Are you brushing your teeth right? Did you know that developing an effective technique can help you prevent tooth decay, whereas having inadequate technique does absolutely nothing to prevent said disease from occurring?
A study done in Sweden suggests that 1 in 10 people do not know how to brush their teeth correctly, they just kind of go at it for a few minutes then stop. This study was repeated a little bit later in a different part of Sweden, and the results were compared and evaluated. The outcome of the study is that people know how often to brush, but do not understand what this basic oral hygienic procedure is meant to do, or even the fundamentals of oral health and hygiene.
The study looked at the use of fluoride toothpaste as a marker of how well Swedes understand the uses of oral hygiene products, and how well they are educated about oral hygiene. Most of them did not understand the role of fluoride, or how this substance works to prevent tooth decay, and did not know the brushing techniques involved with optimizing fluoride. Most of the people who partook in the study were laboring under the misunderstanding that fluoride is used for keeping the mouth fresh.
A few interesting statistics are also brought into light. It turns out that women under 35 are the best at oral health management. It also turns out that teenagers know the least about oral hygiene.
Brushing of teeth is recommended at least twice a day, but no more than four times a day by most dentists. If you brush too often you may remove enamel that is otherwise useful for your teeth to remain healthy. When brushing, you should use circular movements to remove plaque, and you should also brush your gums and tongue as well. Remember to spit often. After rinsing your mouth out, you should have another go and leave the paste in, as this will make the fluoride stick to your teeth and give it time to be absorbed. Most people finish their brushing with rinsing their mouth, which defeats the purpose of fluoride toothpaste. The use of dental floss is pretty much mandatory, because even if plaque is disinfected, it stays between the cracks of your teeth unless removed. The use of mouthwash is also very important, as liquid can go into cracks that a brush simply cannot reach.
A few interesting statistics are also brought into light. It turns out that women under 35 are the best at oral health management. It also turns out that teenagers know the least about oral hygiene. It also shows that most people, around 80%, believe they are practicing oral hygiene methods correctly. This means that the marketing about oral hygiene, although omnipresent, is not doing its job, the ads are not dealing with real life issues, and the companies in the oral health industry are perhaps operating under some fundamental misconceptions about our basic knowledge.