Why Is It Important To Brush Your Teeth Everyday?
This blog post will address the topic, “why is it important to brush your teeth everyday” and cover topics like when and how often should you and your children brush their teeth, advantages of brushing teeth everyday, risks associated with not brushing teeth everyday, if the type of toothbrush matters and the correct technique to brush and keep good oral hygiene.
Why Is It Important To Brush Your Teeth Everyday?
It is important for both children and adults to brush their teeth everyday as it reduces bacterial accumulation and plaque buildup and hence prevents tooth decay and gum disease.
Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Brushing Your Teeth: How Many Times & For How Long?
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning, just after waking up and once at night, just before going to bed.
You must also clean your teeth and gums, each time after you have food but not with a toothbrush. Simple rinse with water is considered good for overall oral health and hygiene.
While considering when to brush your teeth, you must keep in mind the type of food you just had.
Do not brush immediately after having any acidic food or drink as these acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing immediately can cause enamel wearing or erosion making your teeth more susceptible to developing cavities.
Infants and Children: When and How To Brush?
It is important for infants and children to maintain good oral hygiene for a good overall health and development.
Use a soft-bristled infant toothbrush with a rice grain size of fluoride toothpaste for brushing their teeth.
Children 3 to 6 years old can brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for 2 minutes each time using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
It is important to supervise the brushing sessions of Infants and children, to prevent them from swallowing the fluoride toothpaste.
Advantages Of Brushing Your Teeth Everyday
Brushing twice a day prevents Plaque Build Up
Brushing just once a day, either in the morning or at night, does not remove the food bits that remain stuck on your teeth.
As a result, the food debris is attacked by the bacteria forming a layer of plaque on your teeth and gums. The bacteria breaks down the food and releases acid.
The acid released erodes the enamel and weakens it to form cavities and thus resulting in tooth decay and gingival bleeding.
Brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before going to bed, for two minutes is essential to prevent plaque build up and thereby prevent tooth decay.
Brushing Twice A Day Helps Prevent Tartar Buildup
Tartar is a calcified plaque on your teeth that forms when plaque is left undisturbed for about a day.
Brushing twice a day compared to brushing just once, removes the plaque before it hardens and calcifies to become tartar.
Tartar once formed, teeth become yellow and more prone to bacterial attack and decay and other periodontal diseases.
Brushing Twice Daily Prevents Bad Breath
Bad breath is often caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
Anaerobic bacteria present on your tongue release these compounds, giving morning breath its characteristic stale, sulfur smell.
Brushing twice daily removes the anaerobic microbes causing bad breath and also maintains good oral hygiene.
Brushing Twice A Day Helps You Get A Whiter Teeth
When you do not brush your teeth for two times in a day, plaque build up occurs and the undisturbed plaque finally hardens to form tartar, giving a yellow hue to your teeth.
Eating and Drinking also allow accumulation of pigments on your teeth. These pigments give a yellow discoloration to your teeth.
Brushing twice a day does not allow these pigments to get absorbed in your enamel and thus prevents the yellow discoloration, giving your teeth a whiter look.
Brush Twice A Day For Healthy Gums
When you do not brush your teeth or brush it just once, plaque accumulation and acid production causes tooth decay as well as gum irritation.
The accumulated plaque may also result in periodontal diseases and cause gum bleeding.
So to limit plaque accumulation, acid production and tartar build up on your teeth and thereby prevent tooth decay, periodontal diseases and gum bleeding, brushing twice a day as recommended by ADA is essential.
Risks Associated With Not Brushing Your Teeth Everyday
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that coats the protective enamel of your teeth. These bacteria produce acids by breaking down the food debris and the acids penetrate the enamel leading to cavities.
Potential tooth loss and other dental infections may occur if plaque is left undistributed. Brushing teeth twice can prevent plaque accumulation significantly and maintain good oral hygiene.
Plaque can also weaken the gums and lead to gingivitis.
The bacteria present in plaque causes gum irritation and increases the risk of bleeding and swollen gums.
Plaque causes cavities and gingivitis and if left untreated, gingivitis may even progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis affects the tissues around the teeth and may contribute to tooth loss.
A study found that brushing teeth at least three times per day reduces the chances of developing atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
A study reported a significant increase in gingivitis and its severity during pregnancy.
According to the study, the calculus and debris accumulation also increased in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women.
It is also reported that pregnant mothers with oral health conditions are more likely to have children that are more to developing cavities.
Several studies have reported Periodontitis to be a complication of diabetes mellitus.
Some experts have reported Periodontitis to cause reduced insulin resistance.
Mouth And Stomach Ulcers
Helicobacter pylori is often known to hide under the gums due to poor oral hygiene and is frequently associated with stomach ulcers.
Studies indicate that periodontitis might aggravate the growth of cells in the mouth, leading to oral cancer.
When is the best time to brush my teeth?
Morning Vs. Night
While it is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed, brushing at night is actually more beneficial.
It is actually better to brush in the night because the saliva production reduces significantly at night. This makes the plaque formation and bacterial attack to your tooth enamel more significant and cause more damage.
During the day, saliva production is optimum. Saliva has antibacterial properties and also acid neutralizing action. Thus, plaque formation is not much significant during the day.
Just After Meal Or Delay Brushing After Meal
You must wait for 30 minutes after consumption of acidic foods and drinks. The acid in the food or drink otherwise may erode the enamel layer and regular habit may cause exposed dentin leading to pain and sensitivity.
Does the type of toothbrush matter?
Yes. It is of utmost importance to choose your toothbrush according to your mouth and gum condition.
A soft-bristled toothbrush is good to clean your teeth as using a hard-bristled toothbrush may abrade the enamel and lead to dental abrasion and recession of gums.
Replace your toothbrush after every 3 months or as soon as you notice the bristles of your toothbrush beginning to bend, fray, and wear out.
MANUAL OR ELECTRIC?
A 2014 study concluded that electric toothbrushes may be more effective in reducing plaque and gingivitis than manual brushes in the short and long term.
Electric toothbrushes with rotating heads showed the best results.
Brush Your Teeth The Correct Way: Things To Keep In Mind
Choose an appropriate toothbrush
Choosing an appropriate toothbrush is the first and most important step towards toothbrushing. Yet, this is neglected by most of the people.
Toothbrushes with more rounded bristles are soft to your teeth and are considered to be an ideal toothbrush to use.
Do Not Immediately Brush after Eating Acidic Foods
You must wait for 30 minutes to one hour after consumption of acidic foods and drinks. The acid in the food or drink otherwise may erode the enamel layer and regular habit may cause exposed dentin leading to pain and sensitivity and increased risk of developing cavities.
Use Gentle and Short Strokes When Brushing Your Teeth
Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth and thoroughly clean your mouth without abrading the enamel.
Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.
Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.
Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride can greatly help achieve oral and dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
Fluoride reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on your mouth.
Floss Daily To Get Maximum Benefits Out Of Tooth Brushing
Many people, despite knowing the benefits of flossing daily, just neglect it.
According to a study, flossing is highly effective in reducing the interproximal caries risk.
Daily floss can help stimulate your gums and reduce plaque leading to lesser inflammation risk.
Therapeutic mouthwashes as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis.
Therapeutic Mouthwashes contain ADA listed active ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, and chlorhexidine, all regulated by the FDA.
See your dentist at least twice a year
It is important to get your oral health checked twice every year with an interval of 6 months between two visits.
Your dentist can help remove calculus and locate cavities and will also be able to spot potential oral health issues, if any, and offer treatment solutions.
This blog post addressed the topic, “why is it important to brush your teeth everyday”. We understood when and how often you and your children should brush their teeth, advantages of brushing teeth everyday, risks associated with not brushing teeth everyday, if the type of toothbrush matters and the correct technique to brush and keep good oral hygiene.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Why Is It Important To Brush Your Teeth Everyday?
What happens when you don’t brush your teeth regularly?
Not brushing your teeth regularly can cause tooth loss and plaque and tartar buildup increases the risk of gingival and periodontal diseases multifold.
Is it OK to brush teeth 3 times a day?
Brushing three times a day increases the life of your teeth and reduces the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal diseases.
A research study reported that the chances of developing malignancies decreases as the frequency of teeth brushing increases.
However, it is not compulsory to brush your teeth three times a day. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, using a fluoride toothpaste.
What happens if you don’t brush your teeth for 2 days?
If you do not brush your teeth for 2 days, the bad bacteria in your oral cavity gets a long time to act on debris and release acids that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Two days is enough for soft plaque to turn into hard calcified tartar which is difficult to remove just by brushing and makes your teeth yellow.
Why are my teeth yellowish?
Your teeth are yellowish because the teeth are actually not perfectly white in their natural state and moreover gets darker as they age.
Dentin layer is responsible for off-white appearance of your teeth as enamel, the outermost layer is transparent.
Moreover, toothbrushing is not for whitening your teeth. Toothbrushing is essential to remove plaque and food debris and maintain good oral and dental hygiene.
Can yellow teeth become white?
Yes. Yellow teeth can become white by undergoing the whitening process as recommended by your dentist and your dental hygienist.
Other FAQs about Teeth brushing that you may be interested in.
- Toothbrushing Children. (2019)
- How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth? (2021)
- Toothbrushing tips for young children. (2014).
- When and how often should you brush your teeth? (2021)
- How Many Times Should You Brush Your Teeth a Day?
- Stoltze, K. and Bay, L. (1994), Comparison of a manual and a new electric toothbrush for controlling plaque and gingivitis. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 21: 86-90. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051X.1994.tb00284.x
- 11 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy. (2019)
- Why Do We Brush Twice A Day?
- WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T BRUSH YOUR TEETH? (2020)
- When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth. (2020)