When Tooth Brushing Meets Mindfulness, Beautiful Things Happen

There are a million ways to get present, mindful, and connected to your body, including while brushing your teeth, morning, noon, or night. Listen, when tooth brushing meets mindfulness, beautiful things can happen.

Has everyone been tapping into this except for me? Doubt it, but maybe?

Personally, mindful tooth brushing has become a new-ish practice in my life.

What do I mean by mindfulness? To me, being mindful is being conscious and aware of myself and my actions. How does this apply to tooth brushing?

Well, brushing your teeth at least twice daily is considered a healthy habit. That said, it’s easy to be somewhat mindless about the whole practice and go about it on autopilot.

No, we don’t need to be perfect and completely alert with every task we perform, but becoming present while brushing my teeth has been a transformative practice.

And why is that exactly?

(Okay, time to get vulnerable.)

I spent many years of my life going to bed drunk as a skunk and neglecting my oral hygiene. I spent years with low self-esteem, and for me, that resulted in neglect of hygiene, which included oral hygiene, among other things. Eventually, I’ll go into more of this, and I have, including hair washing (and mindfulness) and how I learned to connect to my care through hair washing. You can read more about it here—->!!!. Additionally, combined with some trauma and being in survival mode for many days/ years, I was kind of out of my body and sometimes even out of my head, unaware of myself, my actions, and self-care. I couldn’t have even told you if I had bad breath or needed to floss. Simply, I was not feeling well and couldn’t care less about hygiene or self-care.

I am well aware that this can be an embarrassing thing for some to confess or even acknowledge at all. Luckily, we don’t have to share this information the way I currently am via the internet, but I think it’s a meaningful dialogue. I’m happy to share my experience because I know I’m not the only one. I want to continue normalizing conversations around our human-ness, including our struggles and sometimes self-neglect.

It seems common sense to shower, wash your feet, brush your teeth, and wash your hands, but for one reason or another, some of us have lost touch with self-care and attention to our sweet details.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that sometimes we have different conscious opinions on what hygiene should look like, so there is that. We don’t all agree, and that is okay.

Hygiene seems so simple, and I guess it is, but for those who have struggled with basic care in one way or another, certain acts of care can fall by the wayside or be something that we don’t think about much.

If this is you, it’s okay. I promise you’re not alone.

And even if you do brush your teeth with great care, this mindfulness can be for you, too. Or maybe you’re already there and can share with me your ways.

Sometimes when I am lying in bed or tired or sad, getting up to brush my teeth can seem daunting or tedious. At times, I’ve avoided the act because of it. Mindfulness can help me step into the action while enjoying it and connecting deeply with myself. This practice has also helped me step into a life full of self-care with more and more ease as time goes on because it makes the actions interesting, loving, and manageable.

When I pay attention to the small details of an action, I can find the beauty in it and how exactly it works and benefits me. Through paying attention I become informed.

Mindfully and slowly caring for myself, shows me how to find love in the movements. It makes space for what can be. When I become aware of the action, I can see how to embed it with love, care, and even curiosity.

I can get curious about this part of my body that can be easy to forget because it is often out of sight or seemingly too complicated to understand. Or, even if I am familiar with this part of me, paying attention to myself is essential. It allows me to spot changes or shifts that I can then address or simply love on.

Mindfulness has helped me discover how present I can be when brushing my teeth and how much I can get to know myself in the process. This practice has enabled me to care more deeply for my health while actually wanting to do so and also seeing the deep value it holds.

Mindful brushing has shown me that I can discover the cave that is my mouth. Like, what does it feel like to move the toothbrush in circular motions or back and forth? How do the bristles feel on my gums? What does it feel like to move the brush to the back teeth, making sure to reach even the far corners? Does it sometimes make me gag and sometimes not? (um, yes) Why only sometimes? What’s different?

The mouth is a part of the person; it’s a part of you, so why not connect with it? Your tongue, your gums, your teeth, your throat. It’s part of your vessel, honey. Beautiful, right?

How lightly can I hold my toothbrush? As it turns out, you don’t need a death grip on your brush. A light touch will do just fine. Can I become aware of my grip and my fingers and hands?

And how does my tongue look? The edges, the surface, the color, and the texture? I won’t go into it here, but Ayurveda can teach us about our inner self through observing our tongue. It’s fascinating! (Most recently I have added tongue scraping to my morning self-care routine and I am loving it.)

Also..

What sounds does the brush make on my teeth and gums?

What is the texture of my toothpaste? And the taste? And the smell? Do I enjoy it? Do I want something else? ( I have been using VAN MAN MIRACLE TOOTH POWDER and I absolutely love it.)

What does my mouth need? What do I think it needs?

How attentive can I be? How caring can I get?

Go slow. Be gentle.

All of this, for me, is meant to be sweet. Self-care has become a tender time that I didn’t always participate in or think I deserved, but now I know that self-care is a gift for me and the world. When I love on myself, I give love out, and it all circles back around. I am deserving of great care and phenomenal health in all parts of my body and life, and so are you. I get to practice this love and care through many avenues, including while brushing my teeth.

It seems simple, and it is, and that’s something I like about it. I get to infuse love into my actions, including into my tooth brushing. Self-love and self-care is a practice and can take some getting used to, but over time, it becomes standard!

A huge bonus, as if this isn’t already major, is that this mindfulness practice can carry over into other parts of your life, offering more space for awareness, self-love, and growth. Like they say, how you do one thing is how you do all things, and I couldn’t agree more. Mindfulness practices in one area of life will eventually be implemented in others. Infusing love into one action can eventually overflow into others. Being curious in one part of life can carry over to the others. Health can bloom from these moments, and so can guidance, and love, too.

Mmm! There is nothing like some mindfulness to show us what we need and want, or where we stand. There is nothing like mindfulness to open the doors to self-love and care through such simple avenues. I love it!

Your dental hygiene is essential and deserving of attention, consistency, and love, morning, noon, and night. Get sweet, curious, and mindful with yourself, any time you want, any time you can, even in the little 2-minute segments. (Life is made up of these little blips anyway. Step into them)

Take care, honey!

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