From Routine to Ritual: how to get the most out of your oral care - truthpaste
January 25, 2023

From Routine to Ritual: how to get the most out of your oral care

By Marisa Battrick

The link between oral health and your physical and mental health is well documented.

Your oral care routine can easily be rushed or even forgotten amidst the pressures of your day-to-day. Here is how to turn a mundane necessity into a self-care ritual that can help you to start and end your day in the best way possible. 


What does an oral care ritual look like?

The difference between routine and ritual is simply your own perception of a task, adding intention to help with motivation. 

Read on to discover how you can create your own ritual that will benefit your teeth, gums and well-being. 

1. Make time for your ritual

Whilst it may seem an obvious first step, over a third of adults admit to skipping brushes. This can happen when you consider your oral care as a task, rather than self-care. The key to shifting perspective is to allow yourself time. You need to consider each step of your oral care ritual which should include flossing and brushing at the very least. Oral health professionals agree that brushing alone should take no less than 2 minutes. 

There are some simple ways to make sure you are allowing yourself enough time

  • Select a soundtrack - music is a great way to keep track of time
  • Affirmations - Similar to music, your affirmations can help you judge the time you spend on your ritual
  • Set an alarm - for those that like their day to run like clockwork

2. Prepare your environment

Think of your sink as your altar. Whether you realise it or not, this is where you go to perform lots of little rituals each day. Like washing your hands or face, styling your hair or shaving. Keeping your bathroom mirror clean and your sink clear will create a positive and calm environment. Close the bathroom door to make it really feel like your own space.

A scented candle or diffuser will create a pleasant smell. If you can, make sure you have the right kind of light. Your sensory experience will help put you in the right mindset to begin your ritual. 

3. Lay out the tools for your ritual. 

This may be as simple as toothpaste and toothbrush, depending on your oral care routine. This is what we recommend

  • Floss. -  The NHS and most dentists recommend that you floss before brushing. You will need around 30-40 cm 
  • Toothbrush. - Make sure you are using the correct type. I.e. soft/medium/hard bristles. Ask your dentist or oral hygienist which they recommend
  • Truthpaste - Of course! 
  • Spatula - For scooping the perfect amount of toothpaste onto your brush 

4. Don’t rush the brush


Take in 3 or 4 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose for the count of 5 and out through your mouth for the count of 5. Pay attention to your breathing. It will help you to focus and relax.


Give this some thought. Obviously, you are cleaning your teeth for your oral health but what else is your ritual for? Take some time to think about what you want to focus or meditate on during this brief moment of calm. Setting intentions is a great way to work on your strengths and weaknesses, develop self-awareness and achieve goals

Some examples you might want to start with are

  • I will feel good about myself today/tomorrow
  • I will allow time for myself
  • I will be kind to myself today/tomorrow
  • I will listen to and trust myself

Focus on your technique

Are you mindlessly brushing around your mouth, or are you systematically brushing through each quadrant of your mouth?

When you brush, make sure you move from tooth to tooth, brushing each surface - from outside, to top, to the inside surface, in small circular motions. Mindfully brushing each surface of each tooth will ensure you don't miss out any areas.


You can skip your ritual without skipping brushes

If the idea of finding time for this twice a day just seems like too much, don’t panic. You should try to do at least one full and thorough whole mouth cleanse a day, either in the morning or the evening. Your oral care ritual can be as long as you like, although dental professionals recommend that you spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth, gums and tongue.

Remember, your oral care ritual is your own, and you deserve this small amount of time to yourself. 




Lucy Gower: How Are Daily Rituals Different from Daily Routines? (September 2022), Lifehack

Hans H. Penner et al: Ritual, (1998), Britannica 

NHS UK: How to keep your teeth clean, reviewed 2022