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My Dental Hygienist Updated My Project Plan

May 10, 2017

You really should be brushing twice a day

We’ve all been there, right? The dental hygienist always tells you to brush twice per day. This was my second cleaning in four months. The hygienist four months ago was pretty rude in her “suggestion” that I brush more frequently. I don’t eat candy anymore. I rarely drink soda and other than an occasional cake or ice cream, I don’t put a lot of sugar into my mouth.

But, at yesterday’s appointment the hygienist completely convinced me to start brushing twice per day. And it only took her 2 minutes.

Rodney, for the typical person, it takes slightly longer than 24 hours for the bacteria in food to start to form that hard plague buildup. For most people, brushing once per day takes care of it. But, occasionally, there are people who have superfast bateria. In their case, the bateria starts to form plague in less than 24 hours. You are one of those people. It’s not about when you eat, you can choose to brush right after dinner and then eat a snack later. It’s really about breaking up that bacteria in less than 24 hours.

It made perfect sense. And convinced me to brush twice a day.

As a project manager I’ve often had to work with people that needed to do a particular process a specific way. When I just tell them, “This is how it is” I get resentment. If I take the time (sometimes, just a couple of minutes) to explain the why of what I’m asking, they not only are willing to do what I ask, they want to do it. They feel engaged and gain a sense of ownership.

I’m not brushing my teeth twice a day because a woman in a dental coat told me to. I’m doing it because I don’t want my teeth cleaning to be exercises in creative rock chip repair.

When it comes to brushing my teeth, two minutes made all the difference.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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