For many people, brushing your teeth at the beginning and end of the day is nothing more than a mindless but necessary oral health routine. But here at Strober Dental, our dentists don’t recommend twice-daily brushing for nothing: brushing your teeth regularly can benefit more than just your oral health. It can also have a positive impact on your mental health, your self esteem, and even your overall health!
“Brushing Your Brain”
Psychology has a popular new exercise: It’s called “mindfulness,” and author Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, describes it as “paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgment.”
This method of allowing yourself the freedom to think and experience as you move through your life has been credited for everything from heightened immune strength to better concentration to longer cell life, and it has become a standard recommendation in the treatment of a wide variety of mental disorders. Scientific studies show that mindfulness can be incredibly effective for day-to-day stress reduction, making it a valuable technique for just about everyone.
So what does this have to do with brushing your teeth? It’s easy to “space out” during a robotic task like toothbrushing, which makes it the perfect candidate for a mindfulness exercise. Dr. Fern White, an Australian dentist who also practices mindfulness, suggests that treating your oral health as a mindfulness tool can double as “brushing your brain,” acting as a meditative exercise to calm the mind to prepare it for the day ahead, or relax it for sleep.
To apply mindfulness to your oral health routine, focus on your breathing and try to feel the experience — taste the toothpaste, feel the bristles moving over your teeth and gums, and relax the muscles of your neck and jaw. Instead of zoning out during toothbrushing, experience it. That way, brushing your teeth can do double duty as a mental health and oral health exercise.
Brushing for Beauty
It’s no secret that healthy teeth are beautiful teeth — studies show that we’re 57% more likely to be attracted to people with straight, white teeth, and we even assume they’re more successful and trustworthy than people with crooked or yellow smiles. It’s not surprising, then, that nearly 1.25 million adults cite an unattractive smile as a reason for their low self esteem.
Brushing your teeth twice a day like your dentist recommends is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent decay and discoloration, so including proper oral health care in your morning and evening routines is as much of a beauty practice as it is a health practice. And of course, our dentists can give your smile a complete makeover with a variety of cosmetic dental procedures!
From Oral Health to Total Health
Your body is a complex system, and no part of it operates independently. Your oral health is inextricably tied to the rest of your physical health — so much so, in fact, that gum disease has been linked to higher rates of cancer and increased risk of heart disease.
That means that brushing your teeth twice daily to prevent gum disease doesn’t just benefit your oral health — it benefits your complete, overall health. The act of brushing your teeth can help provide the peace of mind that comes with feeling confident in overall health. And of course, you should get regular check-ups to make sure you’re on the right track.
Here at Strober Dental, we want to help you care for more than just your teeth. Contact our dentists online or at (619) 229-5925 to schedule an appointment and see how your oral health care routine can be improved.