21 February 2018

Turns out we’ve been brushing our teeth all wrong

Brushing our teeth is an activity you could probably do with your eyes closed.

Brushing our teeth is an activity you could probably do with your eyes closed – perhaps because you’re often still asleep when doing it…

But you might want to start applying some brain activity to an age-old activity – because you may have been doing it completely wrong.

Scientists are now debating whether or not you’re supposed to wet your toothbrush before brushing.

According to Professor Damien Walmsley from the British Dental Association, you should avoid dousing your toothbrush in water.

"A dry brush increases friction with the bristles and won’t dilute the fluoride in the toothpaste,” he told Wales Online.

The debate was recently sparked after a Twitter user asked if her followers wet the toothbrush or put the toothpaste on first.

Her tweet garnered more than 1 000 likes and a flurry of comments.

A hygienist even joined in, tweeting: "Dry brushing first, actually removes more stain and plaque because the bristles are stiffer.”

The unknown hygienist’s comment was backed by Dr Raha Sepehrara, who told people should purchase brushes with softer brittles if they find their dry toothbrush’s brittles are too hard.

Dr Raha added that moistening the toothbrush “can dilute the toothpaste and reduce its effects”.

Another thing to consider is when to use mouthwash. Many of us follow our brushing with a quick gargle of mouthwash, but Professor Walmsley says this actually does more harm than good.

Speaking to Wales Online, he added: “Regarding the mouthwash, rinsing your mouth after brushing will wash away the benefits of the fluoride so the advice is if you use a mouthwash use it at a different time to brushing.”

And as for how many times a day you should polish your pearls: Twice a day, for two minutes.

One of these times should be before going to bed, as it stops bacteria from clinging to cavities overnight.

Seems getting that million-dollar smile is slightly more technical than you initially thought.