I’m guessing the answer is yes, I’m also going to assume you are wandering why I’m interested.

You will already know my fascination with human behaviour, what motivates us to change aspects of our lives & what prevents us from not doing so. We are a gorgeous complicated species capable of creating such beauty in the world but also such chaos but I digress…

Back to the pearly whites, how and when did you take this simple action into a part of your twice daily routine? Also, why?

Perhaps the fear of unrelenting tooth ache has driven you, the memory of your milk teeth leaving you and the pain of your adult teeth arriving.

When your husband owns your teeth

For many of us it’s the fear of needing a dentist, firstly finding one, secondly the anxiety of not being able to pay for the privilege that motivates our daily brushing discipline. Victorian brides often had all their teeth removed after their weddings in anticipation of preventing costly dental care further down the line for their husbands, interestingly the husbands didn’t go through the same.

The tooth fairy knows…

As children we are told all our teeth will fall out if we don’t look after them & the tooth fairy doesn’t pay out for wilful neglect. Story book  villains, witches & goblins all seem to have had a questionable relationship with their tooth brushes throughout time.

Perhaps halitophobia plays in, bad breath rarely makes for a desirable entrance into conversation & that’s before we consider getting to know people up close & personal. Would Juliet have fallen quite so hard for Romeo if his smile & charm had come with no teeth? The story may have played a little differently had this been the case.

Romeo, Romeo, please brush your teeth…

So perhaps that’s why we embrace this habit so early, we know that others will see our efforts or lack of & judge us on it, on our ability to form good habits therefore showing discipline, to take care of ourselves without being prompted demonstrating a level of self-esteem. A smile is part of our emotional landscape it projects to others how we are feeling (it’s our eyes we actually  smile with but that’s another post) Healthy teeth tell others we are likely healthier humans, that we can afford dental care, that societally we are better off. We are worthy of our smiles.

So why then is it so hard to build other daily habits that we know will benefit us? We know daily physical activity is paramount to good health, whether its Pilates, Walking the dog or a Zumba class, reduced screen time is essential for your eyes & mind. Time spent socially with others can reduce loneliness & depression. A diet full of unprocessed & brightly coloured foods improves nearly everyone’s health outcomes (I realise low potassium diets are the exception here) Avoiding smoking, drugs and alcohol is known to be better for the body (I realise the mind may disagree but we are talking about the body as a system here)

“Virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions” Aristotle

If people could see our lungs, our intestines or our hearts in the way they see our teeth would we perhaps be more likely to change habits, I suspect so. We live in a world concerned with selling you things to improve the way you look, the working assumption being that this will change the way you feel but this narrative must constantly change its ideas of how you should look so it can keep selling you the answers. So I ask you to look at your habits honestly, ask yourself which ones are serving you well & which ones could serve you better in order that you feel better. Become your own parent & remind yourself of the benefits to you when you create positive daily habits. Whatever these are to you. And just as you don’t even think about brushing your teeth, so too will it be automatic to take a daily walk or some other exercise. Leaving the screen won’t bring with it oceans of anxiety & eating will be something joyous including the cake and ice cream, just remember to brush your teeth afterwards, the tooth fairy is watching.

With love & fairy dust,



Seraphina Pilates

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