It’s essential to brush two times a day for two minutes each session. This isn’t a guideline. It’s a rule. If you’re not doing this your teeth are suffering the consequences. Of course, every once in a while, you forget that second brushing. Maybe something came up, maybe you lost your brush, or maybe you just passed out from exhaustion after a long day at work. If this happens infrequently, then your teeth are probably fine. Still, you should realize just how gross it is to miss even just one brushing session.
Falling Asleep Without Brushing
God forbid you should fail to brush your teeth twice a day! But if it does happen, let’s hope you don’t skip brushing at night. By not brushing before you sleep, you’re creating a breeding ground for bacteria. If you forget to brush during the day, food sticks to your teeth or along the gum line. Over the course of the day, saliva production and activity washes away debris that does not stick. A good brushing at night can help make up for the lack of one earlier.
If you skip brushing at night, however, you will compound latent bacterial development. Failing to brush or ingesting any food or drink with sugar after brushing at night will enable bacterial biofilms reestablish themselves while you sleep. Equally significant is that while you sleep, salivary flow is reduced. Less salivation means that any bacterial metabolites produced from food won’t be cleared as effectively and will remain to cause problems in the long period overnight.
Brushing at night is important because it plays into your body’s natural rhythm. Night time is an important period of rest and recovery for your teeth. They remineralize from the wear and tear of the day. Disrupting this natural cycle—by eating before sleep—is understandably harmful to your teeth. Also, by not brushing (or rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash) right before bed, fluoride will be unavailable to assist in remineralization, severely limiting the extent of potential recovery.
So what should you take away from this? Always, ALWAYS, brush 2 TIMES a DAY for 2 MINUTES. Missing even one time is frowned upon. But if you must miss one brushing session, don’t miss the one before lights out.
Dr. Mike Mavrostomos is passionate and top-quality comprehensive care dentist located in Bedminster, NJ whose continual pursuit of education and state-of-the-art dentistry has led to his being recognized as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists by the New Jersey Top-Docs committee. Check out our website, reviews, Facebook page Connect with us and learn!