We all know that the basic rules of effective dental care embrace three simple steps: brushing our teeth twice a day, flossing our teeth daily, and visiting our dental care specialist for a dental check-up once per ever 6 months. For some of us, it can be hard or sometimes impossible to observe these easy rules. For instance, what will we do if we do not have a good toothbrush at hand? For such moments of our life, scientists say, we can use our fingers for usual rubbing toothpaste on the teeth and gums (with or without toothbrush). According to the findings of a group of Swedish scientists, from the University of Gothenburg, rubbing toothpaste can be as effective as traditional brushing our teeth.
After a series of the experiments, Swedish dental care experts developed this new interesting technique for brushing our teeth, which can help us not only improve our basic dental health but also substantially reduce the risks of having very serious dental problems like tooth decay and tooth loss. Dr Anna Nordstrom, one of the study leaders, reported that: ‘Rubbing toothpaste onto your teeth increases the fluoride protection by 400 per cent.‘ The study was focused on analyzing the effects of fluoride on the most common toothpastes we all used for our daily brushing. 16 volunteers were asked to use such toothpastes several times a day, and the technique of finger rubbing was tested.
It turned out that simple massaging toothpaste into our tooth enamel with our fingertips can help strengthen our enamel and receive an excellent “fluoride shot”. It allows us using the maximized effects of fluoride to protect our dental health and lower the risks of all main dental problems. However, this procedure should be used only in conjunction with usual brushing two times a day, the experts underline. ‘This should not replace brushing with a fluoride toothpaste morning and evening – it’s an extra,’ Dr. Nordstrom said. Also, she says that it is necessary to avoid rinsing our moth with water after rubbing toothpaste in our teeth surface.
Using such kind of fluoride treatments is a bit controversial. Fluoride is a mineral that is known to strengthen our tooth enamel and prevent many serious dental conditions. That is why in many houses we have fluoridated water (however, the number of such houses has been drastically decreasing lately, especially in the UK). Some scientists believe that fluoride is harmful to our health. In particular, it can cause increased risk of bone cancer in young kids, as well as elevated risks of developing serious digestive problems including stomach ulcers. However, the experts of the British Dental Association recognize most of the existing fluoride dental treatments as safe and effective for our dental health and reducing the risks of dental problems.