Practical, everyday, applied philosophy, as Nietzsche suggested

Seriously, do you REALLY know how to brush your teeth?

Nietzshe believed philosophers should deal with everyday practical matters. I heartily agree. So here goes.

Seriously, do you really know how to optimally clean your teeth?  I would never dare try to teach an adult this in person. However I have so often observed friends and partners doing it all wrong. So here goes. Please take a moment and try it out next time : )

Up until the age of 30 I believed I had weak teeth. I had so many problems with them. It was around this time a dentist showed me how to correctly care for my teeth. Since adopting this practise, brushing at most twice a day, and usually only once a day, before going to bed at night, I have not suffered any cavities. And this with teeth that I had earlier believed to be prone to cavities, for genetic reasons, as my mother lost all her lower teeth after having me!

So, how DO you brush your teeth optimally?

First, invest in a SOFT toothbrush. It will feel delightful against your gums. It need not be expensive. My favourite ones cost less than one dollar. And make sure to replace it every few months. If your water is ´hard´, then wash it in hot water between uses, to keep it clean and soft.

Now, after placing some tootpaste on your brush, begin the brushing.

First, brush the inside of each tooth.  For upper teeth flick downwards. For lower teeth flick upwards.  Maintain contact only for the up or down stroke respectively. This means you will always be  flicking away from the gum and towards the tooth edge.

Repeat the same for the outer surface of your teeth, always flicking from gum to tooth, and maintaining contact only on this stroke, away from the gum.

It will take time to repeat this a few times for each tooth, but it will be worth the investment.

To finish off, keeping the bristles of your toothbrush flat against the biting and grinding surfaces of your teeth use little circular motions to clean these. Take your time, spending a few seconds on each tooth .

Also, I could not believe that the pain I was suffering came simply from food lodged between my teeth. At first I could not accept that flossing was necessary. After a second visit for the same pain, and no cavity to be found, I finally accepted my dentist´s advice and began flossing that area clean of any debris. And the pain dissappeared. Apparently it is a common enough condition around my age.

In my TROONATNOOR  series of books I cover the deepest questions of philosophy, as well as more practical matters. Please take the time to benefit from the insights I have gleaned over decades of study and reflection.

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