What’s the Best Form for Brushing Your Teeth? No One Knows

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As if you didn't have enough to worry about, what with the world exploding and everything: There is apparently no expert consensus on the best way to brush your teeth. Or so claims a new paper in the British Dental Journal, in which the two authors examined 58 brushing recommendations from a variety of expert dental sources like professional associations, toothbrush and toothpaste companies, and textbooks.

Consensus is lacking not only on the best technique, but on other vital questions about proper brushing practices, and the authors don't hold back in expressing their uneasiness about this: "There was unacceptably very wide diversity in recommedations on toothbrushing techniques and on how often people should brush their teeth and for how long," they write. "Such diversity in recommendations should be of serious concern to the dental profession."

And it's not like experts have hit on some perfect brushing method and word just hasn't trickled down to the rest of the dental realm; as the authors point out, there actually hasn't been all that much solid research on which techniques are the best plaque-busters. We're all brushing blind, people.

For what it's worth, the most frequently recommended technique for adults was the modified bass followed by the bass (despite their names, neither involves brushing rhythmically to a friend's funky bass licks — it's prounounced like the fish). For kids, the most recommended technique was the Fones, followed by the modified bass.

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I can't vouch for any of these dental videos I'm linking to, but you know what? Who cares? Modern dentistry is a lie. I'm going back to what they taught me as a kid: lots of small, gentle circles.