As very young children, we are taught the importance of brushing our teeth twice a day every day. It becomes a lifelong habit for most of us, something we do mechanically without thinking, every morning and every evening. But have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t brush your teeth? Read on to find out.
Why is it important to brush teeth every day?
It’s important to brush your teeth every day to remove food and plaque from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. When you eat or drink sugary foods, snacks, or beverages, the bacteria in plaque make acids that attack your tooth enamel. These acids can break down tooth enamel and cause cavities. These same bacteria can also cause bad breath. If plaque is not removed, it can harden to form tartar, which can make it more difficult for you to keep your teeth clean. Left untreated, tartar can lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), and eventually, more advanced gum disease (periodontitis), tooth decay, and tooth loss.
That’s why not only should you brush your teeth every day, you should also try to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks you consume. Here are some tips on phasing out a sugar addiction.
What happens if you don’t brush your teeth for a day?
If you don’t brush your teeth for a day, it will probably not cause any severe damage. However, it is worth remembering that the longer you leave plaque on your teeth, the more damage it can cause. In fact, plaque starts eroding tooth enamel within 48 hours.
What happens if you don’t brush your teeth for a week?
If you don’t brush your teeth for a week, real damage will start to happen and the enamel on your teeth will start to break down. You will develop bad breath due to uncontrolled growth of harmful mouth bacteria. Your teeth will become dirtier and harder to clean. Your risk of developing cavities will increase.
What happens if you don’t brush for a month?
After a month of not brushing your teeth, serious damage will take place in your mouth. Plaque will harden into tartar, which will need to be removed by a professional. In addition to bad breath, stains, and cavities, you might develop gum disease with bleeding gums, swelling, and redness (inflammation of the gums).
What happens if you don’t brush your teeth for years?
If you don’t brush your teeth for a year or if you are not regular with brushing for a year, you will develop serious oral health problems like tooth decay, tooth loss, and periodontal disease (advanced gum disease). Also, you could develop health problems, including infections, in other parts of your body because oral health and general health are closely linked.
How long can you go without brushing teeth?
You can go a few days without brushing teeth. After this, serious damage starts to occur.
If you have not been keeping up with brushing your teeth regularly, it’s never too late to start. Also, the American Dental Association recommends visiting a dentist every 6 months for professional cleaning and routine check-ups. This way any problems can be treated before they become serious complications. If you need to find a new dentist in your area, Express Dentist has a nationwide network of trusted dental professionals. Call us today and we’ll put you on the path to a healthy mouth. In the meantime, here are some more tips to protect your oral health.
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.