Being told to brush your teeth isn’t just a plot by dental professionals to annoy you; brushing your teeth is an integral part of maintaining a healthy mouth. It is recommended to brush twice daily, morning and night, for two minutes each time. Making it a part of your morning and nightly routines is the best way to ensure the health and longevity of your teeth!
The act of using a bristled brush is important to disrupt the bacteria on your gums and teeth. This bacteria is called plaque. Plaque is made up of biofilms that contain different species of bacteria. It starts as a soft biofilm that adheres to the teeth and over time, if not removed properly, this biofilm thickens and hardens forming tartar that can no longer be removed by a regular toothbrush.
Plaque is harmful to the gum tissue when it sits on the teeth for long periods of time causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gum tissue. It can present itself in the form of puffy, red and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can be reversed by the simple act of tooth brushing.
When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis otherwise known as gum disease. Periodontitis is irreversible and affects not only the gum tissues but the bone that holds your teeth in place. The bone levels will start to lower and overtime they will not be able to hold your teeth inside your jaw anymore. The good news is periodontitis is 100% preventable when proper brushing is practiced!
Science says it takes 21 days to create a habit. Take the time to brainstorm ways you can integrate toothbrushing into your daily routines if it is not already. Does it mean you prep your toothbrush the night before so it’s ready to go in the morning? Does it mean you set alarms for those first 21 days until that good habit is formed? Each individual is different so have grace on yourself if it takes a little longer to get that good habit formed. As always, contact a dental professional if you are in need of advice or have questions regarding the science and necessity of toothbrushing.
Don’t be discouraged, you’ve got this!