The role of the subconscious in good oral health

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Curaprox Founder and bioscience expert Howard Thomas says it’s time to: “Wake patients up to oral health

A number of neurologists believe that only 5% of cognitive activities – in other words, decision-making, emotions, actions and behaviours – are made consciously, while the remaining 95% of brainpower is used by our subconscious [1]. These automatic systems are not only the reason we don't have to think about how to breathe, sleep or eat, but why we are able to carry out everyday activities without thinking about it. As the subconscious is ultimately made up of memories, experiences and perceptions that have been transferred from the conscious mind, it may be possible for patients to re-programme their behaviours and bad oral health habits.

While ultimately it is up to the patient to alter their thought process, change their actions and re-programme their subconscious, there is scope for the profession to assist with the process and help the message to sink in. Thus, if you have the ear of a patient or think that with a bit of work you could get through to someone, use that to your advantage to provide advice and support – it could be the wake-up call that they need.

Remind them of the importance of repetition. In the same way that regular fitness and physical activities help reinforce muscle memory, practicing good oral hygiene repetitively and consistently will encourage the mind to remember the process, until, eventually, it becomes part of their subconscious. All this hard work will be wasted, however, unless they are using adjuncts correctly, so it will be up to you to teach and reinforce the right techniques.

You can also help them by homing in on exact areas that need improvement. By pinpointing the problem and telling the patient what needs to change you can help give them focus and elevate the issue into their conscious thought-process.

Finally, provide them with oral health products that they’ll look forward to using. The more your patients are personally and emotionally invested in their adjuncts, the better the chances of making a positive difference to their oral health. To help encourage a high standard of hygiene and break the belief that oral health is a chore, Curaprox has created a range of exciting whitening toothpastes. They are called Be You and are designed to motivate patients into taking a personal approach to their routine. Available in six unique flavours and colours including tangy Grapefruit with Bergamot, Watermelon and Gin and Tonic with Persimmon, the exciting new range is sure to raise patients’ interest in their oral care.

It is likely that patients’ failure to maintain a good level of oral health is not always consciously done, but with the right help and tools they could take positive steps towards re-programming their subconscious and improving oral hygiene regimes.


Howard Thomas has been the Chairman/Founder and Chief Executive of Curaprox since 2000 and Chairman/Founder CEO of Citrox Biosciences Ltd since May 2005. For more information about Curaprox products call 01480 862084, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit 

Reference: 1] Bell EJ. (2016). The True You: Discover your own way to success and happiness by uncovering your authentic self and building remarkable relationships with others. Morgan James Publishing. Accessed online February 2018, click HERE.

Banner photo by Paul Morris on Unsplash