That is a really good question!
Why I was younger I was bulled because I had yellow gray teeth. Kids on the bus made fun of me and asked if I knew what a toothbrush was. Talk about effecting your self esteem! This is why I became a dental hygienist in the first place.
Fast forward to later in life.
My daughter is an ice skater and for years we got up two morning a week at 5 am so she could skate.
When you get up that early toothbrushing is more like zombie brushing when you are not a morning person.
I am now however, when you have a dog she does not know the days you don’t have t get up that early so everyday is an early day now, thanks to that routine.
Toothbrushing is a routine that turns into a habit. We have good habits and bad habits.
Your habit change depending on what it happened in your life, at least mine do.
I realized I was creating my own bad habit being in a hurry in the morning. I know better! Then one day I yelled at my daughter for taking to long. She yelled back which is it Mom, do you want me to brush my teeth or hurry?
Well that’s a good question? I want you to take you time and brush, of course!
I started looking and asking other peoples what their brushing habits are. I always ask my patients at each visit and document there response in their charts but never really looked at the patterns. Until I started going into schools and seeing kids and people started asking me to look at their teeth outside of the office.
I started asking different questions. I saw a pattern as to how many times a day they brush, how long, common areas missed. Mostly I saw an increase in cavities and gingivitis that match the statistics.
I know dental disease is 100% preventible. We as Dental professional only see patients one to four times a year. So the burden is on the patient to take care of their mouth.
As I talked to more and more people I heard what they were taking away from their dental visits was “I don’t floss enough.” Well there is much more to healing your mouth and preventing disease than flossing.
How about we start with toothbrushing the thing that is the easiest to do for most people. The thing is even thought we brush we do not do it with intrusion and we miss several areas every time we brush,
We really don’t check to see if we are getting all of the surfaces. we just put it in wave it around a bit and go. Your toothbrush is not a magic wand. You can not just wave it around in your mouth hoping to get all the teeth cleaned.
It is a tool that need to be help a certain way for a certain amount of time to get the teeth clean and remove the harmful bacteria.
Bacteria that if not removed can cause or contribute to other illnesses in the body, like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, low birth weight or pre term delivery, Alzheimer’s, dementia, kidney disease and more.
So that is why I talk so much about toothbrushing it is more important than most people relize.
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