As children, we are taught a certain way of doing things. We are not allowed to question but instructed to follow because its Parampara. That’s how our parents have done it, our grandparents, great grandparents and every other ancestor in the family (apparently).

It seems very odd to me that we have to brush before and after sleeping. There are no new germs that enter our mouth when we sleep. Second, it is ridiculous to brush before we eat. Do we have to keep our teeth and gums clean for a germ attack? In some countries, brushing once a day is fine. In other countries, they’d look at you in horror for the same.

An article in TOI elaborates on inconsistencies in oral health guidance from dentists. We don’t really know how to brush our teeth, how many times to do it, or even when to do it. This is of course, unacceptable. Dental health is linked to life expectancy in many ways. Gum disease for example, is considered as a key factor in heart disease. Doesn’t this necessitate brushing off the inconsistencies immediately and adopt the right methods?

Lookup to the Japanese to teach you what you do not know. Hamigaki or the art of brushing tooth is passed down through generations in Japan.

Unlike any other culture, Japanese children are taught to brush their own teeth every day. After they finish, the parent takes over, examines the work, and brushes the nooks and corner that the child couldn’t reach. At school, children are mandated to brush their teeth after every meal.


Rhymes and songs on brushing teeth are employed at school to teach children in a fun and engaging way.


You would also find educational toys that help in teaching children good oral hygiene.


A few years ago, I befriended a Japanese guy in Delhi. He was visiting India on a holiday. It felt odd that he would wake up and directly have breakfast without brushing his teeth. Also, that he would brush after every meal. It wouldn’t matter if he ate 3 times a day or 10 times a day, he would brush soon after he finished the last bite or gulped the last sip. I began to understand the logic behind it, and question what we were taught.

It makes more sense to brush after a meal to avoid plaque deposits and germ infestation. Don’t you think? The most intriguing aspect of all this revelation is that, Japanese culture of Hamigaki comes from Buddhism. Where do you think Buddhism comes from? And we stick to something our parents think our ancestors passed down to us.

Brush after every meal. Avoid dental issues. Don’t blindly follow instructions. Look for the truth.