Can Taking Selfies Improve Your Oral Health?

It’s hard to get on social media without seeing someone’s selfie. Maybe you’ve posted a few yourself. While selfies are fun to take and share (for many), they also have a serious side. What you may not know is selfies can help improve your oral health.

According to a new study, recording selfie videos can help people improve their dental hygiene techniques leading to improved oral health. If you’re feeling a little doubtful about this, read on for the facts.

Taking video selfies can help you brush your teeth more effectively.

The connection between selfies and oral health

The study examined whether taking video selfies could help people learn to brush their teeth more effectively. At the start of the study, participants were assessed on their brushing habits. They were then given tips to correct any wrong techniques.

Using smartphones on stands, they filmed themselves brushing their teeth at home, concentrating on mastering the skills they learned. These skills included positioning the brush at a 45-degree angle, using a circular motion while brushing, and positioning the arm correctly.

The results? Participants showed marked improvement. The accuracy of their brush strokes improved, they increased the number of strokes, and showed an eight percent improvement in their tooth brushing skills. And they accomplished this with no change in the length of time they brushed.

Lance T. Vernon, a senior instructor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and co-author of the study, explained, “Often, tooth-brushing is learned and practiced without proper supervision,” he stated. “Changing tooth brushing behaviors — which are ingrained habits tied to muscle memory — can take a lot of time and guidance.”

Good dental hygiene techniques can improve your oral health.

How selfies can help your dental hygiene

Recording yourself as you brush makes you more conscious of your technique. It can also help you get rid of long-term habits that may be harmful for your oral health.

“Our study suggests that, in the future, recording these selfies can help shift some of this time investment in improving brushing to technology,” says Vernon. “Patients can then receive feedback from dental professionals.”

Oral diseases, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay, are preventable with proper dental hygiene. And while there is no standard brushing technique universally recommended, perhaps selfies can help inpiduals improve their techniques.

Taking the selfies alone is not enough, however. It’s important to share your videos with your dentist or hygienist. They are able to give you feedback on areas to work on and techniques to improve your skills. As you practice these new techniques, they’ll become your default habit over time.

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