Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to learn how to brush your teeth like an adult.
I’m rating this one as “baby steps” because you don’t have to buy anything new or find more time in your already-packed day to complete the mission, but it’s far from simple.
That phrase about “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is very applicable here, at least for me.
Imagine how many times you’ve probably brushed your teeth in your life:
Your Age x 365 x 2 (give or take a few misses) = A LOT!
You most certainly have a habit of how you brush.
For me, it’s in a pattern, bottom to top, and FAST. In fact, both my husband and I have been chastised in recent years by our dentists that we’re brushing our teeth too hard and wearing away our gums.
I have a feeling plenty of overworked, overtired, people – especially busy parents – have the same problem! It seems more efficient if you brush harder and move the brush itself faster, no?
Our family received a family pack of Bass toothbrushes from my affiliate partner, Orawellness, a few months ago and watched their Bass brushing technique video one night as I was making dinner.
I was totally fascinated.
I know, super dork, fascinated by a video of someone brushing his teeth. I might as well be in kindergarten during “Dental Health Week” learning how to brush my teeth and getting stickers or something, but once I tell you about it, I think you’ll agree.
And I bet you’ll have a hard time learning a new trick, too, since you’ve likely been brushing your teeth in the same way since you were a child, just like me — but I’m glad I’m working at it.
Bass Brushing Technique
You can watch the video here:
If you can’t see the video above, view it at You Tube HERE.
For those of you who might not have 8 minutes and are quick readers (raises hand), here’s a synopsis:
- The Bass Brushing Technique is scientifically proven to “disrupt, disorganize, and remove the bad bugs that cause gum disease in our mouth.”
- Dr. Bass was a young but very bright and successful physician.
- He was diagnosed with advanced gum disease and recommended to have all his teeth pulled.
- He turned to science instead.
- He took swabs from his own mouth and studied them to see the gum disease causing bacteria. He had lots!
- He then did experiments to figure out how best to remove or kill the bad bacteria. He would swab his mouth, count the bacteria, brush in a certain way, then swab and count again, until he found the most effective method.
- He learned some things about oral health:
- The bad bugs hang out along the gum line.
- Toothbrushes weren’t doing the job, because they had too many bristles and mashed the bacteria around on the teeth.
- The solution to the toothbrush problem was to pull bristles out until he got a toothbrush that could get in along the gum line and root out the bad bacteria. The result is the Bass toothbrush, which admittedly looks a bit “dollar store” at first glance, but it has fewer bristles and rounded tips that won’t etch the enamel on the teeth or irritate the gums. (One of the most common signs of gum disease is receding gums caused by brushing too hard with stiff bristles.) Um…I guess that’s why even though I’m young and healthy, I’m in that statistic that says that 90% of Americans have some form of gum disease. Darn.
See how far apart the bristles are? Compare this to your toothbrush, I dare you. Go on, hold it up to the screen now.
- The technique Dr. Bass found to work the best is now called the “Bass Brushing Technique,” and it works like this:
- Brush along the gum line, angled in, where the teeth rise up out of the gums.
- Use “micromovements,” very small back-and-forth vibrating motions.
- Children don’t have the fine motor control to do these tiny movements (and parents may not have the patience, but that’s fixable).
- Count to five in each position before moving on.
- As far as what toothpaste to use, I don’t know that Dr. Bass recommended one, but you don’t want anything abrasive for sure… I talk about fluoride here.
- You can do the technique with a conventional toothbrush, although it doesn’t seem to be quite as effective since there are too many bristles to be able to wiggle down between the teeth and gums.
- The happy ending? Dr. Bass died an old man with all his teeth in his mouth, even though he was supposed to lose them as a young man.
The way I understand it is a paradigm shift:
The way I used to think about brushing my teeth was that it was the chance to get the food out of my teeth so that the bad bacteria didn’t have food to eat. I focused on the chewing surfaces of my molars as the most important areas.
Now I think about brushing the bacteria themselves away (and the food too, but not as the primary or only goal). I focus on the gum line and getting around all my teeth thoroughly, using micromovements and gentle fingers.
That part is so hard! I want to just grab the toothbrush in my fist and power through, but I have to force myself to use my fingertips, move the brush quickly but not very far, and stay in one for a count of five.
Two Drops to Brush Your Teeth
The Orawellness brushing blend of anti-bacterial botanicals works to kill the bad bacteria while you’re brushing along the gum line. Just like the Bass technique is a totally new habit, using two drops of mostly essential oils is a very different experience from a conventional toothpaste that fills your mouth with foam.
There’s no foaming up, no bubbles, no big squeeze of pink or blue on your toothbrush…but you DO get that “fresh” feeling after brushing, because the ingredients in the brushing blend are organic and wildcrafted essentials oils of:
…in a base of organic almond oil.
Even my husband, who is the world’s greatest skeptic when it comes to this natural schtuff, says he thinks (a) the toothbrush really does get more off/out of the teeth than a normal brush, and (b) the brushing blend makes his teeth feel squeaky clean and very fresh. I think he uses the stuff more consistently than anyone else in the family, which is very rare for our new “natural” options.
How do I use the Brushing Blend?
2. To eliminate chronic bad breath! We also highly encourage users to brush their tongues with the Brushing Blend after scraping the tongue with a tongue scraper to eliminate bad breath!
3. As a mouthwash… Simply place 1-2 drops of Brushing Blend in a small amount of water and swish to reduce the bad bugs in the mouth, freshen the breath AND increase saliva production all at the same time!
4. On Floss… Placing a drop between your index finger and thumb and running a piece of floss through the oils impregnates the floss with the antimicrobials in OraWellness. Flossing with OraWellness provides an even deeper method to get the antimicrobials deeper in the gum pockets especially between molars where gum disease gets going easiest!
You could even whip up some homemade toothpaste, one thing that may never leave my to-do list…especially since my family is now smitten with Wellnesse toothpaste, super research-oriented and a lovely mouthfeel.
If you’re curious about what the KS kids think, they say the brushing blend is a “little too spicy” for their liking. My son can handle it but wouldn’t prefer it, and after the novelty wore off of the first time or two for my daughter, she’d really rather not use it.
Is There a HOLISTIC Dentist Hiding In Your Town?Robyn Openshaw over at Green Smoothie Girl spent months calling every holistic dentist she could find in the U.S! She learned what services each of them provide, and made a special guide so you can find a holistic dentist who uses practices that are non-toxic, so you can avoid heavy metals, root canals, radioactive x-rays, and more. She’s made all the information she gathered available for free in one amazing resource, The Insider’s Guide to Holistic Dentists.
Is There a HOLISTIC Dentist Hiding In Your Town?
Robyn Openshaw over at Green Smoothie Girl spent months calling every holistic dentist she could find in the U.S! She learned what services each of them provide, and made a special guide so you can find a holistic dentist who uses practices that are non-toxic, so you can avoid heavy metals, root canals, radioactive x-rays, and more.
She’s made all the information she gathered available for free in one amazing resource, The Insider’s Guide to Holistic Dentists.
Other Oral Health Posts:
- My Experience with Oil Pulling – for Sensitive Teeth
- Natural Toothpaste Reviews
- Oil Pulling Successes and Tips
- Fluoridated Water – is There a Safe Level of Fluoride?
Need More Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and got them all spruced up to send to your inbox – once a week on Mondays, so you can learn to be a kitchen steward one baby step at a time, in a doable sequence.
Sign up to get weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.