On Monday, I had the joy of a deep scale and polish at my dentists.

As usual, the hygienist did a quick gum check; prodding, poking and saying random numbers to her assistant.

‘A one, two, two, a one, a two… etc’.

Suddenly she stopped and said, ‘Patient has ETB’.

What the…?

I was in shock.  I take great pride in my oral hygiene and the last thing I expected was this.

Then my mind started to whir. ETB? What the heck is ETB?

Excessive Tooth Breakage?

Erosion. Top and Bottom?

I couldn’t wait until the end of the treatment.  So, with mouth open wide, saliva pump sucking and the ultrasonic descaler hitting three thousand decibels, I garbled:

‘Whah iz Eee Dree Gee?’

‘It’s Electric Tooth Brush, Mr Heppell.  You told Emma your dentist that you’d got a new electric tooth brush.  How’s it going’.

‘Hine anch ooo’

I was relieved. Very relieved.

But I also gave myself a little talking to.

Why did I think ‘ETB’ should be something bad?

Why didn’t I think she was describing my, ‘Exceptional Tooth Base’ or ‘Extra, Tight, Bum?’

It’s classic doubt.

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of doubt. It keeps you safe, avoids you being ripped off and makes you question what was previously acceptable.

But there is a downside … when the negative belief becomes the norm.

Listen to your internal dialogue.

Is it looking for what’s right or for what’s wrong?

Either way, it will find it.

Be Brilliant!


PS My new electric toothbrush is amazing and here’s the best bit… 70% off at Amazon!


  1. December 7th 2018 by Lorraine

    At first I thought
    “Aaaaarrrr bless that’s old age”
    Then after fully reading everything
    Am I am so sorry for the next bit
    Burst out laughing and now I’ve told all my colleagues at Mitchell & butlers where you can to give us an amazing talk.
    THANKYOU it’s s nasty wet windy day today and you’ve brought sunshine 🌞

    1. December 18th 2018 by Michael Heppell

      Thank you Lorraine. Please pass on our love to our wonderful friends at M&B who we know are working extra super hard at this time of year.

  2. December 7th 2018 by Mike Oliver

    I’ve just been reading your newsletter and it got me worried about my ETB… I must ensure that I keep up my exercise over Christmas otherwise I will have and Excessively Tight Belt!

    Thanks again for the great read, and I hope you and all of Team Heppell have a BRILLIANT Christmas.


    1. December 18th 2018 by Michael Heppell

      Thank you Mike. Timely reminder to us all. Have a fab Christmas.

  3. December 7th 2018 by Lorraine

    😂 😂 😂 😂
    As a dental nurse the first thing I thought was Electric Tooth Brush so I read intently to see what else ETB could stand for.
    This made me lol…. Lots!

    1. December 18th 2018 by Michael Heppell

      You can imagine the horror!

  4. December 7th 2018 by Lorraine

    Oh and just to say ones and twos on a BPE is great!

    1. December 18th 2018 by Michael Heppell


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