Advice from dental associations and toothpaste companies on how we should brush our teeth is â??unacceptably inconsistentâ??, finds new research.

A University College London (UCL) study looked at the brushing advice given by dental associations across 10 countries and found a wide range of recommendations on what brushing method to use.

The researchers found a ‘worrying’ lack of agreement between advice from dental associations compared with dental textbooks.

“The public needs to have sound information on the best method to brush their teeth,” says Aubrey Sheiham, Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health), senior author of the study. “If people hear one thing from a dental association, another from a toothbrush company and something else from their dentist, no wonder they are confused about how to brush.â?

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So what is the best way to brush your teeth?

“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,” says lead author Dr John Wainwright, who carried out the study at UCL and is now a practising dentist.

Here are three winning teeth brushing recommendationsâ?¦

1. Move the brush gently in a horizontal motion

“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 advises.

2. Hold your toothbrush like a pencil

“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,” says Prof Sheiham.

3. Brush where the teeth and gums meet

“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,â? advises Dr Wainwright.

Source: University College London via ScienceDaily

Recommended reading: 5 Habits that harm your oral health

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