It’s a general rule that you’re supposed to brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night is standard, but some people brush more often than that, some less. It’s suggested that you brush your teeth two times a day by the American Dental Association, and it seems that most people follow this guideline. Some people brush after every meal, others only once a day. But is brushing once a day enough?
Quality Matters, Not Quantity
You can brush your teeth as many times as you want, but you may still be missing important areas in your mouth. If you never learned how to brush your teeth properly, now’s the time to start: a full two minutes of brushing is suggested. How long do you
brush for? Also, loading your toothbrush up with toothpaste and swishing it around in there won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have the proper technique. Correct brushing of the teeth involves choosing a brush with softer bristles—it doesn’t take much pressure to get the plaque off, and brushing too hard can cause more damage than benefits. Properly cleaning your teeth also involves cleaning the backs of your front teeth, where plaque can build up unknowingly if you aren’t brushing there.
What’s Your Diet Like?
Highly acidic foods like sugar, fruit juices, soda, and yes, even diet soda can damage your tooth enamel. If you don’t eat a lot of these types of foods and are packing on the veggies, great for you! If, however, you sneak in some sweets a few times a day—you may want to brush more than you think you should. Especially when consuming added sugar: when it sits on your teeth, it turns acidic and can wear down tooth enamel, eventually causing cavities and other problems. If you aren’t able to brush after
consuming sweets, at least rinse your mouth with water so that the sugar doesn’t have a chance to turn acidic on your teeth. It’s best to avoid foods with added sugar when it comes to your dental health.
You’re Still Missing That Plaque-Hardening Window
While plaque can generally form pretty quickly in your mouth—depending on certain factors such as genes, overall health, the amount of saliva in your mouth, and your diet—it still takes a bit for it to harden, usually 24-48 hours. If you’re brushing your teeth once a day and doing it correctly, as well as flossing to get those areas you can’t reach, this could be enough to keep the plaque at bay while still keeping your mouth on track with dental health. But, is it enough to keep your significant other from leaving? Bacteria in the mouth can cause bad breath, and, without brushing, can cause some unpleasant odor.
Brushing once a day is enough to keep plaque from doing damage in your mouth, but it may not be enough if you eat a lot of sweets, want to have fresh breath after coffee, and are a stickler for your overall dental health. By using proper brushing techniques, staying away from added sugars, and making sure you do brush at least once a day, you can keep you and your dentist happy with your mouth!