What is the best way to brush your teeth? Dental experts around the globe have not reached a consensus. From a recent study published in the British Dental Journal, researchers found that there’s no one-size-fits-all technique when it comes to tooth brushing. Recommended methods vary among dental textbooks, associations, and even toothbrush companies. BBC News has more on the story:
Advice on the best way to brush teeth for adults and children is confusing and inconsistent, according to University College London researchers.
There is also a lack of agreement on how often to brush and for how long, they said, because of an absence of good research.
The most commonly-recommended toothbrushing method involved a horizontal brush movement with some circular motions.
Most of the advice suggested brushing teeth twice a day, but one source said it should be three times daily.
When it came to 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.
Perhaps a good tooth brushing technique to follow would be that recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). It endorses brushing teeth surfaces back and forth at a 45-degree angle for two minutes, twice a day. The association also advises everyone to clean the tongue to help avoid bad breath.
Other factors have to be considered for effective tooth brushing. One of these is to use the right tool, that is, a properly sized and shaped toothbrush (which you must replace every 3-4 months or as needed); and a toothpaste with ADA approval. Interdental cleaners or flossers (also with ADA seals) should be used once every day, preferably before brushing your teeth.
If you have special conditions or dental appliances, your dentist in Rockville, MD can prescribe any necessary modifications to the tools and techniques. For instance, if you have metallic braces, you may need a uniquely designed brush and more careful flossing techniques. Children and individuals with sensitive or weak gums may also require softer-bristled brushes and gentler strokes.
Despite varying recommendations, dental experts and professionals agree on one thing: good oral hygiene should be a priority to ensure teeth will last as long as possible; and your mouth, including your teeth and gums, remain healthy.
You can consult a dentist in Rockville, such as Dr. Maryam Seifi of StarBrite Dental, on the brushing techniques that would be right for you, as well as oral care practices you need to observe. The dentist can also perform regular dental check-ups to ensure any problem is detected and solved before it can get worse.
(Source: Confusion over best way to brush teeth, study finds, BBC News, August 8, 2014)