You had a long day. You’re exhausted and you can barely keep your eyelids open. You skip dinner in favor of a light snack and you close everything down for the day. As you begin to drift off into blissful sleep, you suddenly realize that you forgot to brush your teeth.
What should you do? Should you let sleep win and just brush a little longer in the morning?
Well, one thing you may want to know first before making that decision is falling asleep without brushing your teeth is actually pretty gross. If you need a little more convincing, here are some facts you may want to consider:
The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
You’re probably well-aware that the American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth twice a day. Not only is this good for your oral health, it also helps keep friends and family close to you (literally).
And while the act of brushing is good, brushing for at least two minutes each time is what’s best for your teeth. Add to that daily flossing and you’re on your way to a sweet-smelling, healthier smile.
So what’s so bad about skipping your nighttime brushing session? It goes beyond maintaining fresh breath. If you skip just one session, you begin to encourage the growth of bacteria which eats the tiny particles of food left on your teeth. It then releases substances that corrode the enamel on your tooth over time.
This bacteria produces acid throughout the day, even more while eating. This is reason enough to get rid of this film at least twice a day. If you brush your teeth even less, the acid and byproducts may eat through the enamel of your teeth eventually causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Your best defense against tooth decay is brushing twice a day.
Your best defense against this vicious attack on your teeth is regular brushing. The brushing action disturbs the bacteria so it doesn’t stay on your teeth long enough to cause damage. Yet, how you brush is important too.
Doing a mediocre job with your brushing isn’t going to do the job. Brushing for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle brush is ideal. Brushing should cover all of the surfaces of your teeth, not just the parts you see when you smile. In addition to flossing once a day, be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis. Only your dentist can truly clean any tartar that may have developed.