We’ve all wondered what happens if you don’t brush your teeth. Spoiler alert, it is not good. But how bad are we really talking, just for the sake of dental curiosity? Let’s dig a little deeper into the topic, if only to remind you that brushing twice a day is absolutely necessary.
Make no mistake, you don’t want to skip your brushing routine, day or night. A solid routine is the foundation of dental health, and the closer you adhere to it, the better! But let’s say you miss one day, how bad is that really? Well, given that you immediately get back to your regular brushing routine right after, it is not that bad. This is not permission to skip brushing, but we all know life doesn’t always go according to plan. So if something happens and you miss a brushing session, try to get back on track immediately.
So what happens if you don’t brush for multiple days? Bacteria known as plaque will start to grow around your teeth like a sticky film. This plaque growth can contribute to bad breath and cavities. We’ll assume one isn’t flossing during this period as well, so your teeth will feel tighter with all the food particles stuck between them. The bad breath alone is enough to make anyone reach for a toothbrush, but the longer you go, the more at risk your teeth become for significant issues.
There is probably no exact time you can pinpoint when things go from bad to worse when you’re not brushing your teeth. This is certainly not something dentists try to measure. But a whole host of issues can arise when someone doesn’t brush for a long period of time. The plaque will turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a skilled dental hygienist. It will stay there permanently on the teeth and cause its own problems including more bad breath and cavity growth. Tartar buildup will also impact gum health, and this can lead to serious conditions like gum disease or gingivitis. If gingivitis is left untreated too long, it can even lead to tooth loss.
There are even conditions to worry about outside of your teeth. Poor dental hygiene has been linked to conditions like heart disease and dementia. Needless to say, these are serious conditions that will have lasting effects on your health. Pair this with the threat of failing teeth, chronic bad breath, increased sensitivity and high care bills to correct the damage of not brushing, and it’s easy to see skipping that brushing routine is simply not worth it.
There is no good time to leave your toothbrush at home. It always has a place in your bag or purse. So missing a day without brushing should never be a possibility, even if you’re not at your home sink. Don’t have running water? You can brush your teeth with a bottle of water. Heading out on a multiple day trip? Your toothbrush and travel toothpaste should be the first thing you pack. Forget to pack it? You can pick up an extra brush or toothpaste at pretty much any store, even at the airport. You really have no excuses. This is important business!
Simply put, you should never want to find out what happens if you don’t brush your teeth. If you put in the time and effort each day, your future self will thank you when your next dental checkup is a clean bill of health. Speaking of, a regular cleaning and checkup at your dentist is just as important as staying on an oral care routine.
Contact Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry to get your next appointment on the books!