Dental Tribune Europe

Wrong technique: Every second German brushes teeth like a child

By Dental Tribune International
October 08, 2012

WITTEN, Germany: Most adults in Germany do not know how to brush their teeth correctly, a study conducted by researchers at Witten/Herdecke University and the insurance company AXA has suggested. Although the majority of Germans brush at least twice a day, many simply clean their teeth in the wrong way.

In the survey, the researchers found that 57 per cent of respondents brush their teeth in a circular motion—the wrong way, according to Dr Stefan Zimmer, Professor of Restorative Dentistry at the university. “A circular movement of the toothbrush can injure your gums and push plaque and bacteria below the gum line, which can cause inflammation. It is also not a very effective cleaning technique. The correct technique entails sweeping and vibrating movements that protect the gums and remove bacterial plaque optimally.”

Less than a third (32 per cent) of the respondents clean their teeth properly. Zimmer suggests the reason for this: “Most people learned how to brush their teeth at an early age from their parents or in kindergarten. For children up to primary school age, circular movements are a simple and therefore correct way of brushing. For adults, however, this is not the right technique.”

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