Rubbing toothpaste on your teeth 'quadruples protection against decay'

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UPDATED:

10:46 GMT, 27 March 2012

A visit to the dentist always ends with the same advice – brush your teeth twice a day and make sure you floss in the evening.

Now scientists have suggested rubbing some toothpaste into your gums after lunch as well.

A team from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found the technique vastly reduced the risk of developing tooth cavities.

The beneficial effect of brushing twice a day could be enhanced with a toothpaste massage

The beneficial effect of brushing twice a day could be enhanced with a toothpaste massage

Study leader Dr Anna Nordstrom said: 'Rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth increases the flouride protection by 400 per cent.'

The researchers were testing the effect of a high-fluoride toothpaste available without prescription in Sweden. They asked 16 volunteers to brush various numbers of times a day and also tested out the 'finger rubbing' technique.

Dr Nordstrom said: 'This 'massage'
method proved to be at least as effective as a third brushing in
increasing the amount of fluoride in the mouth.

'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.

teeth

Fluoride works by hardening tooth enamel

'But this should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste morning and evening – it's an extra.'

She added that people should also avoid rinsing out their toothpaste with water after brushing.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that prevents decay by strengthening the protective enamel coating on teeth.

However, just 10 per cent of England’s water is fluoridated compared to 60 per cent in the U.S. due to health concerns.

Opponents believe fluoride could be a risk to general health with
potential side effects including an increased risk of bone cancer in boys. But the British Dental
Association said fluoridation was a safe and effective way of reducing
fillings and extractions.

The latest research comes just a day after scientists revealed failing to brush your teeth properly could lead to potentially fatal heart problems.

Bacteria
that loiter in the mouth can cause life-threatening blood clots via bleeding gums, which
could trigger the rare condition infective endocarditis, according to Bristol University.