April 30, 2010 — -- Normally, people might hesitate to air their bad habits before millions. But Jessica Simpson is not normal.
Wednesday on the "Ellen" show, one day after she admitted to Jay Leno that she chomps on Nicorette gum not because she ever smoked but because she loves the buzz she gets from it, the pop-turned-country singer revealed she brushes her teeth "maybe three times a week."
Simpson said she has good reason to shun the twice-a-day rule followed by most humans in developed nations, and strongly recommended by the American Dental Association:
"My teeth are so white and I don't like them to feel too slippery but I do use Listerine and I do floss everyday," she said. "But I don't brush them every day. ... My lips just slide all over the place ... I can't catch up with my mouth. I need a little coating."
Instead, she's figured out a better system: she uses "a shirt or something" to wipe her teeth. And since she's not repulsed by her own breath, everything must be fine!
"I know it's gross but I always have fresh breath," she laughed. "It's really weird but I have great breath."
Be that as it may, Simpson may not care so much about what's coming out of her mouth when she has no teeth in it. Since she's the host of VH1's "The Price of Beauty" and an ambassador for Operation Smile, pearly whites are kind of essential to her career. According to dentists surveyed by ABCNews.com, by not following the basic tenets of brushing, Simpson is committing sins that could damn her to oral hygiene hell.
"The biggest risk she faces is losing her teeth," said Dr. Sally Cram, a periodontist and American Dental Association consumer advisor spokesperson. "You need to remove the plaque and bacteria that build up under your teeth and gums at least every 24 hours. If you don't and you let that bacteria collect for two or three days, you start losing bone around the teeth and that can lead to decay."