Keep On Brushing

Are you confused as to the most effective way to brush your teeth? It’s no wonder. Research shows that there is a lot of mixed information out there. The American Dental Association recommends brushing two minutes at a time, twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and not to scrub too hard with abrasive toothpastes or you may damage your tooth enamel. But other dental associations don’t agree. In today’s blog we discuss the brushing dilemma.

How to Brush

A recent research study performed at the University College of London analyzed numerous dental sources including dental associations from ten different countries, dental textbooks, and toothbrush and toothpaste companies for advice on the most effective way to brush your teeth. What the researchers found was a slew of mixed information. There was no consensus among any of the sources. Even the best methods for brushing were inconsistent between the dental associations and the dental textbooks. If dentists are learning different information from their countries association’s recommendations, how is the public going to know which recommendation to use?


Some sources cited a gentle jiggling of the toothbrush back and forth on the teeth to dislodge food debris, bacteria, and plaque. Others cited a basic scrubbing motion. It was also found that brushing directly after eating sugary foods or beverages may harm more than help. Harmful bacteria begin metabolizing the sugars and starches and producing acids within two minutes of you consuming them, meaning by the time you brush, it’s too late. The acids will have already damaged the enamel.

The head researcher suggests brushing gently with a horizontal scrubbing motion while holding the toothbrush in a pencil grip at a 45-degree angle. This should be effective for keeping your teeth clean and your gums healthy.

The one thing we know for sure, is that it is better to brush than not to brush, so keep on brushing.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.