An analysis of methods of toothbrushing recommended by dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and in dental texts

Br Dent J. 2014 Aug;217(3):E5. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2014.651.


Objectives: To assess the methods of toothbrushing recommended for both adults and children by dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and professional sources such as in dental textbooks and by experts. Secondly, to compare the advice by source and whether recommendations differed for adults and for children.

Methods: Examination of online material on methods of toothbrushing from dental associations, toothpaste and toothbrush companies and associated organisations providing professional advice; as well as from dental texts.

Results: There was a wide diversity between recommendations on toothbrushing techniques, how often people should brush their teeth and for how long. The most common method recommended was the Modified Bass technique, by 19. Eleven recommended the Bass technique, ten recommended the Fones technique and five recommended the Scrub technique. The methods recommended by companies, mainly toothpaste companies, differed from those of dental associations, as did advice in dental textbooks and research-based sources. There was a wide difference in the toothbrushing methods recommended for adults and for children.

Conclusions: The unacceptably large diversity in recommendations on what toothbrushing method to use should concern the dental profession. Higher grades of evidence of effectiveness of toothbrushing techniques are required to inform professional bodies that develop guidelines on toothbrushing.

MeSH terms

  • Books*
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Societies, Dental*
  • Toothbrushing / methods*