Adding oral care to your nighttime routine

For most Americans nighttime comes with rituals of some sort. Whether it’s washing your face and taking out your contacts or turning the fan on and the air conditioner down so the room is the perfect temperature we all have things we do to wrap up our days.

But how many of us have a nighttime ritual when it comes to our teeth? Well if we don’t, we should because a lot can happen in 8 hours. During the time you’re sleeping bacteria is gathering on your teeth, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. Here are a few tips to help protect your mouth through the night.

Brush before bed. Common sense, right? But do you know why it’s so important? Brushing helps protect teeth against plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. That’s why we recommend brushing at least in the morning and at night plus after meals if possible.

Brush the right way. Yes, we know you’re tired, we are too, but one minute, side-to-side is not enough. Instead, make sure you go for at least two minutes and that you get all areas of your mouth including your tongue.

Floss. Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup that bacteria love to feed on throughout the night.

Use mouthwash. Not only does mouthwash make your mouth smell lovely, but it also helps strengthen teeth and protect against gingivitis

Avoid teeth grinding. Stressed out? Don’t take it out on your teeth. If you are feeling increased tooth sensitivity or jaw pain, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Give us a call and let’s see if you may need a mouth guard to protect your teeth.

And of course, we can’t end a blog without reminding you of the importance of regular dental care. Good news, you don’t have to make us a part of your nightly routine, but we do want to see you in our office every 6 months at least. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been in or you need to get an appointment scheduled, give us a call today at 573-243-5200.