Human Irrationality. Dental Care

There is a vivid illustration of human irrationality. It’s in the way we treat our teeth. Brushing teeth is a simple act, which, done regularly and properly, has proven effect in avoiding dental problems. (Maybe if not completely avoiding, definitely minimizing them.) Brush, floss. You can leave alone irrigators and electric toothbrushes, bluetooth powered and almost growing their own intellect. Research shows that the type of your brush doesn’t matter as much as the routine and the technique of brushing teeth. So a simple toothbrush and a dental floss suffice.

Yet, do I brush long enough or careful enough? No. Do I brush AND floss twice daily, every day? No. Do I eat at night, after having brushed my teeth? Hell yes.

We are not wired for success. Even when something that proves beneficial is simple to do, doesn’t require from us anything but a simple tool and several minutes of time, most of us, humans, don’t do it. Why? I can of course find reasons with delayed gratification troubles, and triggers, and lack of short-term reward. But in the end of the day, my brain just can’t produce any explanation why I sometimes don’t brush my teeth other than, oops, I’m already in bed, and Im too lazy to get up and do it. Mind you, we’re talking here about a simple daily ritual, not even exercising or eating healthy, the ubiquitous residents of New Year’s resolutions.

The simple routines are the hardest in the long run. It’s not difficult to follow the same behavior pattern for a week or a month. Try a year. Try every day, for the rest of your life. After all, what you do every day makes you who you are. Go ahead and start with a 21- or 30-day program, to glue in the habit, so to say. But don’t stop after that. Be intentional about it, fight your own irrationality. That’s the real “showing up”, that’s the magic that truly works. Not some fancy hashtag-30-day-marathon-of-something, but a consistent practice.