Toothbrush epiphanies

Epiphany: ( /əˈpifənē/) noun, a moment of sudden revelation or insight.

Do you ever have those moments when you suddenly get a great idea? Have you ever noticed they occur when you least expect them?

This week, I’m going to encourage inspiration by offering up the best circumstances for it to strike. You might wonder how this relates to my gourmand theme, but just bear with me…

To set the scene, I’m going to give you an historic example of an amusing and significant epiphany.

Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, physicist and engineer, drew his bath one day and when he stepped into the tub, he was said to exclaim, “Eureka!” on discovering a new scientific principle — specific density.

He had noticed the water level rose when he got in, and he figured out that the volume of water displaced was equal to the volume of his body that entered the water.

There are many cases of people having epiphanies in the shower. I suppose this is the modern version of Archimedes’s experience – who has time for a bath, right?

There seems to be a link between those moments of total routine and our brains ability to explore new possibilities.

With this concept in mind, I want to offer an even easier opportunity. Not only does it provide you with a daily chance at discovering the secret to life, this activity promotes good hygiene.

All you need to do is brush your teeth.

I can vouch for this theory; I have had a few epiphanies over the years during my teeth-brushing regimen. There are a few advantages to having inspiration strike at this point as opposed to the bath or the shower: it’s a quicker activity that’s easy to include in your day, and it’s something much easier to stop doing so you can record your revelation before you forget.

So, you see how this relates to my general eating theme now, don’t you? Just as I like to promote healthy eating, I believe that healthy habits to keep your body prepared to eat well are equally important.

Here are my top 5 tips for brushing properly, to set you up for the best chance at an epiphany:

  • Make sure you change your toothbrush regularly (at least every 6 months). Using a brush with tired bristles means you miss out on much of the work the brush should be doing.
  • Don’t brush too soon after eating, especially after eating or drinking acidic items (they make your teeth more sensitive). Wait at least 60 minutes; drink water if you want a cleaner feeling in the meantime.
  • Be gentle with your brushing and use a soft bristled brush. In keeping with encouraging those epiphanies, think about just relaxing and enjoying the moment.
  • Brush at least twice a day, and floss on a regular basis (daily is best).
  • Brush long enough to be effective – two minutes. The average person only brushes for 45 seconds, but that doesn’t give your brain much time to be inspired.

Just like the technology of preparing and eating food has changed through the millennia, so has dental hygiene. Archimedes’s bath wasn’t much different than one taken by a modern person would be, but in his day brushing one’s teeth happened with a “chew stick” – a willow branch with a frayed end.

The Chinese invented the first toothbrush in 1498 using boar bristles, but the first mass produced toothbrush didn’t show up until 1780 and toothpaste took another hundred years.

After you’ve enjoyed your Eggs Benny for brunch or your steaks on the grill this long weekend, take a moment and just appreciate the luxury of brushing your pearly whites in the comfort of your bathroom.

Who knows, you might even be inspired to shout “Eureka!” when your own stroke of genius strikes.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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