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The Great Tooth Brushing Debate Continues

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?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 research found that the most consistent form of teeth brushing included gently moving the brush across the surface of the teeth in a horizontal manner, attempting to release any food particles or bacteria that becomes stuck on the surface.

"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 said. "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 authors of the research are trying to have a more uniform and concrete form of teeth brushing, so that individuals do not become confused by the multiple styles that have become recommended throughout the years.

"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," lead author Dr John Wainwright said. "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."

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