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How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Jan 11, 2024Oral health

How long should you brush your teeth?

It is advised by the American Dental Association to ensure that you use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily for no less than two minutes on each occasion.

Regular brushing of teeth aids in the elimination of food particles and plaque. Plaque is a viscous, colorless layer that accumulates on teeth, hosting bacteria. When one consumes a sugary meal or snack, the bacteria present in plaque produce acidic substances that cause wear and tear of tooth enamel.

Over time, the acid present in our oral cavity can deteriorate the enamel which may result in cavities. Unremoved plaque could solidify and evolve into tartar thereby making it difficult to maintain oral hygiene. The accumulation of tartar on your gums could give rise to inflammation that may, in turn, cause periodontal disease.

When deciding the appropriate time to perform oral hygiene, it is advisable to take into account your dietary intake. Upon consumption of acidic food or drink, refraining from brushing immediately is recommended. The acid content erodes the tooth enamel, therefore brushing too soon can potentially harm the dental enamel.

In the event of arthritis or trouble gripping a toothbrush, it may be worthwhile to invest in an electric or battery-powered alternative. Research indicates that these options have proven to be more effective at eliminating plaque when compared to traditional manual toothbrushes.

In addition to dental hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth, there are other measures you can take to maintain good oral health. Consider implementing the following tips:

  • Floss daily.
  • Use mouthwash after brushing and flossing.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Consume a nutrient-rich diet, while restricting your intake of sugary foods and beverages
  • Avoid frequent snacking.
  • It is recommended to swap out your toothbrush every three to four months, or earlier if the bristles display any signs of irregularity or splaying.
  • Make regular dental appointments for checkups, which should include X-rays and cleanings.

 

What Happens When You Skip Brushing Your Teeth Regularly

According to the Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, the oral cavity is home to an extensive and varied microbiota, with over 700 species of bacteria, making it the second-largest after the gut. A diverse range of microorganisms such as fungi, viruses, protozoa, and bacteria thrive in this environment. The oral cavity is a highly intricate environment comprising multiple interstices, where microorganisms flourish on both the dental enamel and the soft lining of the oral mucosa.

Failure to maintain adequate oral hygiene allows these bacteria to feed on remnants of food and sugar deposits, leading to dental cavities over time. In the event that you happen to skip brushing your teeth even once, the connection between bacteria and particles present in your mouth can produce an unpleasant taste and odor. Furthermore, this accumulation of bacteria can be transmitted via direct contact like kissing.

In the event that you miss brushing your teeth for one night, it may not lead to grave outcomes. However, it is imperative that you make a conscious effort to resume healthy oral habits by immediately flossing and brushing your teeth. Failure to maintain consistent oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing or neglecting thorough and proper brushing techniques can heighten the likelihood of bone and tissue loss in the area surrounding the teeth.

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