We tend to take things for granted until a health professional mentions that we need to improve some aspect of our lives for good overall health or in our case dental health. The health of your mouth, teeth and gums is vital for good overall health of your body as we saw from the last Dental Health Week campaign. Incorporating mindfulness into our oral health routine twice a day for the 3 minutes it takes to brush and floss might just be the time you need.
So, what is mindful tooth brushing and why is it important?
Mindfulness is usually associated with meditation, deep breathing and being present in the moment. Being present in the moment of oral health care will assist with the following.
- Improved oral health – mindful brushing improves tooth and gum care as you are aware of thoroughly brushing all surfaces of your teeth and take the time to clean between your teeth properly with interdental brushes or floss. Improving your brushing and interdental techniques will help prevent tooth decay, and gum disease so you can keep your teeth for life.
- Helps reduce stress- mindful brushing is an opportunity to decompress and get ready for the day or ready for sleep.
- Reduces the tendency to over brush too vigorously and hence helping to reducing loss of enamel and reducing recession of the gums over time. Loss of enamel and exposure of the root surfaces of the teeth can result in sensitivity, more susceptibility to root surface decay and darker teeth.
So, how do we mindfully carry out an oral health routine?
- Give yourself 3 minutes of alone time twice a day.
- Take some deep breaths and then smile.
- Brush in a small gentle circular motion on all the surfaces that your brush head can get to. Watch in the mirror to make sure you don’t miss any spots. (Hint: often people miss the area where they swap their hand around to get to the other side. It is not on purpose it is just that the brush head is further away from your hand. Your hand position doesn’t move but the brush head is on the end of a fulcrum and it does. So when you turn your hand pull it back over the space you may already have cleaned so the brush head is in the correct place.) If you are using an electric brush the brush will do the motion for you. Just be careful to place the brush head on the correct angle and don’t push in onto the tooth.
- Use your choice of interdental brushes and/or floss to clean between the spaces of your teeth. Slide the floss down both teeth curving it backwards against the tooth behind the gap and curving it forwards against the tooth in front of the gap. Make sure the floss goes under the gum on both sides. Maneuver the interdental brushes around the triangle of the space between the teeth. Top of the triangle and down both sides in and out multiple times.
- Rinse out with water and then use a mouthwash if your dentist or hygienist has recommended it.
Good luck with mindful brushing and selfcare. Your teeth and body will love you!
Please remember, as we head towards the end of the year and, dare we say Christmas, we do book up very quickly. For bookings in the next few months, start scheduling now. Don’t forget your dental benefits limits for this year finish on 31st December for most funds. Make the most of those benefits.
See you in the clinic! The Adelaide City Dental Care Team. PS: check out our socials (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) for top tips for teeth, mouth and gums and dental family snaps! Maybe even the latest video on YouTube.Leave a reply