Scientists argue—how to brush your teeth

A new study from University College London finds that the advice on how people should brush their teeth "unacceptably inconsistent".

Scientists have looked at a lot of tips on how to brush your teeth, dental associations, advertising companies and dental textbooks. In the end, they found a broad range of recommendations, how often and long should you brush your teeth. The researchers found no clear consensus between the various sources, and "worrying" lack of agreement between advice from dental associations compared with dental textbooks.

Professor Aubrey Sheiham is outraged: "the Public must have clear information about the best way to brush your teeth. If people hear one thing from a dental Association, another from the company that produces the brush, and something else from the dentist, no wonder they are confused about how to clean. In this study we found an unacceptably inconsistent array of advice from different sources".

The most commonly recommended technique is a soft movement in the brush back, to remove any food particles, plaque and bacteria. But no large-scale studies showing that this method is more effective, no.

Sheiham advises simple horizontal scrubbing motion, and the location of the brush at an angle of 45 degrees to reach plaque. The Professor recommends that you do not press hard on the hygiene subject. Such a simple method, in his opinion, absolutely effective and will keep gums healthy.

"There is little point in brushing after sweets or sugary drinks to prevent tooth decay. Bacteria from food takes about two minutes to start producing acid, so if you brush your teeth a few minutes after eating sugary foods, the acid will have damaged the enamel."

Lead author John Wainwright: "a Wide range of recommendations associated with the absence of strong evidence that one method is better than another. I advise my patients to focus cleaning on the places where the coating on the chewing surfaces, and at the junction of teeth and gums".



See also

New and interesting