For just about all my life, I have brushed my teeth two times per day. I brush once in the morning after I wake up, and once in the evening before I go to bed. Outside of that, I never brushed during the day. Well, I would on days I went to the dentist. So, two times per year, I guess! After all, you don't need to gross out your hygienist, right?
This has served me well, and for a long time. I would even kind of laugh to myself when I would see someone brushing their teeth in the bathroom at work.
But, after my latest cleaning, the thought popped into my head. Maybe a mid-day brush wouldn't be a bad idea!
Thankfully, I did not have any cavities during my cleaning, as those are pretty rare. However, my hygienist did say that I had one particular area that I needed to make sure I got a little closer, as she saw a little plaque buildup.
Since my appointment, I've been making sure to hit that area whenever I brush, as well as giving everywhere else a good brushing, but I stopped and started thinking not just about getting that area, but started to ask:
How Did I Let That Happen?
Over the years, I've been pretty good about not having many cavities (knocks on wood as I type this), but I can think of a few instances here and there where I've gotten similar input on a noticeable area that I had to make sure to catch.
I mean, I don't know about you, but for me, the following is pretty much true:
Mornings: I'm rushing around trying to get out the door for work so that I get to the office at the usual time, or on the weekends, trying to rush so that I can get over and help the kids get their day started
Evenings: I'm generally tired enough where I just want to get through the getting-ready-for-bed process, and rush through so that my head can hit the pillow as quickly as possible.
In either situation, the key word between the two is: Rush!
In the morning, I'm rushed because I'm wound up and trying to get out the door, and in the evenings I'm rushed to get into bed and unwind.
Two Options: It's All About Probability
Realizing this makes me think that there are two things to try:
- Try to eliminate rushing. I'm guessing that my dentist would probably say two brushes is fine. Maybe they'd recommend adding more time per brush? This is great, but I'm 40 years old and have been establishing myself and my routines for many years. Simply adding a minute or two to each brush sounds easy, but is it plausible to simply say that I'm going to stop rushing just because I know I shouldn't? Sounds too good to be true!
- Add an extra brushing. During the day, I certainly have times where I rush. Deadlines, meetings, and such all happen and make me rush around from time to time, but I generally try to avoid rushing around too much around my lunch. This would be the ideal time to add a tooth brushing session to my daily routine.
It seems worth a try, anyways, to add a brush. Of course, you could use my first argument against me in that I've established a routine of not brushing during the day for pretty much my whole life, so adding a brush could prove just as, if not more, difficult than adding extra time to my current brushes.
I guess there's only one way to find out!
Readers, how many times a day do you brush? Do you brush during the day or do you figure (as I used to) that the only people who do that are those who work for at a dentist office?