Whenever we visit a dentist, we know that the dentist will usually ask “How often do you brush your teeth?
For some people, it is an easy honest answer which is ‘twice daily (or more)’. For these people, oral hygiene is an unbreakable routine, something they rarely skip, only during particularly dire times or emergencies.
But for some people it is an uncomfortable question, as they know they are not doing what is expected from them. Some people try to brush once daily, and others try once every few days or even a week. There would be some who do not brush at all.
It’s not entirely uncommon for people to hate brushing their teeth with such a passion that they avoid doing so whenever possible.
What would make someone spurn basic self-care? Care which will help them keep their teeth and self-esteem?
Reasons for not brushing could be that they are so time poor and too busy, that they cannot find time for such a simple everyday thing.
Other times it could be a health condition like arthritis or any other condition affecting manual dexterity and making brushing painful.
Health conditions like depression can also make it hard to handle even the simplest chores like brushing.
Gagging could be another reason that people sometimes do not like to brush, which can exacerbate during early pregnancy with early morning nausea. It could be as simple as the taste of the tooth paste in some cases.
Some people may hate the physical sensation of brushing, for reasons ranging from overly sensitive gums to a sore tooth. For others, a trauma associated with dental health or care is triggered when they brush their teeth.
Those who do have a strong aversion to cleaning their teeth tend to be caught up in a vicious cycle. They don’t brush because they have dental health problems that make it painful to clean their teeth. In doing so, dental problems and pain keep getting worse, which makes it even more difficult to brush and eventually leads to the loss of teeth.
Why you really need to brush
The answer to this question is really simple. We use our teeth to chew food and some of the food debris gets stuck to the teeth. This debris needs to be mechanically cleaned in the same way we clean leftover food from utensils to prevent bacterial growth. Bacteria feed on food and make plaque and biofilm, which causes cavities in teeth, and gum problems. This leads to the loss of teeth if left untreated.
It is really important to find the problem and a way to get rid of obstacles for teeth brushing.
If the problem is gagging, then a smaller toothbrush can be used. Sometimes distracting yourself with music, watching videos or doing some other chores can help. You can also try changing the flavour of toothpaste, or use a smaller amount.
If you have tried different types of toothpaste but still do not like the taste of it, then brushing without toothpaste is better than not brushing at all. Use mouth rinse afterwards for flavour.
In case of manual dexterity problems an electric toothbrush can be tried.
If the problem is poor gums and teeth, then you should really seek help from a dentist. Ignoring these problems is only going to make it worse.
If finances are a problem, then talk to your dentist. There are payments plans and subscription plans available which make dental care more affordable.