Four in 10 people don’t brush their teeth every day, research suggests. I’ve always thought of brushing as essential. Dull? Yes, but necessary. Was I wrong all along?
I’ve always tried to make the most of those tiresome two-minute bursts at the bathroom sink. I’ve planned holidays, thought through fantasy arguments with inconsiderate fellow commuters and hummed along to any and all songs by Adele as I hoovered around the teeth and gums with my Best Buy toothbrush. But maybe I didn’t need to be at the sink at all?
Certainly that seems to be the view of many of the 2,000 people questioned by dental whitening company, White Glo, who cheerfully admitted they don’t wield a brush every day.
This was a very fleeting thought, as the obvious (and only) answer is, of course, no. You’re under no legal obligation to brush your teeth at least once a day, but failure to do so increases your chances of gingivitis, rotten teeth and presumably losing a few friends. Which nobody wants.
Brush up your technique
My parents used to insist that I brushed my teeth every morning and night. It’s hardly my favourite childhood memory but the annoying thing is …they were right.
Regular and thorough brushing is the best way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Left untouched, plaque on your teeth builds up and can cause gum inflammation which, over time, can lead to loss of gum tissue. We go through the perfect brushing technique on our how to brush with an electric toothbrush advice guide.
Is an electric toothbrush for you?
OK, am I starting to sound like a bit of a zealot or that character in the TV series The West Wing who admitted he was ‘nuts for dental hygiene’? Well, I might be about to make it worse.
After years of scrubbing away with a bog-standard regular toothbrush, I’ve surrendered and got a Best Buy electric one and, like a reformed smoker, I swear I will never go back to my old ways.
I know electric toothbrushes aren’t essential. I know they’re more expensive to buy and you’ll have to think about buying replacement brush heads. And I know you can get a great clean with a regular brush.
But I find that electric brushes require less effort and have been shown to remove more plaque over time. When I had a regular toothbrush, I’d erroneously convince myself into thinking I’d done thorough-enough cleaning. But many electric toothbrushes come with two-minute timers, which has encouraged me into a healthier dental regime.
Choosing whether to ditch the regular and buy an electric toothbrush, or stick to what you know, is obviously a personal choice. But surely brushing at least once a day isn’t too much to ask?