We Only Need to Brush Our Teeth Once a Day Thanks to the Latest Life Hack

A guy says that he only brushes his teeth once a day and hasn’t had a cavity since. Is there any science behind his seemingly gross anecdote?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jul. 13 2023, Published 9:00 a.m. ET

Welcome to the world of the internet, where anything can be possible if we want it to be. Yes, it’s time for the lazy people of the world to rejoice because apparently, we only need to brush our teeth once a day! On TikTok, user Trystan Fossett (@itstrystanf) shared with his followers that after getting cavities as a kid, he experimented with brushing his teeth only in the morning … and he hasn’t had cavities since.

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As an avid two-times-a-day brusher and once-a-day flosser, I’m skeptical. Not brushing before bed?! That sounds gross! But apparently, there’s some scientific evidence to support Trystan’s dental hack. We’re just hoping his TikTok video doesn’t cause a whole world of stinky-breath humans.

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TikToker Trystan Fossett theorizes that we only need to brush our teeth once a day.

Trystan starts off with an anecdote about how he used to brush his teeth twice a day, as instructed by the dentist when he was a kid. He’d often get cavities so he and his dad decided to experiment. Trystan would brush his teeth just once a day, in the morning, and see what the dentist says.

When he went to the dentist, he didn’t have any cavities. The dentist literally said, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” So, Trystan has been doing the once-a-day brushing routine ever since. He said that when he does brush in the mornings, he does a pretty good job. And he’ll chew gum throughout the day to keep his breath fresh.

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Trystan said that when he told the dentist years later that he had only been brushing once a day, the dentist was silent. Trystan proposes that dentists know that we only need to brush once a day to keep our mouths clean, but that they tell us to brush more to keep us coming back. The dental industry is just like any other industry — first and foremost, they need to make money.

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Even still, I can imagine reading this and watching his video and thinking, “Ew!” What about all the bits and pieces of food that accumulate throughout the day? Don’t we need to get those germs out of our mouths? According to some commenters, however, there is some science behind brushing only once a day.

Some dental hygienists and dentists commented supporting Trystan’s theory to brush only once a day.

Apparently, there is some science behind Trystan’s routine. TikToker @heatherang87 commented, “Ex dental assistant here. You are 100 percent right.” When someone asked her why, she explained, “For one, too much fluoride is not good for your teeth. And toothpaste has some abrasives in it. Brushing too often can wear down enamel. Brushing too much can also lead to gum resorption which can lead to periodontal disease.”

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A travel nurse added, “Also read that ‘good’ bacteria gets removed with over-brushing/mouthwash. Probiotics also play an important role in mouth hygiene.” We’ve all heard of “good bacteria” when it comes to our stomachs, so it’s not shocking that similar logic applies to our mouths.

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However, a dental hygiene student made sure to weigh in with what she has learned. “Glad to hear this worked for you and your disclaimer,” TikToker Cindy Loudez commented. "Just thought I’d give my 2 cents and some of the science to this. We ask for you to brush 2X a day because the more you disrupt the bad bacteria in your mouth, the less of a chance you have it to crystallize and hardened into what we call 'tartar.'"

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"Tartar is that yellow stuff u might see behind your lower front teeth! What tartar does is, it’s basically a hole for all the leftover plaque, bacteria, and food debris. If we let all that mix together long enough, it can start to eat away at ur bone. That’s called ‘periodontal disease’ and is one of the main reasons people may loose teeth."

"Now with cavities, basically whenever we have plaque in our [mouths] it has a chance to mix with the ‘acid’ that can be found in any food or drink and if we leave those two to interact, it will start to eat away at the enamel. We naturally have a pH level in our mouth and it will go back to normal after eating in 30 min. So that whole 30 min your mouth is considered to be in a ‘acid’ state and that’s how cavities can happen."

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"So imagine eating or drinking something all day, your mouth can be more prone to cavities because of its acid state. But if you have a healthy diet, brush as you're supposed to, chew on sugar free gum with xylitol (an ingredient that helps bring the pH level in your mouth back to normal) you ‘theoretically’ should be good! But it can be genetic and some may have some bacteria that others don’t. Luck of the draw [sic]."

A dental hygienist looking in child's mouth
Source: Getty Images

Several commenters have shared that they also only brush their teeth once a day and have been totally fine. But genetics likely play the biggest part in how often we need to brush, floss, and take other care of our teeth. So, as Trystan’s dentist said, if it’s working, “keep doing what you’re doing!”

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