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What Happens When You Fall Asleep without Brushing Your Teeth

What Happens When You Fall Asleep without Brushing Your TeethThe standard recommendation is that your brush your teeth two times a day, along with flossing at least once a day. For most people, that means once in the morning after you eat breakfast and once at night before falling asleep. After an especially long day, though, it can sometimes be easy to forget to do it before getting into bed. While that can be understandable at times, it turns out that forgetting to brush before bed is particularly bad for your oral health.


The main reason we brush and floss our teeth is to get rid of the harmful substance known as plaque. Plaque is that sticky-white substance that naturally forms as a biofilm on your teeth. When the bacteria in plaque come into contact with sugars in the food that we eat, it produces an acid byproduct that causes tooth decay. And when plaque is allowed to accumulate, it forms into an even worse substance known as tartar. While we can remove plaque with tools such as a toothbrush and floss, only a dentist is able to remove tartar from our teeth. Tartar acts as a shield for bacteria, enabling it to cause greater harm. Tartar that builds up along the gumline eventually leads to gum disease.


While missing just one night of brushing is likely not the end of the world, it does absolutely cause a buildup in plaque that is highly undesirable. There is also a good chance that some of that plaque that could have easily been removed before bed can calcify into tartar overnight. In essence, forgetting to brush at night puts you on a very slippery slope that can absolutely be avoided through proper diligence. To make up for any nights you may have missed brushing, the best thing you can do is go to a dentist every six months for a professional exam and dental cleaning. That way, they will be able to turn things around before they get too bad.


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