This Is What Time You Should Always Brush Your Teeth Every Day

Dental hygiene is one of those things it's just so easy to let slip. We all know we're supposed to brush our teeth twice a day, as recommended by the American Dental Association. And flossing — well, we know we're supposed to do that every day too. But sometimes we're just exhausted at night, or groggy in the morning, and we think, Can't I just skip this time?

The answer is that of course we can, but we'll pay for it in some way. Hubbard Dental Care has a great quote on their website, which says "Brush at night to keep your teeth, brush in the morning to keep your friends."

Our mouths are home to billions of bacteria, which tend to reproduce, emit acids, and wear away at tooth enamel. While exactly how fast they reproduce is debatable, experts agree that it happens quickly. Bill Landers, president of OraTec Corp., and a leading expert on chairside and laboratory periodontal risk assessment technologies, crunched some numbers and recommends encouraging better oral hygiene with a few facts: "There are 20 billion bacteria in your mouth and they reproduce every five hours. If you go 24 hours without brushing, those 20 billion become 100 billion!" (via RDH Magazine).

Brushing at night is even more important

All those bacteria can result in bad breath, which is why it's important to brush in the morning before talking to anyone. But even more importantly, if you're going to skip and get only one good brush in during the day, do it at night.

It might sound counterintuitive, but it's not the daytime hours, even with meals and snacks spread through them, that present the biggest danger to your teeth. It's when you're asleep. During the day, our mouths produce saliva, which helps protect the teeth from damage. At night, saliva production is reduced, but bacteria continue to multiply. Ellie Phillips, DDS, author of Mouth Care Comes Clean, told Best Life, "That's the most dangerous time for teeth because your saliva flow is reduced, and your mouth becomes more acidic. And many people breathe through their mouths at night making their mouths even drier. Saliva is the main protector of our teeth."

So please, brush twice a day. But if you must skip, let your friends suffer, and not your teeth.