Inconsistent advice on tooth-brushing


A study done by the British Dental Journal has found that there is a worrying lack of agreement between dental experts on how people should brush their teeth.

The researchers looked at the advice given by dental association in 10 countries, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental textbooks and found the results to be extremely inconsistent.

The team found that the recommendations varied on the brushing method, the regularity and the time to be spent on brushing.

A senior author and emeritus professor of dental public health at University College London’s department of epidemiology and public health, Aubrey Sheiham, said the public needs to be given sound advice on the best way to brush their teeth. If people hear one thing from a dentist, another from a dental association and another from toothbrush manufacturers, they become confused about the best method of brushing. He said that during this study, they found inconsistencies in the advice offered from the different sources.

Professor Sheiham said his advice would be to brush gently in a simple horizontal scrubbing way, placing the brush at a 45-degree angle to ensure you get to the dental plaque. He added that to avoid brushing too hard, the brush should be held with a pencil grip instead of in a fist. This simple method is also very effective at maintaining healthy gums.

He added that there is very little point in brushing teeth after sugary drinks or eating sweets in a bid to prevent tooth decay. Bacteria from food is produced within two minutes, so brushing a few minutes after consuming sugary foods will make no difference as the acid will already have damaged the enamel.

Image Credit: makelessnoise


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Emma Brown

Emma graduated in 2005 from the University of York with a degree in English Literature. A huge passion for writing and health topics, Emma is a perfect match for Health News UK. Hobbies include; cooking, writing (of course), musicals and her 2 dogs.

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