If You Only Brush Your Teeth Once a Day, This Is When You Should Do It

Dentists explain that if you're going to skimp on your oral hygiene, make sure it's not at this time.

Smiling woman brushing her teeth and text messaging on cell phone in the bathroom.
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Let's admit it: We all slack on our oral hygiene routines. Most of us are not flossing as much as we should, and even brushing our teeth twice every day, as dentists recommend, is not something many of us do consistently. However, if you are only going to brush once, dentists have some insight as to when to do it. Read on to find out what the experts recommend, and for more help with your teeth, here's How You're Storing Your Toothbrush in the Worst Way Possible.

"Bacteria change every 12 hours so in order to keep the population under control, you should be brushing ideally every twelve hours," says Ellie Phillips, DDS, author of Mouth Care Comes Clean. She adds that the one time you don't want to skip brushing your teeth is before you go to bed, because the "most dangerous time" for your teeth is when you're asleep.

"That's the most dangerous time for teeth because your saliva flow is reduced, and your mouth becomes more acidic. And many people breathe through their mouths at night making their mouths even drier," Phillips explains. "Saliva is the main protector of our teeth."

Of course, Phillips and dentists across the country, per the American Dental Association, say you should really "brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush." If not, there could be consequences for more than just your mouth. Read on for the health problems that can result from not brushing your teeth enough, and for more on your oral hygiene, find out What Happens When You Only Brush Your Teeth Once a Day.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Dementia

bad eating habits and lack of exercise cause bad brain health, study finds
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After following almost 5,500 people for 18 years, a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in 20212 found that those who admitted to not brushing their teeth daily had a 22 to 65 percent greater risk of dementia than those who brushed regularly. And for more dental mistakes you're making, discover what 25 Things You're Doing That Would Horrify Your Dentist.

2
Pneumonia

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If you improve your oral hygiene, you may actually reduce your likelihood of developing pneumonia. A landmark 2003 study published in the Annals of Periodontology found that improved oral hygiene measures reduced the incidence of pneumonia by around 40 percent. And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

3
Kidney disease

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Gum disease that comes from poor oral hygiene habits can also result in kidney disease. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that adults with gum disease were almost five times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. And for more dental hygiene tips, find out How Often You Should Really Change Your Toothbrush.

4
Diabetes

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The connection between diabetes and gum disease has long been reported, and a recent 2020 study published in the journal Diabetologia just concluded that increased teeth brushing can result in an 8 percent decreased risk of diabetes. And for more on how your hygiene habits affect your health, check out This Is How Often You Should Really Be Showering, Doctors Say.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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