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article imageConfusion over best way to brush your teeth

By Tim Sandle     Aug 8, 2014 in Health
London - According to a study from University College London, advice on the best way to brush teeth for adults and children is confusing and inconsistent.
To highlight differences in advice, the researchers looked at advice given by dental associations, toothbrush companies and in dental textbooks. In total, 66 different sources of advice from around the world. From this analysis, the study found the following:
Advice on the best way to brush your teeth varies,
There is a lack of agreement on how often to brush your teeth,
There is no consensus on how long to brush your teeth for.
And that all of this adds up to confusion for people. The research also concluded that there is no evidence that one method is better than another. For example, six different tooth-brushing techniques were recommended by dentists and dental associations. Although the most common method was a horizontal brush movement with some circular motions, there was no evidence that this was any better than the other five described methods (such as brush at 45 degrees, and vertical brush movements while using the brush to 'scrub' the teeth).
Furthermore, with the issue of 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.
The outcome tallies with the U.K. Department of Health, whose guidance notes that no one brushing technique has been shown to be better than any other.
Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation told Metro he believes that, rather than recommending one technique over another, dentists should simply point out to patients which areas of their mouth are being neglected so they can adjust accordingly.
The research was led by Dr John Wainwright and Prof Aubrey Sheiham, and the findings have been reported to the British Dental Journal. The research is titled "An analysis of methods of toothbrushing recommended by dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental texts."
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