Massage method quadruples protection against decay

Four times the protection with this one simple old trick...

According to a recently published Swedish study, rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth increases the fluoride protection by 400 per cent. The study, “Effect of a third application of toothpaste (1450 and 5000 ppm F), including a “massage” method, on fluoride retention and pH drop in plaque” was published in Acta Odontologica Scandinavia. A press release about the study is online here.

The study’s author, Anna Nordström, dentist, PhD and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, says the increase in protection can be gained by: using toothpaste at least twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed; if necessary, brush a third time during the day or rub on some toothpaste instead; If possible, choose a toothpaste with a higher fluoride content; and avoid rinsing out the toothpaste with water.

Eight years ago a new brand of toothpaste was launched in Sweden with more than three times as much fluoride as standard toothpaste. Available without prescription, it is aimed primarily at those with high caries risk.

In the study, 16 volunteers tested a variety of brushing techniques, using either high-fluoride or standard toothpaste, and brushing either two or three times a day.

“The study revealed that those who used a high-fluoride toothpaste three times a day had four times better fluoride protection in the mouth than those who used standard toothpaste twice a day,” says Anna Nordström.

Also tested was a new method developed in collaboration with professor Dowen Birkhed, which involves rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth with a finger.

“This ‘massage’ method proved to be at least as effective as a third brushing in increasing the amount of fluoride in the mouth,” Anna Nordström explains. “Rubbing the front of your teeth with toothpaste can be an easy way of giving your teeth a third “shot” of fluoride during the day, after lunch for example. But this should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste morning and evening—it’s an extra.”



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