Nearly everyone skips an night of teeth brushing from time to time, even if they typically brush twice a day. Most people know about the long-term consequences of repeated skipping brushings, such as potentially losing your teeth due to rotting and disease. But even though you may not think it's all that big of a deal to skip a single brushing every now and again — how much harm can just once really cause, anyway — there are some weird things that happen if you don't brush your teeth one night. That's right, falling into bed without brushing your teeth just once is enough to cause at least the beginnings of problems.
The American Dental Association (ADA) advised that everyone brush their teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush. The idea is that by brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as using mouthwashes and other products, your preventing any sort of damage to your teeth as well as oral illnesses and other serious health conditions. When you skip brushings, you leave yourself more vulnerable to developing diseases and infections.
Beyond brushing regularly, it's important to brush correctly. According to the ADA, gently brushing at a 45 degree angle is most effective. Skipping brushings, or brushing incorrectly can cause problems. The five below can begin to appear after only one night.
1. You Develop Cavities
Dr. Deepinder "Ruchi" Sahota, a spokesperson for the ADA, told The Huffington Post that the beginnings of a cavity can begin after skipping only one brushing. Scary, right?
2. Your Breath Stinks
When most people wake up in the morning, their breath is, well, less than sweetly smelling. But skipping a nighttime brush can make bad breath worse, according to Prevention.
3. Your Gums Become Inflamed
According to WebMD, women can experience something called "menstruation gingivitis," which is made worse by not brushing. Menstruation gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding gums.
4. Your Plaque Builds Up
Arguably the least offensive of all the potential problems that come with skipping one brushing, plaque build-up caused from not brushing your teeth takes time to harden and become truly dangerous, according to Greatist.
5. You Miss Out On Overnight Repair
At night, your teeth recover from the day, according to a blog post by Dr. Scott Frey. If you haven't brushed, your teeth don't have the fluoride available to help them remineralize.