Most people are aware that the general recommendation is to brush your teeth twice a day, but may not realize the importance of brushing before bed. Understandably, people tend to prioritize brushing their teeth in the morning before they leave the house. It does feel great to start the day with a fresh mouth, but the most critical time you should be brushing your teeth is before bed.
Why is brushing before bed so important?
Think of all the meals, snacks and drinks that you consume in a day. By bedtime, there is going to be a lot of food and bacteria built up on your teeth. Most people still leave behind some bacteria when they brush their teeth, so the more times you brush, the greater the chances of cleaning away the bacteria.
Brushing before bed can help prevent:
If you go to bed without brushing, that means your teeth are covered in bacteria. The bacteria will digest the foods that you have been eating all day, and then produce acid as a result of their digestion. The acid is what attacks your enamel and can lead to cavities. During the day, your saliva helps to protect your teeth from the acid. The problem is, while you sleep your body doesn’t make as much saliva and your mouth becomes dry. This will put you at a higher risk of cavities if you go to bed without brushing.
What is known as “morning breath” is a foul odour produced by the bacteria in our mouths. If you clean your mouth well before bed, you will be less likely to have bad breath in the morning.
If plaque is left sitting on your teeth for a prolonged period, it can harden into a calcified substance called tartar. Once tartar forms, it can only be removed during a professional cleaning. In the presence of plaque and tartar, your gums can become inflamed, swollen, red and bleed easily.
Here is an example of a good oral hygiene routine before bed:
The bacteria need to be disrupted from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
For at least two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to brush your tongue too!
Rinsing with an anti-microbial mouthrinse (choose one with the seal of approval from the Canadian Dental Association) will help to kill bacteria and prevent gingivitis.
If you find that you are skipping brushing before bed because you are too tired, try brushing earlier in the evening after you are done eating for the day. Getting into a new routine isn’t always easy, but it is worth it when you have a clean and healthy mouth. Contact us to schedule your next visit today!