What Happens When You Skip Brushing for One Day?

Man,In,Pajamas,Brushing,Teeth,In,Bathroom You may not have planned on it, but sometimes, life happens, and you skip brushing your teeth for a day. Is this going to spell disaster for your oral health? Aside from bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth, you won’t develop cavities or gum disease if you miss your daily dental care once. However, repeatedly skipping brushing can have more negative effects and increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Why You Need to Brush Daily

Daily brushing helps remove food and bacteria from your mouth. Within four hours of eating, a thin film called plaque develops. Bacteria can cling to this substance, producing acids that can lead to tooth decay and eventually cause cavities.

Luckily, cavities take a while to form. This means skipping brushing your teeth for a day won’t have catastrophic effects. However, you should still prioritize brushing at least twice per day, two minutes per session, to thoroughly remove bacteria and prevent plaque from hardening into a tougher substance called tartar your dentist has to remove.

What To Do if You Can’t Brush for a Day

Let’s say you don’t have access to a toothbrush, or you come into the bathroom at night only to realize you’re out of toothpaste. It happens. Here are some steps you can do instead of brushing for one day:

  • Use baking soda. A teaspoon or half teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water can form a good paste for cleaning teeth. This does not replace toothpaste in the long run due to the lack of fluoride and other minerals, but it can work in a pinch. Some people even routinely brush with baking soda as an at-home whitening treatment!
  • Rinse with water. Even if you can’t brush, you can still cleanse your mouth. Rinsing with water after eating can help remove food and bacteria. Add a little salt for an extra sanitizing solution. Just be sure to swish thoroughly!
  • Try mouthwash. It isn’t a substitute for brushing, but mouthwash can still help sterilize your mouth and reduce the amount of bacteria in it.
  • Still floss. Flossing will help remove food and plaque from between your teeth, protecting not only the teeth but the gums as well.

Reach Out to Priest Dental for Care Whenever You Need It

We proudly treat patients in Ashland, OH, and surrounding areas. Our dedicated team prioritizes personalized care, advanced technology, and preventive measures to help our patients achieve and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles.

If you would like to arrange an appointment, please contact us online or call our office at 419-289-1813.


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