Your oral health is important to care for no matter the time of day, but there’s a lot that goes on in your mouth during the night. Here are some tricks and tips for maintaining great oral health, even right before you turn in for a good night’s sleep.
Rule 1: Don’t Skip Brushing Before Bed
We’ve all done it. We stay up too late working on something or socializing and then crash into bed before we’ve barely taken our shoes off. This is one of the worst things you can do for your teeth. Most likely, you’ve had lunch and dinner since the last time you brushed, and the plaque you’ve picked up will be feasting on bacteria in your mouth for a full 24 hours before it’s removed. Do your breath and your teeth a favor and brush them for just two minutes before hitting the hay. You can even shut your eyes while you do so if you’re feeling extra snoozy.
Rule 2: Attend the Afterparty
Oral care doesn’t stop with brushing. Oh no, you’re not off that easy. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash (or a mouthrinse if your dentist recommends) are important pieces of your nightly routine. If you’re omnivorous, you’ve likely indulged in some steak or chicken for dinner, which is easily caught between teeth. Please don’t save it for later! Brush, floss, rinse. Three easy steps.
Rule 3: Hydrate
Take water to bed with you every night! Contrary to popular belief, drinking water before bed does NOT cause you to wake up with an urgent need to use the facilities – being dehydrated does. So, get a glass of water and take a few sips before you doze off. If you wake in the middle of the night with a dry mouth, you’ll have some water to wet your whistle, which will keep your teeth happy.
Rule 4: Think Ahead
Ultimately, cutting out procrastination can help you take better care of your teeth. If you find yourself buying a lunch every day, you’re more likely to eat foods that aren’t good for you and that are high in sugar. Take some time each night to pack a lunch with mouth healthy snacks. Get to bed early enough so that you don’t have to down three cups of coffee each morning (maybe tomorrow, it could just be 1 cup). No time for an after lunch mouth freshener? Keep some sugarfree gum stashed in convenient places each day.
Call our office to see how your nightly rituals are working for your mouth!