How To Brush Your Teeth: Nobody Really Knows

August 9, 2014 8:20 am 2 comments

Looking for some advice on how to brush your teeth? The more people you ask, the more different answers you are likely to get. That’s what researchers at University College in Londonimages-2 learned when they looked at the brushing advice given by dental associations across ten countries, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental textbooks. The research revealed what is described as “no clear consensus between the various sources, and a worrying lack of agreement between advice from dental associations compared with dental textbooks.” 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. But, the researchers point out, no large-scale studies have ever shown this method to be any more effective than basic scrubbing. The biggest news here? The researchers say there is little point in brushing after eating sweets or sugary drinks to prevent tooth decay because 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, it’s already too late: the acid will have damaged the enamel.

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