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What Happens If I Stop Brushing My Teeth?

08.27.2013 · Posted in Dental, Health

Most people are aware that brushing their teeth is beneficial for good oral health, but what happens if you stop brushing your teeth and is teeth cleaning really that important?

 

Why is brushing important?

Brushing your teeth is important because it helps to remove bacteria from your mouth; bacteria cause dental decay and gum disease. When you eat, bacteria in your mouth feed and subsequently release plaque acids, which attack and destroy the protective enamel surface of the teeth, increasing the risk of decay and damage to the tooth. Bacteria can also combine with food debris in the mouth to form plaque; plaque is a white substance, which clings to the teeth and the gum line. Plaque is a major cause of cavities and gum disease and if it left in the mouth, it can harden and turn into tartar, which is a yellow substance, which cannot be removed using a toothbrush.

Brushing is also important for the aesthetic of your smile; it helps to keep your teeth looking clean, bright and glossy.

 

What would happen if I stopped brushing my teeth?

The first thing you would probably notice if you stopped brushing your teeth would be that your teeth would feel fuzzy, rather than smooth; this is because plaque is clinging to the enamel. You may also notice that you can actually feel the plaque when you run your tongue over the top of the teeth.

You will also notice that your breath does smell as fresh and clean as it did when you brushed your teeth.

After a period of time, you would also notice that your teeth have changed colour; they may appear more yellow and they may be stained; staining is most common around the cracks between the teeth and at the bottom of the teeth.

Another symptom you would experience if you stopped brushing your teeth would be tooth pain; as plaque gathers in the mouth, there is an increased risk of dental infection, abscesses and decay and all these can contribute to pain. Abscesses are particularly painful and require emergency dental treatment.

You may also start to notice that your gums feel sore and swollen and you see blood when you brush your teeth; these are symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease is treatable in the early stages, but if it is left untreated it can cause permanent damage to the mouth and may even cause the teeth to fall out.

 

How often should I brush?

In order to combat all the problems listed above, you should brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste. Flossing and using mouthwash after eating can also be beneficial for your oral health. It is also essential to see your dentist for regular check-ups, so that they can identify any problems that need addressing as early as possible. Together this forms what is known as preventative dentistry. Patients who are prone to oral health problems are also advised to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis; hygienists are experts in dental hygiene and they provide intensive cleaning treatments, which are very good for the mouth and an excellent means of preventing gum disease and cavities.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral hygiene routine, you can ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice; they will be able to advise you which oral hygiene products to buy, how often and how to brush your teeth and how to adopt your diet so that it is better for your health.