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Dentists are urged to brush-up on advice

Advice on how people should brush their teeth is "unacceptably inconsistent", experts have found.

Researchers looked at brushing advice from dental associations in 10 countries, toothbrush and toothpaste companies and dental textbooks.

Their study, published in the British Dental Journal, found differing recommendations on what method to use when brushing, how often to brush and for how long.

The experts from University College London said there was a "worrying" lack of agreement on advice.

Senior author Aubrey Sheiham said: "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. Dental associations need to be consistent about what method to recommend."

Giving advice on brushing, Prof Sheiham said: "Brush gently with a horizontal scrubbing motion, with the brush at a 45-degree angle.

"Hold the brush with a pencil grip rather than a fist. This simple method is perfectly effective at keeping your gums healthy."