Survey Shows More Than Half of People Actually Brush Their Teeth Wrongly

Are you one of them?

The proper way to keep your pearly whites clean. By Dawn Chen 

Photo: olegdudko /

“Don’t eat too many sweet things or you’ll get cavities.” “Brush your teeth at least twice a day.” These are reminders we’ve been given since we were kids, so it’s natural to think that good oral health and hygiene is a given for most people. But there’s more to keeping your teeth healthy than that. 

For starters, results from a global survey commissioned by Phillips and the FDI World Dental Federation (a body representing one million dentists worldwide), show that over half of the 12,849 respondents weren’t brushing their teeth properly! Here are other key findings from the survey, plus tips on taking care of your pearly whites. 

(Also Read: 10 Foods For Brighter Teeth and a Healthier Smile)

- Over half the respondents (56 per cent) think it is good practice to brush their teeth straight after every main meal.

Fact: It is best to wait 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth to avoid weakening tooth enamel. 

- Around two-thirds of the respondents (68 per cent) incorrectly rinse their mouth out with water after brushing, with 63 per cent thinking this is good practice.

Fact: To maximise the protective effects of fluoride, spit out excess toothpaste before gargling and rinsing your mouth with water. 

- One in three respondents (36 per cent) think that drinking fruit juice is better for your oral health than fizzy drinks.

Fact: Fruit juice can be just as high in sugar as fizzy drinks, and may not be a good alternative. What’s more, rich-coloured juices (think beetroot or cranberry juice, for example) can also stain your teeth over time. It’s best to stick to water, or to rinse your mouth after drinking 

(Also Read: 8 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy)

- Over two-thirds of respondents (67 per cent) recognise the need to visit a dentist after seeing signs of bad oral health; but less than half (42 per cent) tend to seek advice.

Fact: If you’ve started noticing signs of tooth decay or pain, hightail it to the dentist’s office. The sooner you get the problem checked out, the better, or you risk it becoming more severe. You should also make it a point to see your dentist at least once a year. 

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