Today I attempt to provide everyone with a #lifeprotip. I’m sure I’m not the first one with this insight, but I’m also convinced that the knowledge isn’t widespread. Here it comes!

I don’t have great teeth. Admittedly, they’re not terrible either: my front teeth are relatively white and have been relatively cavity-free. Thank God for that! But I’ve always had issues with my molars. So far I’ve had the nerves removed from six of them, which isn’t great given that I’m not even 30.

I was much worse about dental hygiene growing up, but starting with my late teens I really began to take it seriously. Now I typically follow the recommended procedures for cleaning the teeth, including flossing and going to the dentist at least twice a year. I bought an electric toothbrush two years ago and can’t imagine going back — it’s so much more thorough. My most recent checkups have been great.

However, more recently I’d noticed that the top lateral incisor on the left side of my mouth has a yellower hue than the top lateral incisor on the right side. In case you’re unfamiliar with tooth names, the lateral incisors are the teeth right next to the two big ones in your front — think of a beaver and its prominent teeth in cartoons. The incisors are the first ones on either side of those!

So here it comes, my great insight about brushing teeth that I now share with the world:

As a leftie, I tend to overemphasize brushing on the top right teeth, because it’s more comfortable to brush on the opposite side of the hand (the left) I use to hold my toothbrush.

This has been a boon for the right side of my teeth. I mentioned having had six molars’ nerves removed. None of these are in the right top quadrant. My left side is significantly worse for wear and includes some of the first dental procedures I ever had to do.

I now realize this lopsided result is due to handedness. I have vowed to correct for my natural instincts and be more deliberate about covering the areas that don’t come as naturally. You should too!

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