It does what is says on the tin!
It may seem a bit odd, but how about starting and ending your day with a calm mind and sparkling smile? We are talking mindfulness and toothbrushing = mindful toothbrushing!
Mindfulness put simply, is being present with whatever we are doing at that time. Focusing on everyday activities and being aware of the moment is a way of taking a few minutes out of a busy day to calm your mind and take some ‘me’ time. Turning tooth brushing into a mindfulness exercise can set you up for the day, improve quality of sleep, and maintain good oral health with the benefits to overall health and wellbeing.
Brushing our teeth is something many of us do on autopilot, with our minds bouncing all over the place. Running through the upcoming day, reflecting what you plan the next morning… our brains are often running all over the place with little focus on the task in hand i.e., toothbrushing.
Try mindful toothbrushing – a great way to calm our busy minds and improve our oral hygiene! Being present in the moment – that’s at least 2 minutes ‘me and teeth’ time, twice a day. Good for your mind and your body.
Consider where you brush your teeth? Are you a wanderer? Multitasking? That probably results in rote brushing – autopilot cleaning isn’t ideal for oral health! Maybe time to stop in the bathroom and focus on the task in hand? Literally!
How to Brush your Teeth Mindfully
Below is a guide to brushing your teeth mindfully – the key is focusing on the moment and clearing your mind of everything else.
- Focus on where you are. What can you see? What can you hear?
It’s about noticing – no need to overthink. Just don’t let your mind wander off, be present in the moment.
- Focus on your toothbrush – how does it feel, look?
What colour is your toothbrush?
Is the handle heavy, comfortable to hold?
Are the bristles splayed? (A sign of wear and an upgrade required!)
How do you hold your brush? (The palm of your hand? Like a pen?)
- What about toothpaste?
Is it a tube?
What brand is it? (Many people use whatever’s there).
What colour is the paste?
The sensation of placing toothpaste on your brush? (No need to wet the brush btw).
Pay attention. Slow down. Notice what you are doing.
- How does your mouth feel as you spread toothpaste around all the teeth?
Where is your arm, how does feel?
- Look in the mirror – breathe through your nose slowly – feel the air entering and exhale.
- Start brushing. Concentrate on each and every tooth.
Focus on the sensation of the toothbrush bristles moving on the tooth surface at the gum line.
How does if feel as you vibrate the bristles or the power moving the bristles along the gum line
Focus on the sound, the taste of the toothpaste.
Move the toothbrush methodically around your mouth.
- Every surface, every tooth – outside, inside, biting surface.
Taste the toothpaste, feel the bristles moving, cleaning the plaque biofilm from each surface.
Feel the back of your toothbrush against your cheek as you brush the outside.
Relax your tongue to reach the inside of the back teeth – concentrate.
Relax your shoulders, neck and jaw.
Relax the grip on your toothbrush.
Don’t let your mind wander – bring it back to the task in hand.
Take your time – focus on your breathing as you brush.
How does your tongue feel as it follows the brush?
Be aware of your body? How does it feel? Take note of your surroundings.
Release the tension in your body – jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, grasp.
- Focus on spitting out – but don’t rinse your mouth after. (Let the ingredients work for longer).
How does the tap feel as your run water to rinse your brush?
How do the bristles feel as you nip them together?
Feel the weight of the toothbrush as you place it ready for next use.
- Run your tongue round your teeth – feel the clean sensation.
Take a deep breath in through your nose.
Exhale through your mouth.
Relax your shoulders, neck, and jaw.