Stockholm: Almost all Swedes regularly brush with fluoride toothpaste, yet only one in 10 knows how to wield the brush to prevent tooth decay.
In two separate studies, Pia Gabre and her colleagues at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, studied the brushing habits of 2,013 Swedes in various age groups ranging from 15 to 80 years, how often and for how long.
The results show that only 10 percent of the population use toothpaste in the most effective way. "Swedes generally do brush their teeth, but mostly because of social norms and to feel fresh rather than to prevent tooth decay," says Gabre, report the Swedish Dental Journal and Community Dental Oral Epidemiology.
People could improve their oral health considerably by learning how to maximise the effect of fluoride toothpaste, according to Gabre. Nevertheless, the study shows that 80 percent are generally happy with how they take care of their teeth, according to a Gothenburg statement.
"Most of the interviewed subjects learned to brush their teeth as children, by their parents. Even if they have been informed about more effective techniques later in life, they continue to brush their teeth like they always have," says Gabre.