Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brushing your teeth with intention

Today's post is about something very personal--the dentist.

A few weeks ago I noticed I was having some temperature sensitivites on a few of my teeth. I knew I needed to see a dentist. I knew that even before my teeth were acting up. It took that fear factor to motivate me to actually go visit one. It has probably been a few years since I last visited a dentist. I have moved, and had to find a 'new' one.

I called to schedule an appointment, and the were able to get me in the very next day--ideal! Less time for my anxiety to build.

I went for a routine cleaning and brought a small beany baby stuffed animal along. I know my anxiety at the dentist's office, and have found it helpful to have a small furry/beany/fluffy object/toy for my hands to focus on. I set an intention before I headed in the office as well. I intended to be relaxed and keep returning to my body.

I did well. I kept focusing on the beans in my beanie baby toy, and I kept noticing by body tensed up, so I would consciously relax. (How many times? I didn't keep count). All went well until the dentist found a tiny cavity! My heart sank.

I got to watch an instructional video on how to brush your teeth. It was nice. Of course I knew many of the points it mentioned, but it was still nice to get a refresher. It also pointed out one or two things that I wasn't aware of, one of which probably was directly related to my tiny cavity.

I now brush my teeth with intention. I pay attention to how and where I brush, trying to make sure I cover all areas. And you know what? I don't do this out of fear of getting more cavities. I do it because I realized, brushing my teeth leaves me with a feeling of luxury. Not on a grandious scale, but it feels luxurious nevertheless.

I even floss occasionally now. The lady cleaning my teeth said that soft plaque starts calcifying or hardening in about 48 hours. Thus, if I could floss every other day, that would be great. So that's about what I do. (Trust me, I'm not going to over do it on the flossing!)

Last night I was trying to hurry and get to bed. I decided to floss anyway. Not perfectly. But still sortof floss. It really doesn't have to take that much time. An imperfect attempt at flossing is better than doing nothing at all! And it left me with a feeling of luxury.

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