AN examination of toothbrushing methods promoted online found wide variations in recommended techniques and how often people should brush their teeth and for how long.
The study published in the British Dental Journal assessed methods of toothbrushing recommended for both adults and children by dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and professional sources such as in dental textbooks and by experts.
The researchers from University College London found that the most common method recommended was the Modified Bass technique (19). Eleven sources recommended the Bass technique, ten recommended the Fones technique and five recommended the Scrub technique.
Methods recommended by companies (mainly toothpaste manufacturers) differed from those of dental associations, as did advice in dental textbooks and research-based sources.
The study also reported wide differences in toothbrushing methods recommended for adults and for children.
The researchers concluded that "higher grades of evidence of effectiveness of toothbrushing techniques are required to inform professional bodies that develop guidelines on toothbrushing".
Aubrey Sheiham, emeritus professor of dental public health at UCL and senior author on the study, said in the Guardian newspaper: "The public needs to have sound information on the best method to brush their teeth.
"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. In this study we found an unacceptably inconsistent array of advice from different sources."