London: Brushing your teeth twice daily may be sensible advice, but rubbing toothpaste on your gums after lunch also hugely lowers the risk of developing cavities.
"Rubbing toothpaste on to your teeth (and gums) increases the flouride protection by 400 percent," said Anna Nordstrom from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden who led the study.
"This `massage` method proved to be at least as effective as a third brushing in increasing the amount of fluoride in the mouth," added Nordstrom.
Gothenburg researchers were testing the effect of a high-fluoride toothpaste sold over the counter in Sweden. They asked volunteers to brush various numbers of times a day and also tested out the `finger rubbing` technique, the Daily Mail reports.
"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," said Nordstrom.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents decay by strengthening the protective enamel coating on teeth.