I mean, you probably already knew this. It’s common sense you’d want to brush away all of the food particles and bacteria produced from the day out of your mouth before you go to bed.
But at the same time, we’ve all done it. We’ve had those late nights out when you get home and you’re too darn tired to brush those teeth. Now, we’re going to explain to you why you really can’t be too tired to brush your teeth before bed. Because there are repercussions, and they’re pretty nasty.
First off, not brushing your teeth leads to bad halitosis. In other words: terrible, horrible breath. Usually you can tell your breath is bad by the mere taste in your mouth. And if you can’t stand your own breath, how will others?
But worse than bad breath, if you decide to skip a night here and there, you will pay. According to the Huffington Post: “ Skip a session, and you’re on your way to encouraging the growth of bacterial buildup in the form of plaque, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.”
During any given day, if you run your tongue along your teeth, you may find a sticky, fuzzy substance. This is the formation of plaque as it builds up in your mouth during the day. When you brush your teeth at night, the fluoride in your toothpaste fights the bacteria sitting on your teeth and prevents it from attacking your teeth.
When you leave plaque lingering by not brushing, it can become tartar, “‘that hard, yellow, rough material you sometimes feel in between your teeth’” according to Dr. Ruchi Sonata, a dentist and representative for the American Dental Association.
There is no timeline of when plaque starts to turn into a cavity, but Dr. Ruchi says that skipping one tooth brushing session can already start the process of a cavity formation. So don’t skip people! But at the same time, doing a sloppy, quick brushing job can be just as bad as not brushing altogether.
As you can see, there is no replacement for brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Also, the ADA recommends visiting a dentist twice a year to get rid of the tartar in between your teeth — a dentist is the only one who can truly get at that hardened gunk in between your teeth.
Tip: Assuming that breath mints and mouthwash are cleaning your teeth is false; while these make your mouth feel fresh, they aren’t truly cleaning your teeth and fighting bacteria from growing in your mouth.
Dr. Mike Malone and his team practice expert cosmetic dentistry in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Malone is the former president and current accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is also the official Cosmetic Dentist of the Miss Louisiana USA and Miss Louisiana Teen USA pageants. Check out his website for more information.