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Friday, 22 August 2014
CONFUSION OVER BEST WAY TO BRUSH TEETH
Advice on the best way to brush teeth
for adults and children is confusing and inconsistent. There is also a lack of agreement on how often to brush and for how long because of an absence of good research. Experts say there is no evidence that one method is better than
The most commonly-recommended toothbrushing method
involves a horizontal brush movement with some circular motions. But six different tooth-brushing techniques are recommended by dentists and
dental associations. Some involve angling the brush at 45 degrees, others involve vertical brush
movements while using the brush to 'scrub' the teeth was also recommended.
Most of the advice suggested brushing teeth twice a day, but one source said
it should be three times daily. When it came to how long to brush teeth for, 26 sources advised brushing for
two minutes, 12 for two to three minutes and two sources recommended three
minutes of brushing. There appears to be no consensus among professional
bodies on the best method of toothbrushing for the general population or for
people of different ages or with particular dental conditions.
The wide diversity in recommendations, for something
that is done twice a day, should be of serious concern to the dental
profession. There is an urgent need for more research into the comparative
effectiveness of brushing methods.
No one brushing technique has been
shown to be better than any other.
Prof Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser at the British Dental Association, warns that there is little point brushing teeth straight after eating
sugary foods to prevent tooth decay. Bacteria from food starts producing acid after a few minutes, which softens
the enamel on the teeth, so brushing during this time could damage the
enamel. "Leave it for an hour or so," he advises.
My advice: brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for
at least two minutes to help keep teeth and mouth healthy.