Sir,- At last, E Harrison has had the courage to denounce the plethora of articles on 'overbrushing' (BDJ 2003, 195: 361). Although I am just a GDP, over thirty years of practicing I have seen the negative effects of patients who brush too gently. There are not many people who can brush effectively using a soft brush, with gentle force. Materia alba, let alone plaque, is the most common sequel to this 'technique'. My verbal oral hygiene instruction to patients has changed over the years from complicated brushing techniques, to my current advice, which is 'give them a good scrub ... you cannot brush too hard'.

I am 55yrs old and have personally used this method and have no gingival recession and no calculus formation. Whilst accepting that one case is not statistical evidence, surely, gingival recession in the face of firm brushing is genetic, but poor, gentle brushing is bound to lead to gingival and periodontal disease.