And don't trust gum, mints or mouthwash as brushing replacements."All three can give your mouth a fresher feel but brushing and flossing are the only ways to effectively physically remove the plaque," Indian-origin dentist Deepinder Ruchi Sahota from Fremont, California was quoted as saying in media reports.

According to Sahota, also a spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA), missing night brushing encourages the growth of bacterial buildup in the form of plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease. "The longer plaque sits in one place the more likely it is to become tartar - a hard, yellow, rough material in between your teeth," she added.

This can later cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums. "Untreated for too long and you could risk losing teeth," she emphasised.


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