A selfie is a photo that is taken of one’s self with a digital camera or smartphone and typically shared on social media sites. Selfies, which are essentially the short term for “self-portrait,” have become wildly popular among social media users. In fact, researchers from Samsung found that selfies make up approximately one-third of photos taken by people between 18-24 years old.
Although the selfie culture of today’s society gets a bad reputation for instilling issues of narcissism and psychopathy, researchers have found that there are also a few benefits to taking selfies. A survey from Common Sense Media found that 1 in 5 teens felt more confident about themselves when using a social media site. Positive comments from selfies has been said to help with confidence and self-esteem. While selfies might not directly increase confidence, they can help individuals feel less shy about exhibiting themselves. This isn’t the only way taking a selfie can benefit you! In fact, a recent study has found that taking a video selfie while brushing your teeth can help improve your brushing technique. To explain more on this subject, Drs. Elam, Vaughan, and Fleming give their Nashville dental patients a brief overview of this study.
Improving Oral Hygiene with Selfies
So, how can selfies actually improve your oral health? The study, which was recently published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research, looked at how selfies can be useful for dental health. Researchers looked at the brushing habits of participants and corrected poor habits prior to the start of the study. They focused on several techniques, including:
- Using circular motions
- Positioning of the arm
- Maintaining a 45 degree angle while brushing
To further help participants master their tooth brushing techniques, researchers had participants film themselves brushing their teeth at home. Researchers believed that being able to visually see their own habits would help to disrupt ingrained habits. Making participants conscious of their habits can help with the process of forming new behavioral changes. The process needed for this change includes memory formation and creating new muscle memory.
Throughout the study, researchers found an overall 8% improvement in tooth brushing skills. Some of these skills include accuracy of brush strokes and the number of brush strokes. Although there was an overall improvement in skills, researchers found that the length of time a person spend on brushing didn’t change.
This can potentially help the field of dentistry in the future because of the emergence of mobile health or “mHealth.” This new method for collecting data is becoming increasingly popular to monitor and assess oral health concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease. Researchers of the study anticipate using this technology in the future as a video-based monitoring app. They believe that it will be helpful for patients to brush at home for oral health professionals to later review. This app can help address preventable issues such as tooth decay and gum disease early on before they turn into a severe problem.
Using this technology can also help emphasize the importance of oral hygiene and educate patients on the correct techniques needed to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. Some of the most common mistakes patients can make include:
- Brushing too hard
- Using an old toothbrush with frayed bristles
- Using a back-and-forth motion
- Brushing right after consuming an acidic food or beverage
Contact our Office in Nashville
Next time you want to improve your oral hygiene techniques, consider picking up your smart phone! Visually studying some of your habits can help to learn what you can improve on. If you’re currently dealing with other oral health concerns, don’t hesitate to call our office! We offer a variety of dental services to best address your oral health.