One thing at a time

When are folk going to grasp the fact that cleaning teeth isn’t something you can accomplish while doing something else? It is a difficult task, which needs total concentration. In the space of just one week recently there were two occasions when I was requested to do something at the same time as cleaning my teeth.

The first came up during an appointment with my physiotherapist when I was being given exercises for pulled ligaments in my ankle.

‘Balance on one foot when you are brushing your teeth,’ she said. I made no comment, exercising admirable restraint because she was excellent at her job, but the reader can guess what I was thinking.

When I tried the balancing act I found it did indeed take all of my concentration as I am not a natural one-footer, and I certainly couldn’t clean my teeth. Now I am more practised I can manage to floss while wobbling, but it is not easy.

The second occasion was during a television programme about memory. Typically, I can’t remember what the show suggested doing whilst cleaning my teeth, suffice it to say it needed concentration. And as I am constantly telling my patients, ‘you can’t expect the brush to find the surfaces and remove the plaque on its own, you have to guide it and watch.’ We have a long way to go before the complexity of the mouth is appreciated.

On a more positive note, I recently received a hug from a lady and was told I had changed her life. This was because she had come as a new patient, desperately nervous of any dental establishment and all who worked within, and afraid to smile as her teeth were in such a state. Several appointments later she is cleaning very effectively, beaming beatifically and unafraid.

Become a Dentistry Online member

Become a member
Register for webinar
"Company" would like to send you relevant email communications to this webinar, by opting in to receive these emails you are agreeing to be sent email communications by "Company".
You can opt-out at any time.
Add to calendar