Brushing Teeth Once A Day

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Is brushing teeth once a day enough to maintain good oral health and hygiene?

The short answer to this question is, unfortunately, a big resounding no. Brushing your teeth only once a day is just not going to cut it, regardless of how healthy and low-sugar your diet might be.

Failing to brush your teeth properly or frequently enough can quickly lead to a number of increasingly dire health consequences, and on top of that, all of the dental repairs you are going to need can be pretty expensive stuff. 

Read this brief article to learn more about why brushing your twice a day is so important, and how you can improve your brushing technique to optimise your toothbrushing efforts.

The cost of brushing only once a day

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for optimal oral health. Brushing properly and frequently enough is your best shield against everything from bad breath to tooth decay.

On that note, these are the top reasons why brushing your teeth only once a day just isn’t enough:

Chronic bad breath caused by decaying food particles 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important if you want to keep bad breath at bay. 

You are probably familiar with the term ‘morning breath,’ and as you can probably imagine, morning breath doesn’t get any better if you skip your morning brushing. If you let bacteria build in your mouth without removing it by brushing your teeth twice daily, you are going to develop chronic bad breath – permanent morning breath, if you will.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is an inevitable result of poor oral hygiene habits. 

When you don’t brush twice a day, you are essentially letting bacteria feast on your teeth. Whenever you eat or drink anything (other than water), your teeth, tongue, gums and soft tissues in your mouth are all coated in acids and bacteria from the food. This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

When the bacteria layer on and between your teeth isn’t removed with sufficient frequency, the bacteria begins to attack and destroy the enamel on your teeth. The enamel is the protective layer that keeps the soft insides of your teeth protected against bacterial infection. Once the enamel has been penetrated by bacteria, tooth decay quickly overtakes the entire tooth and can spread to the gums and jawbone. 

Tooth decay is not only painful and expensive to repair, particularly if you need an extraction and an implant to replace a missing tooth; it can also be dangerous to your overall health. An infection that spreads from the root of your teeth to the surrounding tissues and bone can, in the worst instances, turn into a life-threatening condition.

Gum disease

Periodontal disease, or simply gum disease, is a key reason to stay on top of your dental hygiene. 

Gum disease is when your gums become infected, usually because decaying food particles have been stuck along the gum line and between the teeth for too long without being removed.

Gum disease is extremely unpleasant; it makes your gums swell with infection, which can be incredibly painful and make toothbrushing even more difficult. If the infection is bad, it can cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out.


Tooth decay can lead to full-body infections that spread from the teeth roots to the surrounding tissues, ligaments and bone.

Infections caused by poor dental hygiene can be extremely dangerous, and not just to your dental and oral health. Your life is at risk if you don’t get the infection under control, usually by taking antibiotics, undergoing several scaling and root planing treatments and having the source of the infection removed.

This is how often and how you should brush your teeth for optimal dental health

No matter how busy your life is, there always has to be time to brush your teeth properly. Brushing twice a day is a vital part of taking care of your health, so it has to become an unnegotiable part of your daily routine.

If you are unsure of how to brush your teeth, here are a few pointers that, if you adhere to them, will ensure a good and thorough tooth brushing session every time:

Brush in the morning and in the evening using the right technique

Brush your teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening. Brush for a full two minutes each time using short strokes and small, tight, circular motions.

Floss once a day

Flossing your teeth is the best way to remove food particles and other debris from between your teeth. We recommend flossing once a day before toothbrushing, preferably in the evening.

Use a soft-bristled electric toothbrush

Some toothbrushes are significantly better than others. As a rule of thumb, using an electric toothbrush is always better than using a manual toothbrush, and using a brush or brush head with soft bristles is much gentler on your tooth enamel than using a hard-bristled brush.

Make better food choices

Your diet has as tremendous effect on your oral health, and on whether or not you become prone to developing dental problems. 

Simply put, lowering your intake of sticky, sugary and acidic foods and drinks is a great way of making it easier for yourself to maintain oral hygiene.

Conclusion: Why brushing your teeth once a day is simply not enough

A you ready to start brushing your teeth twice a day after reading this article? We certainly hope so. 

Toothbrushing isn’t exactly a fun and exciting part of life, but it’s key to maintaining good oral hygiene and health overall, and so every time you brush your teeth as recommended and resist the urge to skip is more than worth it.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.