We’re running late getting out the door to go to work, to the gym, on a date, so we drag our brush over our teeth for 20 seconds and promise our pearly whites we’ll make it up to them later (err, scratch that, we probably don’t rush brushing our teeth before a date 🙂 ).
A question we pose to you is this…
When was the last time you really cared for your teeth like you want them to stay healthy and in your mouth for the rest of your life?
A secondary title for this article could be…
Whoever proclaimed 2 minutes was the ‘golden rule’ for brushing anyway?
Quick confession here… I brush my teeth in the car. In fact, it’s a pretty steady habit for me. And honestly, the fun part for me is I’m in good company! When I shared my habit of brushing while driving with our friend and mentor Dr David Kennedy, he disclosed to me that he keeps a toothbrush in his airplane!
An important point to keep in mind here is that we live on an island where the roads are just about always empty, so I feel safe doing this in clear weather. We would NOT recommend doing this if you’re driving somewhere with bad weather, tricky roads, or other traffic around. But, feel free to find another way to incorporate a longer, more thorough tooth brushing session into your day.
When I brush in the car, I may brush for up to 10 minutes. However, the way I brush isn’t how most of us think about the proverbial “scrub them ’til they’re clean because you only have 2 minutes” approach. While driving, it’s more of an exploratory massage than a scrub session. And the secret to doing a thorough job is…
The magic plaque sensor we all have in our mouths
You see, each of us has this wonderful tool to find the most microscopic amount of anything stuck to our teeth. It’s our tongue. Think about it… How many times have you experienced your tongue feeling something on your teeth or stuck between two teeth and your attention is laser focused on removing that goober until the job is done?
Our tongues can feel plaque on the teeth really, really well.
So, when I brush while driving, it’s this dance between brushing a couple surfaces, then removing the brush and feeling that area with my tongue for any plaque that’s still trying to hang on there. If I find that there’s still some plaque, I’ll go back to that same area, change technique, even change hands to get the right angle, until it feels squeaky clean. Then I move to the next area.
Rule of tongue: Brush until teeth feel clean.
(which may take more than 2 minutes)
This whole process can take me 10 minutes while I drive into town.
But, be careful. If you allow yourself to brush unconsciously for 10 minutes, you will scrub your gums too hard and they will scream at you tomorrow for your lack of awareness while brushing. So, the rule here is to stay conscious while brushing for longer periods of time.
There are three main benefits of taking this ‘on the go’ mentality to cleaning your teeth.
1. Your teeth will undoubtedly be cleaner than they have been in a long time.
Think about it, which method is going to do a more thorough job at removing more plaque and lovingly stimulating your gum tissue: brushing unconsciously for 2 minutes (or 20 seconds, for that matter) or treating them to a 10 minute massage session?
2. You will give your teeth the ultimate remineralization treatment while ‘stewarding’ your oral microbiome.
Another benefit to this brushing approach is that by the time you finish, you’ve generated a mouthful of saliva, which makes an excellent probiotic bath to support remineralizing your teeth and caring for your oral microbiome. In fact, here’s a link to a video we made that shares a strategy we have coined, “Mouth Probiotics,” which details how swishing with saliva is a very powerful habit to support a healthy mouth and digestion.
3. The third benefit is helping to bring mystery and levity into the world.
Imagine all the people you see while driving, walking, reading a book in a park, etc. who will look at you and wonder what the heck you are doing, why you are brushing your teeth, and where in the world you plan to spit after! Which brings up a good point…
Where do we spit after?
Well, if you ‘dry brush’ (which simply means that you brushed your teeth with just the brush and no paste, HealThy Mouth Blend, Shine, etc.), it’s perfectly fine to swallow the saliva and bless the rest of your digestive system with the nourishing saliva bath. If that’s too gross for you, just wait until you can find a place to spit (a travel cup will work for this, too). 🙂
So, the next time you are getting ready to head out, consider taking the toothbrush ‘to go’ and giving your teeth some extra care along the way.
(PS: Only try this while driving if you feel safe and drive an automatic!)
Also, for those of you who are new here, these are the toothbrushes we use and why.
Confession time! Where have you given your teeth an extra long massage session? While watching TV? Surfing Facebook? Now it’s your turn to share. We promise we won’t laugh!
Also, if you’re ready to take your oral health to the next level and gain a complete understanding of how to stop tooth decay and reverse cavities, feel free to check out our Shine Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Powder and download our FREE eBook, “How to Remineralize Your Teeth”.