Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth

It’s not the end of the world if you skip brushing your teeth every once in a while, but there are definitely some reasons you need to remember to brush twice a day.

what happens when you don't brush your teeth

You’re so exhausted at night that you reason that it won’t hurt to forego cleaning your teeth this one time.

There are certain reasons why you should remember to brush your teeth twice a day, but it’s not the end of the world if you forget to do it occasionally.

To learn more about what happens if you don’t brush your teeth and how to improve your oral hygiene routine, keep reading.

Possible Problems From Not Brushing

Beyond toothaches and cavities, a number of health issues can enter your body through your mouth. The following are potential issues that could affect your teeth, as well as the rest of your body if you don’t brush your teeth.

Dental Health

Plaque that is frequently hidden from your sight is removed by brushing and general dental care.


Plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth, includes bacteria that can eat through the enamel’s protective covering and harm the more delicate layers below. Cavities result from this.

Cavities can cause dental infections and, in some cases, tooth loss if left untreated. If you wash your teeth and practice good oral hygiene, you can largely avoid all of this.


Plaque can weaken the gums and cause gingivitis, a type of gum disease, in addition to causing cavities in the teeth. The bacteria in plaque cause gum inflammation and irritation. The gums enlarge and are more prone to bleeding.


Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis, just as plaque is a precursor to cavities. The bones that support your teeth are affected by this serious bone infection. Therefore, periodontitis is a major factor in tooth loss.

Possible Link to Dementia

Researchers have found that dental decay occurs more frequently and more severely in those with dementia.

However, a review of the literature that was published in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports supports the hypothesis that dental decay may raise a person’s risk for dementia.

The researchers examined a potential connection between inflammatory brain inflammation, which can cause illnesses like dementia, and inflammatory tooth conditions like periodontitis.

There is no proof that there is a connection between poor oral hygiene and dementia, despite the review’s suggestion that there might.

Heart Disease

According to a study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, those with atrial fibrillation and heart failure were less likely to clean their teeth at least three times daily.

According to the researchers, routine dental visits decreased a person’s risk of developing heart-related issues.\ The study also discovered that having more missing teeth was linked to a higher risk of heart disorders like atrial fibrillation.

Timeline of Complications

Few research subjects are willing to skip brushing their teeth for a week or a year, but studies can give us a pretty good idea of what happens when you don t brush for a certain amount of time.

What might occur if you don’t brush for the aforementioned amounts of time?

  • One day: Dental plaque can begin to decalcify dentin, the protective substance behind the enamel, within 48 hours, claims Shafer’s Textbook of Oral Pathology. This implies that you only have a little window of opportunity to remove plaque before it begins to eat into your teeth and perhaps cause harm. In order to adequately remove plaque from your teeth and protect them, brushing more frequently is recommended.
  • One week: Excess plaque can weaken dental enamel and cause bad breath, which is a pretty unpleasant side effect. Your teeth would feel “sweater-like” due to accumulated plaque and food particles, which you would typically wash off, and the sticky food particles that you would normally wash off would continue to accumulate.
  • One year: What would occur if you didn’t clean your teeth for a year is difficult to accurately predict. Your general health has some bearing on this; if your immune system is working well, you might be able to fend off some aspects of tooth decay. However, a year’s worth of accumulated dental plaque would probably result in cavities, gum disease, and perhaps even tooth loss. If dentists don’t recommend skipping a day of brushing, then surely don’t skip a year.

Proper Oral Hygiene

What constitutes good oral hygiene can be viewed in a variety of ways by various people. The American Dental Association has provided the following advice on how to properly take care of your teeth every day:

  • Brush. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day to prevent cavities. To ensure you are removing as much plaque buildup as possible, aim to brush for at least 2 minutes.
  • Floss. At least once a day, floss. If you don’t like using floss, you can use dental picks, an interdental toothbrush, or water flossing as alternatives.
  • Visit your dentist. A minimum of once every six months, visit the dentist. You could be advised by certain dentists to visit more frequently. This is particularly true if you are susceptible to cavities, have gum disease already, or are at risk for developing gum disease.

While these are the fundamentals of dental care, there are certain additional actions you may do to maintain the healthiest possible teeth and gums. These consist of:

  • Drinking fluoridated water. Fluoride is frequently added to municipal water supplies to improve dental health. Using the faucet to drink from can assist to strengthen your teeth. For instance, consuming water that has been fluoridated can reduce a child’s risk of dental decay by 18 to 40%.
  • Refraining from tobacco use. Your chances of developing periodontal disease and dental decay can increase if you smoke or use smokeless tobacco products.
  • Using a fluoridated mouth rinse. If you’ve recently had a lot of cavities or your dentist has warned you that you are more likely to get cavities, this may be helpful.
  • Prescription fluoride. If you have a high risk of developing cavities, your dentist may advise you to use a special fluoride rinse or gel at home.
  • Upgrading to an electric toothbrush. Using an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth could be beneficial.
  • Having a healthy diet. Dental decay risks can be decreased by eating lots of fresh produce and avoiding foods high in sugar.

You can also discuss specific measures you can take to fortify your teeth with your dentist, such as dental sealants that can guard your back teeth.


Don’t worry if you sometimes forget to wash your teeth. But keep in mind that maintaining good dental health can depend on you cleaning your teeth at least twice a day.

Flossing once per day, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year. You should brush your teeth on a regular basis for both your oral and general health.

CSN Team.

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