1. Have you ever heard someone say “I’m so busy, I just don’t have time to brush my teeth!” No, but I bet you hear people say that they don’t have time to go to the gym. Aha! I can hear you already saying “Brushing your teeth only takes a minute. Going to the gym takes hours!” Well exercise (should) work your muscles, bones, circulatory and respiratory systems. I think it’s worth more than a minute.
You don’t even have to go to the gym. I mean you should do a little more than a couple of pushups – educate yourself on bodyweight training – but you don’t have to devote hours to exercise. (See #2) If Arnold Schwarzenegger had time to make movies, have a family, run for governor, make millions of dollars, endorse products and still work out every day, you can take an hour out of your busy schedule too.
2. So you want clean white teeth. As a New Years Resolution, you brush three hours a day, every day. You impress everyone – look how hard that guy is scrubbing away at his teeth! But it’s too much to maintain. You’re too busy one day to brush. Then you just give it up. Your teeth don’t really look any whiter, so you take the next eleven months off. You’re going to have moss mouth. The guy who sticks to a regular brushing schedule, day in and day out, year in and year out will have pearly whites.
3. Imagine that a group of people are into having strong, sharp teeth and muscular jaws. They enter contests where they tear apart rawhide and gnash lumps of taffy. And another group enters contests too, but their criteria are aesthetic only: they just want to have the most spectacularly gleaming smile. In either case, by all means, be competitive, but never sacrifice your enamel or your gums in order to win a plastic trophy. Remember, unless you want to wear dentures at 40, think twice before you start filing away on your teeth or injecting things into your gums.
4. Toothbrushing should never become the sole focus of your life. Even if you are making your living as a tooth model or a professional chewer, you should not neglect friends, family, intellectual pursuits or your spirituality.
5. Even small children can and should brush their teeth. But they don’t use adult-sized toothbrushes. And they require strict adult supervision. I still brush my 3-year-old son’s teeth. Otherwise he would just swallow the toothpaste, then grind the bristles of his brush against three or four of his teeth and call it a day. (Not to mention leaving puddles of water on every flat surface)
6. There’s a proper technique to toothbrushing. Circular motions. Brush all sides. Take your time. And if you’re not sure how to do it correctly – maybe you should pick up a copy of Toothbrushing for Dummies. Or – God forbid – ask someone? Go to a dentist and find out if you’re using proper brushing form. Rather than spend hours each day doing it wrong, potentially harming your teeth, why not take a little time to educate yourself?
7. Avoid scams and supplements. Miracle Paste! Once-A-Month Rinses! Sonic Toothbrush! Throw this garbage away and brush your teeth correctly and consistently. Don’t risk your health and your wallet on hoaxes and quackery.
8. So you don’t want the whitest teeth in the world. You would be satisfied if they just would stop being being that vile green color. This doesn’t mean that you should brush half-heartedly or only once a week. Don’t worry ladies – your teeth won’t get “too manly”.
9. Be neat and courteous. If you share a bathroom with other people, don’t leave toothpaste globs in the sink. Wait until it is your turn to brush, then move out of the way.
10. There’s a limit to how white your teeth are going to get. If your parents had rotten teeth full of cavities, you may never be toothbrushing world champion. Also realize that the tooth photographs in the magazines are airbrushed, and many of the models have had their teeth capped.
11. Everything about toothbrushing has been discovered by 1950. All the new-fangled Russian brushing systems, Crossbrush, and group brushing classes are just clever ways for people to take your money.
12. Don’t eat crappy, sugary food and wonder why you can’t have nice white teeth.