How long can you go without brushing your teeth?

And suffering serious dental caries? I heard that a lot of cavities are actually determined more by genetics of “bad bacteria” along with how much calcium and flouride you’re given as a young child.

I know that humanity didn’t brush for most of it’s time on earth but they didn’t have the “luxury” (an ironic word) of a diet that contains refined sugars along with acidic soft drinks, juices, and pastes so their teeth took a longer period to deteriorate.

If someone who was 20 stopped brushing/flossing entirely and started eating all the sweets and fats they for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what would happen?

My brother is 70. He hasn’t brushed or flossed since he left the army at the age of 23. His front teeth are a lovely shade of green. All his molers are black. He doesn’t have bad breath, he has rotting breath. He still thinks of himself as a ladies man.

I would say its possible to never brush your teeth and not have caries, it has to do more with our Western diet than anything. You ever seen some of those National Geographic pictures of African tribes? I notice a lot of them have really nice, white, straight teeth and odds are dental hygiene is not a big focus among those groups that still live that way. I think if they do lose teeth its generally due to periodontal disease and not cavities.

But yeah eating a bunch of sweets, soda, and crap will prob result in cavities, but certainly some people have stronger enamel than others, there are prob a lot of different factors at play.

I can’t address the base of your question, but this assumption is partly false. People were using sticks and other implements to clean their teeth long before we knew about germs:

They also practiced some fairly advanced dentistry both necessary and cosmetic:

One of my best friends went to high school with a kid who decided that (a) he hated brushing his teeth, and (b) the solution to this was to get rid of his teeth in favor of dentures. (Clearly, he was also an idiot.) So, he stopped brushing his teeth, in hopes that his teeth would become so rotten that he would lose them, and get dentures. He quickly earned the nickname “Green Eggs,” due to the color that his teeth became.

Alas, I have no idea if his plan came to fruition; my friend lost touch with him after high school.

When I was a kid I never brushed my teeth and I never had cavities. We had some sort of examination in school every 6 months and all the other kids would get a form that listed what cavities they had and I always got a clean bill. Then my parents decided I had to get orthodontia and I started brushing my teeth. Then my cavities started–behind the appliances. The orthodontia was never completed (and was utterly unnecessary in any case) and three of the four teeth that had appliances have had to be pulled and replaced by bridges. I’ve had a few cavities elsewhere and I brush my teeth regularly.

My neighbor was 78 years old when she maid her first visit to a dentist. She was a native American ( mexican) and had never brushed her teeth. No cavities. I met a girl recently who was also mexican who did brush her teeth as an adult but had not one single cavity as of age 42.

I know a man who’s 45 and never been to the dentist. He let me look at his teeth with a flashlight, they are nearly perfect. He does brush. We got into a heated discussion about flossing, he says it’s unnecessary. I, of course, am manic about it. He claims if you eat properly you will have clean teeth and healthy gums.

My mother’s family had good teeth. They were white, even, and had no cavities. My mother and my aunt never got plaque and never needed orthodontia. Not all us kids got those teeth (and I was adopted so no chance), but some did. And it turns out they don’t have to brush their teeth, at all, ever. Nothing goes wrong with those teeth. Just to explain, the non-brushing thing happened when some of my cousins were (a) in college or (b) in the military. They just didn’t get around to brushing for awhile. And nothing happened. I believe they went back to good dental hygiene eventually but they didn’t have to. (I can’t really speak to their diet. I assume we all ate junk at that age.)
One of them became a dentist.

I actually hate brushing my teeth and I hate flossing. I do brush, I don’t floss, and I use a Water Pik. Love my Water Pik. I think my teeth would fall out if I didn’t brush every day.

I think my case is different from what’s been discussed here already. I’m a little bit obsessed with maintaining my teeth since I had braces before. Although I don’t visit the dentist for more than 5 years now, I think. But I still can’t last a day without brushing my teeth. It just feels weird not to brush them especially if I can smell a tint of bad breath. It just makes me really uncomfortable. Since my last dental filling about 12 years ago, I’ve never had any cavities or dental problems.

My mother in law uses only the traditional chewing stick to clean her teeth, which are in very good shape.

If you don’t brush your teeth, then kids, you too can be a Yuck Mouth.

The entire work day. I brush them as soon as I get home.

I was wondering what in this case is “normal” too. My teeth usually get hairy in 24-48h. By the end of second day it is usually just too uncomfortable to ignore.

I don’t get these people that say they never brush their teeth. I don’t even know how this can be a real thing. Their breath must be awful. I brush my teeth regularly and floss (not as regularly!) and when I go to the dentist for a cleaning the hygienist still finds a lot of crap to scrape off of my teeth. The rotted food particles that these people must have between their teeth must stink to high heaven! I hope their SO also has this disgusting hygiene practice otherwise I can’t imagine anyone else wanting to be intimate or even get up close them.