Durgesh Pratap's Blog

The Toothbrush Effect Will Change Your Life (For Good).

Written By: Durgesh Pratap
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The secret of the ancient domino habit to improve your life today! Mankind choose to build the habit of protecting their teeth. They could have focused on any other habit — like exercising daily for heart health or practicing meditation.

Table of Contents

Not lungs, not brain, not even your heart but your TEETH!

Yes, your sparkling, shiny, twisty teeth.

Image generated by the writer on DALLE2

Mankind choose to build the habit of protecting their teeth.

They could have focused on any other habit — like exercising daily for heart health or practicing meditation.

But, we get up everyday in the morning and brush our teeth.

A Brief History of Toothbrushing

Babylonians and the Egyptians are among the earliest known civilisations (3000 BCE) using “chew sticks,” twigs with frayed ends used to brush against the teeth.

The first bristle toothbrush, similar to the modern toothbrush, originated in China during the Tang Dynasty (619–907 CE). It was made from hog bristles attached to a handle crafted from bamboo or bone.

In Europe, the adaptation and evolution of toothbrushing took time, with various materials being used for bristles, including horsehair and feathers.

The modern toothbrush as we know it, with nylon bristles, was invented in 1938.

But, why civilizations focused on protecting their teeth?
It is a domino habit.

The Domino Habit

A domino habit is a foundational habit that positively influences various other areas of your life.

You can’t chew if your teeth are gone. And if you can’t chew properly, you can’t digest food properly, and so on.

To build any domino habit, you need three things:
1. A cue/time: You wake up every day in the morning.
2. A place: And go into the bathroom.
3. A tool: You pick up the toothbrush.

And you know what to do now.

The routine becomes so ingrained that you know exactly what to do upon waking up, making it second nature.

The real challenge isn’t willpower; it’s lack of clarity — we often don’t know what to do, when to do it, or where to do it.

How To Build a Domino Habit with Toothbrush Effect?

Here is how you can change your life today by using toothbrush effect to build good habits.

1/ Find a domino habit:

Want to wake up early? That will take care of everything. A domino habit could be sleeping early or even exercising.

Make a list of all the habits that you want to change or build. Pick one that will have the highest impact on your life and go for it.

  • Make a list of habits you want to change or build.
  • Pick one that will have the highest impact.
  • Focus on this one habit.

2/ Find a cue/time:

You brush your teeth after you wake up. There are several other things that you do on autopilot every day.

For example, breakfast, lunch, dinner, sleeping, waking up, going to the office, coming from the office, etc.

Such activities are integral to your daily routine and serve as natural triggers or cues for new habits.

  • Make a list of all the existing things you do every day.
  • Figure out which one of the above can become your cue.
  • Attach your new habit to your regular habit.

3/ Pick a tool:

You need a tool to build your habit. Here is a list of a few tools for clarity.

  • Brushing teeth — Toothbrush
  • Yoga/meditation — Yoga mat
  • Writing — Laptop
  • Sleeping early — Eye mask
  • Waking up early — Alarm clock
  • Running — Your shoes

These are examples to help you figure it out.

4/ Pick a place:

Brushing teeth is mostly done in the bathroom. Maybe you do it on your balcony, but at least you know where you will find your tools.

You must know where you have to be in order to build a habit. At 9 AM, I am at my writing desk.

  • Pick a suitable place. Writing — a corner or café where no one disturbs you. Exercise — A gym or your terrace.
  • When picking the place, remember to pick where you love being anyway. For example, a gym that has a good environment, a café where you can sit for hours even doing nothing. It is important because if you don’t like being there, then you won’t be there.
  • Pick a place that is easy to reach. Gym, café, whatever it must be within walking distance to avoid friction. You don’t take a cab to go to your bathroom to brush your teeth. If that were the case, I doubt you would have shiny teeth.

5/ Show up:

Everything is ready at this point. Now, you only need to show up at the decided place.

However, there might be times when you fail to show up or miss your habit.

One important reason you were able to build the habit of brushing teeth is your parents made sure you did that. They were head to toes every morning ensuring you brush your teeth.

But here, you are on your own. Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do.

  • Set an alarm 15 minutes before you have to do your task to build the habit.
  • Make new friends at the gym or tell existing friends about your daily habit. Share your progress.
  • Show up at your place with the tools, whether you do it or not. Don’t you notice, some days you are in a hurry and you brush your teeth quickly? But you do it anyways.

I had to struggle with showing up, and to solve it, I created a challenge for myself. And while going through the process, I figured it out.

Now, I am hosting this challenge for free for anyone struggling to build consistency.

If you want to try the challenge for FREE check here: 10 Show Up Challenge.


From now on, every morning or night before bed when you pick up your toothbrush, you will remember that you have the perfect knowledge of building habits.

It is a reminder that you don’t lack willpower or motivation, but clarity.

A quick recap of the steps to build a Domino Habit:

  1. Find a domino habit that impacts all the other aspects of your life.
  2. Find a cue/time and attach it to your domino habit.
  3. Pick a tool that helps you in building your domino habit.
  4. Pick a place where you need to practice your domino habit.
  5. Show up at your place at the decided time with the tools.

I hope you are going to build some good habits today.

Hey, thank you for reading the post.

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About The Author

Durgesh Pratap is a versatile entrepreneur engaged in video production, advertising, writing, and digital marketing. Known for his diverse skill set, he writes about maintaining productivity and focus in both business and life, sharing insights from his multi-faceted career. His work inspires others to balance diverse interests and succeed in the dynamic world of entrepreneurship.