We’ve been told time and time again that brushing twice a day keeps our smiles healthy and bright. But what can happen if you don’t brush your teeth enough?
To have good dental health, you need a mix of professional dental care and personal dental care. Visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning and exam twice a year is a great place to start, but these cleanings won’t be helpful unless you maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home too.
Keep reading to learn more about good practices for taking care of your oral health at home, and what can happen if you don’t brush your teeth properly.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
How often you brush your teeth depends on a number of factors including your personal needs, your history of oral disease, and your lifestyle.
According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and always make sure to brush your teeth before going to bed.
At Sunshine Dental, we understand that everyone is different, and oral hygiene needs can change from one person to the next. During your dental appointment, our dentists and dental hygienists can help outline a good oral routine for your health needs.
Potential Problems of Not Brushing Your Teeth
While it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day, nothing terrible will happen if you forget to brush your teeth once in a while. However, if skipping brushing becomes a habit, you will be at an increased risk for dental health issues.
The following are some potential problems that can happen if you don’t regularly brush your teeth.
Without regular brushing, your teeth can become stained. This is especially true if you drink coffee, tea, red wine, or smoke cigarettes.
If you don’t brush your teeth, food particles remain in your mouth, which can cause your breath to smell bad. Additionally, plaque will begin to collect on your teeth which can break down the tooth enamel and cause tooth decay, further leading to bad breath.
Brushing your teeth helps to remove harmful plaque that forms on the surface of your teeth. If plaque isn’t removed it can lead to cavities. If left untreated, cavities can lead to infections that can damage your teeth and gums.
Just as a buildup of plaque can damage your teeth, it can damage your gums as well. The bacteria present in plaque can cause swelling and irritation in the gums. This can weaken the gums, leading to a form of gum disease called gingivitis.
Periodontitis is another form of gum disease caused by the bacteria found in plaque. Periodontitis can damage the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth.
Research shows that there may be a link between gum diseases and heart disease. People with gum disease have an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular issues.
Other Long Term Health Problems
Gum disease has been linked with higher risks of many health problems, including kidney disease, dementia, and certain types of cancers.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth
To avoid the above complications and health issues, it’s important to take proper care of your teeth. Healthy teeth require regular dental cleanings and exams, but daily personal care is also a necessity.
Here are some tips to take care of your teeth at home:
- Brush your teeth twice daily for at least 2 minutes each time
- Floss at least once a day
- See your dentist at least once every 6 months
- Check your mouth regularly for anything such as lumps or bumps that may look out of the ordinary
- Avoid using tobacco
- Limit alcohol use
- Try upgrading to an electric toothbrush
- Eat a healthy diet
- Limit sugary & acidic foods
- Use oral care products bearing the Canadian Dental Association seal
Healthy Teeth Start with Regular Dental Exams
Regular dental exams and cleanings are an important part of keeping your teeth healthy. During a dental exam, your dentist has the opportunity to:
- Prevent cavities & gum disease
- Detect oral issues early
- Notice signs of tooth-damaging habits
- Protect your oral & overall health
- Keep your smile bright & healthy
- Notice any changes in your oral health
- Check your bite for abnormalities
- Educate you on oral hygiene habits
A professional cleaning goes hand in hand with your dental exam. A dental cleaning ensures that hard-to-reach plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) are removed professionally, preventing cavities and other oral disease before it becomes damaging.
Are You Ready for Your Next Appointment?
At Sunshine Dental, our knowledgeable and professional staff are here to help you with all of your dental needs.
Whether you have concerns about your oral health, or it’s just time for your next regular checkup, we’re looking forward to seeing you!
Book an appointment with us today to get the dental care you deserve!