Breaking down the misconception that brushing harder is better with Dr. Taliah Khan

Dr Taliah speaks on common dental misconceptions

It is a common misconception that brushing harder results in cleaner teeth, but this is far from the truth.

In fact, long-term aggressive brushing can lead to a host of dental problems, as Taliah Khan, a dental practice owner passionate about preventative dentistry, explains.

"We generally have ingrained into us that the harder you scrub something the cleaner it gets,” Dr. Khan explained. “That’s how we clean everywhere else, whether it be trying to get rid of stains in the kitchen or bathroom or trying to scrub out a stain in a t-shirt.”.

However, according to Dr. Khan, this belief does not apply to oral health.

"Long term aggressive brushing destroys the gentle soft tissue (gums) around the teeth leading to recession, sensitivity, premature wear, and sometimes decay," she said.

Dr. Khan recalls an incident when she came across a very worn-down and frayed toothbrush at her friend's house.

"I asked her whose toothbrush it was and it was her husband’s so I told her she needed to get him a new one ASAP, to which she responded that he just got a new one last week,” she said “It turns out he was convinced that if he didn’t brush hard, he wasn’t cleaning his teeth right."

To address these misconceptions, she utilizes intraoral photos in her practice.

"Pictures are the best explanations for patients because it opens their mind,” Dr. Khan mentioned. “People know what healthy teeth look like so when they see anything that’s different they understand why we as dentists are concerned."

Correcting these misconceptions can lead to better patient care and outcomes, she says.

"Pain is a common motivator for changing one's habits. Helping patients understand their aggressive brushing is causing abrasion which leads to sensitivity is one way to help them rewire their thought process." Dr. Khan said.

She shared a case of a patient suffering from an acute flare of a muscle spasm in her masseter muscle, causing trouble in opening her mouth to eat or talk properly.

"Her friend and the internet told her that based on her symptoms she would need extensive jaw surgery, because of this she chose to suffer for weeks before I saw her at the office” Dr. Khan noted. “When I saw her and explained the solution was much more conservative, she was relieved and within a week she saw a huge improvement."

She also stressed the importance of seeking accurate information from reliable sources.

"Ask a dentist! We love talking about oral health and clearing up confusion,” Dr. Khan asserted “The internet can be a good source of information but you can’t trust everything you find, so definitely fact check."

Ultimately, the most important thing to Dr. Khan is that people use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply light pressure while brushing.

“Allow the bristles to do the work without scrubbing forcefully,” she said. “If you can’t tell if you’re going too hard, newer electric toothbrushes have a light indicator that turns red if you’re brushing too hard."

Debunking the myth that brushing harder leads to cleaner teeth is crucial for preventing long-term damage to the gums and teeth. As Dr. Khan underscores, it is essential to be correctly informed about proper dental care practices and to consult a dentist for accurate information and guidance.

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This content was first published by KISS PR Brand Story. Read here >> Breaking down the misconception that brushing harder is better with Dr. Taliah Khan

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