Swedish people might be good girls and boys who brush their teeth each day, but according to new research, only one in 10 are doing it in a way that effectively prevents tooth decay.
In two separate studies, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg recently discovered that Swedes need to brush up on their technique.
Most Swedes regularly brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste. But only a few know the best brushing technique, how the toothpaste should be used and that fluoride prevents tooth decay, reported Pia Gabre and her colleagues.
After studying the toothbrushing habits of 2013 Swedes aged between 15 and 80, the team determined there were fundamental flaws in brushing times, regularity and the amount of fluoride toothpaste used.
"Swedes generally do brush their teeth, but mostly because of social norms and to feel fresh rather than to prevent tooth decay," said Gabre in a statement.
Scroll Down To Find Out How To Brush Your Teeth Properly
Swedes could improve their oral health considerably by learning how to maximise the effect of fluoride toothpaste, according to Gabre.
Yet the study shows that 80% of volunteers were generally happy with how they take care of their teeth.
"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," said Gabre.
Yesterday, the British Dental Health Foundation launched the UK's largest annual oral health campaign - National Smile Month to help combat similar issues.
Dr Uchenna Okoye, Oral-B dental director, told Huffpost Lifestyle: ‘‘In Britain, we have seen dramatic improvements in the state of our teeth, but research shows that as a nation we still have poor brushing habits. It is hard to break bad habits and people don’t like to change the way they brush.”
Despite ongoing education in Britain, new research by Oral-B has exposed the nation’s bad brushing habits.
Over 75% of Brits are currently not using the right brushing technique, which may result in plaque build-up and tooth and gum decay. And according to their research, 35 to 44-year-olds are the worst offenders when it comes to brushing.
Dr Carter of National Smile Month said: "Getting people to talk and think about their teeth and dental habits is vital to our goal of improving the state of oral health not only in the UK but worldwide.
"The impact of poor oral hygiene is often underestimated and someone's poor oral health can be a pre-cursor to a number of serious health issues such as stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies.
“National Smile Month is about encouraging people to take better care of their smile and ultimately their general health.”
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning before breakfast and last thing at night before you go to bed.
Wait an hour after a meal before brushing your teeth to give your saliva chance to neutralise the acid, and prevent softened enamel being brushed away.
Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Move the brush in small circular movements, several times, on all the surfaces of every tooth.
Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line. Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small circular strokes with the toe (the front part) of the brush.
Brushing your tongue will freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.