Good advice for keeping your teeth all your life.  I am adding to this blog links to other answers after this introduction.

1.    Don’t use toothpaste. Toothpaste is on my list of “The most useless products available.” Sits right on the shelf next to another candidate for “the most useless products available”, mouthwash.

2.    Use Baking soda.

3.    Brush at night with the lights off.


#3 is among the best tips we picked up this past year, coming from a Neurosurgeon. For years we have been telling patients to “get out of the bathroom to brush your teeth,” in particular reinforcing this with parents. The very best example I’ve seen lately of how this habit is counterproductive is the ACT mouthwash commercial. One of the many misleading commercials regarding toothpaste or mouth wash. (i.e. “5 times stronger enamel and five times healthier gums in one week” etc etc. My, my. In six weeks or so that user could expect to stop speeding bullets with his/her teeth!).


In this commercial, we see a ten year old leaning into the bathroom mirror and sawing back and forth on his big front teeth while his mother does a little victory jig. This commercial reinforces the fact that the only thing this kid is going to brush is the 20% of the teeth he can see in the mirror, and she might as well pour the ACT into the toilet. Probably one of the good reasons we call it a “toothbrush” instead of a “teethbrush”.


We want the patient to feel the toothbrush on his/her gingival margin, and most patients just don’t get it. (www.jtimrainey, articles, “Quit brushing your teeth”. You are welcome to plagerize it.) Then the tip from the Neurosurgeon. “Turn off the lights. then you can feel the brush and feel where you might miss. This way the patient learns how to brush the teeth properly.” There may be other advantages, shutting down the awake cycle, starting the production of serotonin, basically the last act before crawling into bed and going to sleep.




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