85 per cent of Kiwis brushing their teeth incorrectly, says survey

A new survey shows 85 per cent of Kiwis are brushing their teeth too hard.
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A new survey shows 85 per cent of Kiwis are brushing their teeth too hard.

A study released this week in time for World Oral Health Day 2017 (March 20) shows that while Kiwis are keeping up with brushing twice a day, as recommended by the New Zealand Dental Association, we're brushing our teeth incorrectly.

Conducted by Freshbrush, the survey, which included more than 1000 New Zealanders, revealed that though 83 per cent brushed their teeth two or more times daily, over half use a brush with medium or hard bristles.

"Most dentists recommend strongly against medium to hard bristled toothbrushes because of the potential damage to teeth and gums," says dentist Dr Sarah Cole.

"A soft-bristled brush is a must for good oral care."

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For the same reasons, dentists also recommend against vigorous brushing - but only 15 per cent of those surveyed said they brushed gently, with 64 per cent somewhere between gentle and vigorous and 21 percent "brushing vigorously".

"The advice is to hold your brush with your fingers, not with your fist," says Cole.

Seventy-six percent of Kiwis still use a manual brush, with 10 percent solely using electric and the remaining 14 percent use both or swap between the two.

Seventy-four per cent replace their brushes every three months, with a third buying a new one every month or two.

And while we might be fine with kissing our partners, we're not so keen on sharing their toothbrush.

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Fifty-four percent here ticked the "No, gross!" box, while just 8 per cent said they were totally fine with it.

 - Stuff

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