One of the most absolutely indispensable parts of having good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth. This needs to be done with more frequency that most people realise: you need to brush your teeth at the very least two times a day, but perhaps three is the ideal amount of brushing. Below is an explanation of why you need to brush at least twice, and what can happen if you do not.
How many times should I brush my teeth a day?
Why twice a day?
The at least twice a day rule was invented because once in 24 hours is not enough to prevent damage to your teeth. The issue revolves around sleep. When you sleep your mouth dries out, and bacteria have a free go at your teeth and your gums. If you only brush once, then you are either letting food particles decay between your teeth overnight, causing massive damage, or you are not removing the bacteria that sticks to your teeth during the night form your tooth surfaces, and walk around with them all day eating away at your tooth enamel. So really, you need to brush before and after sleeping in order to maintain any amount of oral hygiene, as otherwise you are just not removing bacteria from your teeth when they are there in large quantities.
Proper oral hygiene
The best thing you can do to maintain good oral hygiene is to brush roughly half an hour after each meal. This will mean that you will brush ideally around 4 times a day. Brushing your teeth should be the last thing you do before going to sleep, as it really, really effects how well your teeth do during the time you spend asleep. Flossing and using mouthwash is an absolutely indispensable part of proper oral hygiene, and is not something extra you do; they are the means by which you keep the gaps in your teeth clean. Mouthwash is needed to reach the areas of your teeth that you cannot otherwise reach, like behind your wisdom teeth, under your gum line, and the lingual sides of molars.
With all of these facts stated, it is also important to note that too much, too vigorous and too frequent brushing can actually harm your teeth as well. By brushing too hard too frequently, you can actually brush the enamel off of your teeth, resulting in a weakened ability to resist cavities and increased tooth sensitivity. This is why 3-4 times a day is the ideal number of times to brush a day. When brushing, make sure you do not brush too hard, be gentle but firm, and use small circular movements.
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