What brushing my teeth like a retard has taught me

Brush your teeth, kids.

Last month, I spontaneously decided to start brushing my teeth with my non-dominant hand. Not just because, but to teach myself a new skill. It may not create more connections in my brain like that if I just eat magic mushrooms or my chosen task as impressive as learning how to play Clair de Lune on the piano, but believe me, it could very well be just as involved.

The first day I brushed not only my teeth but also my forehead and had foam running up to my elbow – don’t ask why. I honestly did not expect it to be that hard. But I am one for trying.

For the next weeks, I was 100% sure I carried on with my day with my teeth not cleaned perfectly. This, even if it felt like I have been carrying on brushing for what felt like a hairline away from eternity. But hey, all beginners begin somewhere.

The good news is by the end of last month, I was able to brush my teeth decently, if not as good as my dominant hand. I felt really proud of myself!

Another interesting thing I did not expect was how it turned out an absolute joy to brush my teeth like a retard on the way to learning how to brush my teeth correctly with my non-dominant hand. I can think of several things I tried to pick up in the past that felt more like pulling teeth. There has got to be better ways to learn, and sure enough, there are.

Now if only picking up disciplines is always this enjoyable, then maybe we would all be curious to learn new things every day and have fun doing so. We would never stop learning. Like it is all just play.

What thing did you had the most fun learning and what was your worst experience with something you just had to give up on it before you mastered it?

Published by Markus + Micah

We are Markus + Micah. We live in a tiny house by the sea, grow our plants, cook plant-based food, travel, and design wellness retreats and mindful programs so we can all live meaningful lives.

38 thoughts on “What brushing my teeth like a retard has taught me

  1. It’s funny, but my immediate and first response when I began reading your post was, But I am ambidexturous!!!!
    Having said this, I get what you are saying, and I wholeheartedly say Let’s do this!

    The most recent thing I had great fun learning was making ciabatta, inspire by you, of course. Batch after batch, coming closer to what I think a good ciabatta should taste like, tweaking, making changes – all the while, the family is thoroughly enjoying a bread I didn’t even realise they liked so much.

    If I have given up on something, it’s mostly because I’ve decided I’ve had enough because it wasn’t as important as I thought, or not as fun as I’d hoped. Part of the cost of trying new things, right?


    1. Wow, you are ambidextrous. That is super! I wish I was, too. It will help when I am tired from writing. I am so happy that you are enjoying the process of making ciabatta. I bet your family enjoys it more! Is yours a very wet dough? I made brioche buns for my vegetarian burgers the other day. It was fun but not perfect.


      1. I tend to have a favourite hand for different tasks – it’s just worked out that way 😂

        My ciabatta dough has become pretty wet. I am going to try a different recipe next time to see if it makes a difference.

        Ooh, brioche – that is another bread I have not tried. I make lots of enriched breads but not yet brioche.

        Incidentally, perfection is not a criteria for our food – colourful, fun, healthy, but our bread tends to be very rustic and lopsided!


        1. That is so cute. I wish someone told me that when I was a child – you can have a favorite hand for different things. Oh, same with ciabatta dough, but I kind of like the wet dough. I hope when you are bored you try brioche. My sister made me ensaymadas yesterday. They were so good. I am dead.


  2. Ahaha congrats! I read that it was actually better to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand because you brush imore softly so it doesn’t damage the teeth, so maybe we should all do the same! 😊 I used to try taking note with my non-dominant hand when I was at university and I was bored… it started up pretty badly but now it is not so bad, though it really didn’t teach me anything ahah


    1. Yes, I suppose we try these things when we are bored. It was fun and I still do it. I find that when I am rushing I just use my dominant hand but the lesson here is why am I rushing at all? Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The use of the non dominant hand is always interesting. A month ago I had a skin cancer removed from my right hand, which is the dominant hand. Many stitches later and with the skin and muscles pulled up along a 7cm incision (thus avoiding the need for a skin graft), my hand was out of action for two weeks. I often use my left hand to do things anyway (as many of us do re whichever is the less dominant hand). I am always amazed how coordinated I can be playing the guitar as it requires both hands, equally. I often drink a cup of tea using my left hand. Of course, when I was out of action, I still typed away using my left hand, although things did take a bit longer. Getting dressed and undressed was a definite challenge!


  4. It’s not until you temporarily lose use of your dominant hand (e.g. because of injury) and are sitting on the toilet that you realize just how dependent you are upon the usual uses of dominant/non-dominant hands!
    So good on you, training your brain and hands to be ambidextrous. It will serve you well at some point!


    1. This time the phone is vindicated, Anne. It is me moderating comments slower than usual. Remember in my previous posts, I mentioned having some lung situation? Currently dealing with it, unfortunately. All is well though so nothing to worry about.


  5. I taught myself to cover my yawning mouth with my palm facing out. I saw someone do it on tv and liked it.
    More recently, I’m interlacing my fingers with my non-dom hand in the top position.
    I love that you brushed your forehead!! When I went to Dining In The Dark (simulates total blindness), my dining partner got cake in her hair (she apparently went full feral and ate by shoving her fave down to where she thought the plate was located). I stayed “civil” but ate a ball of butter… by itself. Something I hope never to repeat.
    Warning: the “R word” is currently considered extremely offensive to many. I had a very hard time breaking the habit because to me it was an insult word completely unlinked to anyone’s actual mental capacity.


    1. Oh, that is interesting. So glad to see many others doing interesting things with what is otherwise mundane. The butter ball is funny. I wish I could do it, too. And I get it with the R word and considered it before posting, too.


      1. Dining in the Dark is fantastic. The staff are blind and their spatial awareness is extra impressive when you can’t accurately cut chicken but they know exactly where everything is!
        My friend started hallucinating streaks of light. I found I couldn’t tell if the music was recorded or live. I thought it was weird that one table that we could here was being all serious and formal. We couldn’t stop laughing at ourselves!!
        There are some great promo videos, taken with infrared cams!! The one I attended was called Opaque.


  6. You crazy person! 😂 Why? 💓 How weird, but this post takes me back years ago when I was an archery coach. When I was coaching and trying to highlight the problems of learning a new skill (in this case, archery) I used to ask people to try brushing their teeth with their non-dominant hand! In the end, the hope was to make people aware of what their bodies were doing when shooting arrows.
    One thing that comes to mind was learning Tai Chi, again, years ago! My wife and I loved the classes but when we tried to remember the moves when we got home, we just messed up, a bit like you brushing your forehead🤣
    Something that really shocked me, was sitting on a “shave-horse” for the first time, a couple of years ago, with a draw-knife and instantly knew what I was doing! Where did that skill come from? And what a joy! 😊🙏


    1. You were an archery coach? That is the coolest! You coached at school or? And it must have been hilarious to try Tai Chi at home feeling confident you know how to and realizing sooner than it is a challenge. Haha. We are so lucky we are able to laugh at ourselves. What is a shave-horse?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. The video shows a man working with what appears to be seasoned wood (dried), it looks like really hard work, but as a “green” woodworker I use wood that has just been cut from the tree so it is still full of sap and using the drawknife is like pulling a knife through butter. (Green woodwork means working with sustainable wood and is usually carried on out of doors in the woods).


  7. I learned to play badminton with both left and right hands. That was easy and fun, but I was young then. Every once in a while I put on my jeans starting with the left foot instead of the right. Sometimes I dry my right arm first just for the heck of it. I’ll keep occasionally doing things backward unless I hurt myself. I won’t blame you.


    1. It is really the little things that add spice to life, doesn’t it? What used to be routine or boring is suddenly more interesting and we are forced to pay more attention and it is really nice. Not sure what other hand thing I will do next but thanks for the ideas!


      1. Try putting your shoes on in the wrong order. Start up a flight of steps with a different foot. The other day I tried to put on a jacket with a different arm first. I couldn’t do it! I’m glad you reminded me of different things to do.


  8. I had to learn this skill too because I have tendonitis on my left hand (my dominant hand)… thank God I use an electric toothbrush.


  9. My dentist told me to do what you’re doing. By using your less dominant hand you get to different [more] surfaces on you teeth. Cool that you did this.


    1. At first I thought to open doors with my other hand but I cannot seem to remember it. Yes, I hope you can challenge your other hand and let it surprise you! Any experience you got for the concluding questions?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: