When you were young, your parents taught you to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening before bedtime. As far as oral hygiene habits go, this is one of the best ones to develop! The team at 4th Street Dental Studio in Columbus, Ohio strongly encourages patients to brush twice a day. The American Dental Association also recommends that we brush our teeth twice a day. Do you follow this recommendation?
What Happens if You Brush Your Teeth Only Once a Day?
With the fast pace of life these days, it is too easy to slack on oral hygiene. If you keep busy from morning until night, then you might not always remember to brush your teeth both in the morning and in the evening. Is this okay? Actually, it’s not. If you only brush your teeth once a day, you are putting yourself at a higher risk for several oral hygiene issues, including:
- Bad breath. Bad breath sometimes comes from the food particles leftover from meals we eat, but more often it comes from not brushing away the sticky, smelly plaque and bacteria that grow in our mouth. When the bacteria multiply, so does the stink. That’s why we have “morning breath” when we get up first thing in the morning.
- Bacteria buildup. Bacteria grow quickly in the warm, damp environment of your mouth. You can’t ever get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth, but brushing your teeth and using mouthwash does help remove much of it. When too much bacteria builds up on your teeth, it can lead to tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other problems.
- Plaque buildup. Plaque is the sticky film on your teeth that is from the bacteria. When it is allowed to harden on your teeth, then it becomes tartar. Tartar buildup is more difficult to remove. Brushing your teeth twice a day removes the film of plaque. If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day, then the plaque has about 24 hours to develop and grow.
Brushing your teeth only in the evening or only in the morning gives the cavity-causing bacteria and plaque more time to grow. If you are only brushing once a day, then it is time to learn a new healthy habit!
Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?
Yes, it is possible to overbrush your teeth. If you brush too often and too vigorously, you can wear down your tooth enamel. You could also harm your gums, causing your gum line to recede and reveal the more cavity-prone, sensitive part of your tooth that is normally covered up.
Brushing your teeth after every meal is okay.
How to Prevent Overbrushing
To prevent overbrushing so you don’t damage your teeth and gums, follow these guidelines:
- Use a soft-bristled brush. Medium or hard bristles are more abrasive and can cause more damage to your enamel and gums.
- Don’t brush aggressively. Brush your teeth gently, not applying too much pressure. It’s good to use circular motions, not scrubbing motions. Getting all the different surfaces of your teeth brushed is more important than pressing down aggressively on them with your toothbrush. An electric toothbrush can help you if you tend to brush too aggressively.
- Brush for about two minutes. If you brush longer than two minutes, you are probably overbrushing.
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning at 4th Street Dental Studio
One of the best ways to keep your oral health under control is to visit the dentist for regular checkups. When it’s time for your next professional dental cleaning in Columbus OH, please contact us. We look forward to helping you improve your oral hygiene habits!
Robert D. Wood II, DDS
Third-generation dentist and Nashville native Dr. Robert D. Wood II leverages his professional experience to deliver superior dental care at his Columbus-based practice, 4th Street Dental Studio. An advocate for preventative medicine, Dr. Wood combines his patient-centric approach with his talent for transforming dental visits from daunting experiences into positive ones. Beyond his practice, he enjoys exploring Columbus, engaging in outdoor activities, and is an active member of several dental associations and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.