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What's the best way to brush teeth? Even dentists and dental associations don't agree
Date:8/8/2014

Advice on how we should brush our teeth from dental associations and toothpaste companies is 'unacceptably inconsistent', finds new UCL (University College London) research.

The study, published in the British Dental Journal, looked at the brushing advice given by dental associations across ten countries, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental textbooks. They found a wide range of recommendations on what brushing method to use, how often to brush and for how long.

The researchers found no clear consensus between the various sources, and a 'worrying' lack of agreement between advice from dental associations compared with dental textbooks.

"The public needs to have sound information on the best method to brush their teeth," says Aubrey Sheiham, Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health), senior author of the study. "If people hear one thing from a dental association, another from a toothbrush company and something else from their dentist, no wonder they are confused about how to brush. In this study we found an unacceptably inconsistent array of advice from different sources.

"Dental associations need to be consistent about what method to recommend, based on how effective the method is. Most worryingly, the methods recommended by dental associations are not the same as the best ones mentioned in dental textbooks. There is no evidence to suggest that complicated techniques are any better than a simple gentle scrub."

The most commonly-recommended technique involves gently jiggling the brush back and forth in small motions, with the intention of shaking loose any food particles, plaque and bacteria. However, no large-scale studies have ever shown this method to be any more effective than basic scrubbing.

"Brush gently with a simple horizontal scrubbing motion, with the brush at a forty-five degree angle to get to the dental plaque," Professor Sheiham advises.
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Contact: Harry Dayantis
h.dayantis@ucl.ac.uk
44-020-310-83844
University College London
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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