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

"To avoid brushing too hard, hold the brush with a pencil grip rather than a fist. This simple method is perfectly effective at keeping your gums healthy.

"There is little point in brushing after eating sweets or sugary drinks to prevent tooth decay. It takes bacteria from food 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."

The conflicting messages given by different organisations highlight the need for research into how effective different brushing methods are. At present, the expert advice in the guidelines, 'The scientific basis of dental health education', recommend a simple scrubbing technique as it is easy to learn and there is no evidence to justify a more complicated method.

"The wide range of recommendations we found is likely due to the lack of strong evidence suggesting that one method is conclusively better than another," says lead author Dr John Wainwright, who carried out the study at UCL and is now a practising dentist. "I advise my patients to focus their brushing on areas where plaque is most likely to collect the biting surfaces and where the teeth and gums meet and to use a gentle scrubbing motion. All too frequently I am asked why the method I am describing differs from how previous dentists have taught them in the past.

"What I feel we need is better research into what the easiest to learn, most effective and safest way to brush is. The current situation where not just individual dentists, but different dental organisations worldwide are all issuing different brushing guidelines isn't just confusing it's undermining faith and trust in the profession as a whole. For something most people do twice a day, you would expect dentists to send a clearer, more unified message to their patients on how to brush their teeth."


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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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