Brushing should last one minute. or two? Three times a day is best. Or maybe it’s enough to do it twice? Suddenly, Grandpa’s dentist had to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle a long time ago, and that custom has stuck in the family ever since.
Are you sure that your method to maintain oral hygiene and prevent cavities is the most appropriate? If they’re not, they’re not the only ones.
A recent study carried out by University College London, in the British capital, reveals that there is no consistency with respect to the recommendations made regarding tooth brushing.
Researchers John Wainwright and Aubrey Sheiham analyzed suggestions made by 66 dental associations, toothbrush companies, and specialized books on the subject around the world.
They found that dentists advise the use of six different techniques, but do not express a preference for any, leading to confusion.
There are those who consider that circular movements should be used, which is the technique that is usually taught to children when they are learning to brush.
Some believe that this style can be combined with horizontal movements. Others suggest performing a kind of sweep starting from the gum.
There are also differences regarding how long the brush should remain in the mouth. In total, 26 of the recommendations analyzed considering that two minutes is adequate. Twelve bow for three minutes. Regarding the frequency, most consider that twice a day is enough.
For the specialists participating in the research, it is very worrying that there is no agreement on the subject.
«There does not seem to be a consensus among dental professionals regarding the best way to brush teeth for the majority of the population. There is also no differentiation between what people should do depending on their age or considering that they may suffer from some condition individual,» says the study.
The recommendation is…
For Aubrey Sheiham, who in addition to being one of the study coordinators is a professor of Public Dental Health, a fundamental aspect is the way in which the toothbrush is held.
«If you grab it with your fist, as you often see in many photographs, it creates abrasion and sensitivity, so it’s very important to avoid it,» he explained to the BBC.
According to Sheiham, this is the ideal technique for brushing your teeth:
- Hold the brush just like you would hold a pen, without applying pressure.
- Using the horizontal technique, also known as the rub method, which consists of smooth movements that go from left to right.
- To wash the back of the teeth, vertical movements must be made that go from bottom to top. The handle of the brush has to point to the ceiling.