we have living bacteria in our gut, we also have living bacteria in our mouths and other parts of our body. This bacteria keeps us balanced. Your mouth is home to a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Most of the species of bacteria and fungi in your mouth are beneficial. They protect you from oral diseases, help you break down the foods you eat, and protect your teeth.
However, some species are harmful: they’re linked to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease, for example. For various diet and lifestyle reasons, some people have higher levels of these negative bacteria and fungi than others.
Bristle uses genomics to measure the good and bad bacteria in your saliva. Bristle analyzes the DNA of each microbe in your saliva sample, helping to identify which species are thriving in your mouth – and at what quantity. If you have higher levels of specific bacteria and fungi, then you may have a higher risk of disease.
Then, Bristle matches your unique risk profile with their expert-backed, science-based recommendations. Bristle has compiled research and consulted with a team of oral health experts to curate the most effective diet, lifestyle, hygiene, and oral care product recommendations. The goal of these recommendations is to improve your overall health.
It’s true there’s a connection between your oral microbiome and health. In this 2022 study, researchers found a specific link between oral microbiota and health. Researchers found evidence that oral microbiota contribute to the pathological processes of diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), arthritis, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Bad oral bacteria serve as a “reservoir” for opportunistic pathogens, increasing your risk of disease and illness.
As researchers learn more about the oral microbiome, they’re learning more about its connection with disease and illness.
After the gut, the oral cavity (i.e. your mouth) has the second largest and diverse microbiota in the body. By taking care of these bacteria, you can support your body’s natural defenses against a range of diseases and illnesses.
Tips for Balancing Good Bacteria in your Oral Microbiome
After a Bristle test, the company may deliver a range of recommendations on caring for your oral microbiome, managing the balance of bacteria, and protecting your health from your mouth to the rest of your body.
Some of the best ways to balance good bacteria in your oral microbiome include:
Choose toothpaste designed to boost good bacteria; some toothpastes kill all bacteria, good and bad, while other toothpastes are specifically designed to increase good bacteria in your mouth
Eat more plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts; studies show plant-based nutrients support good oral microbiome balance
Reduce sugar intake; sugary foods and drinks are bad for your teeth and bad for bacteria in your mouth
Stop smoking; smoking appears to harm the delicate balance of oral microbiota
Manage blood sugar levels (if you have diabetes); studies show people with diabetes need to work harder to balance their oral microbiome than non-diabetics
After taking a Bristle test, you’ll receive information customized to your unique mouth, your unique oral microbiome, and your unique health and wellness goals.
Bristle is priced at $119 for a one-time kit, although you can save considerably by signing up for Bristle’s annual plans.
- One-Time Purchase: $119
- Subscribe & Save (2 Tests Per Year): $109
- Subscribe & Save (4 Tests Per Year): $99
Bristle will ship tests every 6 months (with the 2 test per year plan) or every 3 months (with the 4 test per year plan).
Bristle’s tests are eligible for reimbursement by most FSA and HSA plans.
Bristle does not currently ship to New York.
All prices include shipping.
Bristle was founded with the goal of creating a new kind of care that prioritizes the prevention of disease instead of reactively treating it.
The company was founded by Danny Grannick, David Lin, Shivam Patel, and Brian Maurer.
You can contact Bristle via the following:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bristle is a unique, at-home saliva test that reveals crucial insight about your oral microbiome.
By taking a single Bristle test, you can discover the number and diversity of bacteria and fungi in your oral cavity – and how to optimize your oral microbiome with actionable diet and lifestyle changes today.
To learn more about Bristle and how it works or to order the test online today, visit the official website at BristleHealth.com.