From when we’re first taught how to brush our teeth as children all the way through the rest of our lives, we’re told to brush our teeth twice a day. But how important is brushing twice daily, really? Is it really so bad if you only brush your teeth once a day? Life is crazy and busy, with school, with work, with kids, and after a late night out with friends or after a long, long day, it can be so tempting to just curl up in bed and forego your evening brushing.
The American Dental Association recommends, you guessed it, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes both times. Some dentists recommend that you brush after every meal. So, what happens if you only brush your teeth once a day?
Why Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day?
We get it drilled into us that we should brush twice a day due to the fact that when you eat and drink beverages other than water, film forms on your teeth that contains bacteria. Brushing twice a day removes this buildup of bacteria. If you only brush your teeth once a day, then that plaque and bacteria will accumulate in your mouth. This can lead to all sorts of problems, from bad breath to cavities to gum disease.
Sure, you’re still brushing your teeth. And perhaps you assume that so long as you brush in the morning and get rid of that morning breath, you’re good to go. This isn’t true.
What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth At Night
Brushing your teeth in the morning is important both for the sake of your oral hygiene and for the freshness of your breath. If you are someone who will only brush your teeth once a day, chances are that you do it in the morning for both of these reasons, and that you skip your nighttime brushing, either because you forget, you’re exhausted from a long day, or it’s become an ingrained habit.
However, it’s crucial that you brush your teeth twice a day. If you only brush your teeth once a day, then you’re letting all that bacteria and all of those food particles build up in your mouth and stay there for approximately the 24 hours that goes between your brushings. You’re basically just letting all of that bacteria sit on your teeth all night and all day long.
This can result in all manner of dental problems.
The Consequences Of When You Only Brush Your Teeth Once A Day
So, if you only brush your teeth once a day, you’ll probably have some oral hygiene issues. But you’re still brushing your teeth! How can this be?
As previously mentioned, you need to brush your teeth twice a day in order to remove plaque and bacteria buildup and food particles from on and around your teeth. When you only brush your teeth once a day, you’ll end up with issues such as cavities – especially if the only time you brush your teeth is in the morning and you’ve let food sit on your teeth all night long. You could also end up with gum disease, if the bacteria that can cause it isn’t disrupted soon enough.
Additionally, if you only brush your teeth once a day, chances are that you think your breath will probably be fine, so long as you clean away the morning breath. However, by not brushing twice daily, that lets plaque build up, which can cause nasty breath that you’ll need gum and mints in order to cover up.
One thing always leads to another when it comes to your oral health. If you only brush your teeth once a day, you could end up needing dental work, from the inevitable cavities to more intensive conditions.
What If You Only Miss The Occasional Brushing?
If you only brush your teeth once a day every once in a while and you don’t make a habit out of it, you’ll likely still need to worry about cavities, but ultimately, it’s not going to kill you. Still, you should always strive for brushing your teeth twice a day. It’s only 2-3 minutes, after all, and those 2-3 minutes every day can go a long way to preserve your oral health and prevent you from needing to have costly dental work done.
If you need any advice on techniques to make brushing your teeth easier or more comfortable, Northview Dental is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about why you should brush your teeth twice a day or to schedule an appointment.