Monday, April 23, 2007

The importance of teeth brushing

I am not a dentist. I'm not going to tell you how brushing your teeth is good for you because it removes plaque and is healthy for your gums. For me, teeth brushing has another, entirely different use.

My morning ritual looks more or less like this: get up, go to the bathroom, have a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth. After that, I usually went away to university. Currently I'm mostly working and studying from home. In between the getting dressed is often a lot of e-mail reading, blog reading, forum reading etcetera. Because you're a blog reader yourself you know how time-consuming these things can be if you don't put a stop to them. Sometimes half of the morning has already passed before I close the web browser and start working.

It turns out that these are also the times that I neglect to brush my teeth. Teethbrushing signifies the end of my morning ritual, and thereby, the start of work time. The fresh taste in my mouth is the physical reminder of that. When I notice that I'm wasting time on reading blogs, I just have to get up and brush my teeth, and the sense of urgency to start working increases significantly, often up to the point that I start right away.

This conditioning may have been with me from the time I started to go to school. Even back then, brushing my teeth was one of the last things I did before I left. No wonder that the association is ingrained so deeply. A hack though it may be, it's very useful and I must take care to keep it.

Brushing my teeth is also the last thing I do before I go to sleep. It would be interesting to see whether it also makes me sleep better. Perhaps I can combine this experiment with some future power napping experiments.

No comments: