What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth? The Expert Answer

Mar 15, 2022 | Blog

Everyone forgets to brush their teeth once in a while, even if they have an otherwise healthy brushing and oral hygiene routine. But what happens when you don’t brush your teeth? Does it make a difference if you skip a day or two?

In this article, we’ll talk about what exactly happens when you don’t brush your teeth and how long you can go before you start having problems. We’ll also discuss whether skipping a few days of brushing makes a significant difference to your overall oral health.

What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

Your mouth is a delicate ecosystem that hosts numerous bacteria, which is normal for most people. Brushing your teeth twice a day keeps these bacterial populations in check and prevents dental plaque formation. Plaque is a thin, sticky biofilm comprised of food particles, bacteria, saliva, and mucus. It continually develops on the teeth throughout the day, kept under control and washed away by the motions of a good oral hygiene routine.

But when you don’t brush your teeth, several things can happen. The first is an accumulation of dental plaque, which builds up beyond the thin initial film on your teeth and starts to coat the tooth surfaces more densely. Then, this layer of plaque hardens over time into tartar, a hard, mineralized substance that is incredibly difficult to remove without a dental appointment.

Dental Plaque Is Just The Beginning

Over time, layers of plaque and tartar can develop below the gum line. This leads to irritated, inflamed gums and marks the beginning of gingivitis, a disease that affects the gums. If a dentist doesn’t treat it in time, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis: an advanced gum disease that can cause severe bone infection and even tooth loss.

Plaque is full of bacteria that feed on food particles left behind (again, by not brushing!) These bacteria multiply and thrive in the environment sanctioned by a person neglecting their oral hygiene. As they feed on food particles, they produce acidic waste substances that wear away at tooth enamel. The enamel is the hard, outermost layer that protects your teeth, and the acidic environment and bacterial proliferation weaken it. This results in cavities, which can cause tooth infections and even tooth loss. Because the sensitive tissues and nerves inside the tooth are compromised, hearing people complaining of toothaches is not uncommon.

How Long Does It Take?

Experts suggest that dental plaque begins to produce damaging effects on the inner layers of the teeth within just 48 hours of not brushing. That means you must brush your teeth more. frequently to prevent damage.

In conclusion, not brushing for a day won’t cause significant problems. However, it’s best to brush as soon as you remember to do so.

Conclusion: Maintaining Healthy Brushing Habits

Remember that good oral hygiene means brushing twice a day for two minutes, making sure you cover every tooth and crevice. Brush your gums, too, and floss at least once a day. Make sure you see a qualified dentist every six months. They can tell you whether everything’s in order or whether you have any dental or oral health issues that require attention.

You can call our Champions Dental experts, certified by the American Dental Association, at (281) 866-0442. We specialize in the highest quality dental treatment for every patient in the Greater Houston area. In addition, we offer many repair solutions for patients to choose from and can recommend the best option for you.

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Esteban Garza, a Texas native with roots in the Rio Grande Valley, boasts a diverse educational and professional background. After completing his Biology degree at Texas A&M, he transitioned from teaching to dentistry, earning his DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. Garza’s commitment to excellence for over 15 years, is evident through his extensive education in various dental specialities, culminating in prestigious accolades like the Fellowship Award in 2016 and the Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry in 2020, achieved by less than 2% of dentists. 


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