Are you brushing your teeth wrong?

TOOTH brushing - you're doing it wrong. Well, maybe not wrong, but many of us are apparently not doing it effectively.

According to Colgate, you can raise your chances of keeping out of the dentist's chair by following these steps:

• You need to brush for at least two minutes. Many of us are doing a rush job on our pearlers.

• Use short, gentle strokes.

• Pay special attention to the gum line, the hard-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fillings or crowns.

• Start with the outer surfaces of the upper teeth, then move to the lower teeth. Next, get to work on the inner surfaces of the upper teeth, then lower teeth.

• Don't forget the chewing surfaces (the bottom of teeth), and give your tongue a brush for fresher breath.

• To get the most out of your brush, position it at a 45 degree angle against the gum line, and sweep or roll the brush away from the gum.

And regardless of how tired or busy you are, be sure to give your teeth some regular attention.

Although it all sounds like the sort of advice you would give to a primary school kid, a recent study by the American Dental Association found only one in four people in the US brush their teeth twice a day.