It’s just before the crack of dawn, and your alarm clock is buzzing loudly. After turning it off, you crawl out of bed and proceed to the bathroom to brush your teeth and get your day started. Will this session of oral hygiene be enough to last until the next day? Your dentist in Texas City says, “No!” Learn why it’s vital to your dental wellness to brush before retiring for bed and discover the importance of using the right techniques.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least two times a day. The main reason is that most people will eat frequently throughout the day, which means that without practicing oral hygiene, any remaining food particles can spur bacteria growth.
By brushing your teeth, though, you can help to rid your mouth of any remaining debris, which helps tremendously in fighting tooth decay.
The Problem with Bacteria
The primary issue with bacteria is they release acids that can compromise your enamel (the hard, outer layer of your teeth), which can leave the more sensitive parts vulnerable to the harsh environment inside your mouth. Then, if allowed to grow, the corrosive bacteria can form plaque, which is a sticky, clear substance that can eventually seep beneath the gums to cause damage to the jawbone and the fibers that hold your teeth in place.
Why It’s Necessary to Brush Before Bed
If you can only brush your teeth twice a day, then one of the sessions should be completed just before bedtime. That’s because while you sleep, your mouth becomes a playground for bacteria growth.
One of the reasons this happens is that your mouth tends to become very dry while you sleep, which is the type of environment that bacteria flourish in. This explains why you have “morning breath” when you awaken.
When you make a consistent effort to brush before bed, you will reduce the number of bacteria present and lessen the negative effects that you’ll have to endure.
Helpful Tips to Enhance Your Efforts
Once you commit to brushing your teeth more often, you want to make sure your efforts are as beneficial as possible. Here are some tips that will help out:
- Avoid vigorous brushing to prevent premature enamel wear.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to limit damage to your enamel and irritation of your gums.
- Be sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes each session to ensure a thorough cleaning.
By making nighttime brushing a regular habit and being sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis, you’ll enjoy wonderfully improved oral health!
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth is a graduate of the University of Texas Dental School at Houston. Throughout a career that has spanned four decades, he has remained committed to providing the highest quality of care, which is why he has maintained professional affiliation with such organizations as the Texas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, the American Orthodontic Society and others. Dr. Hackbarth helps patients maintain healthy teeth and gums at Dental Cosmetic Center, and he can be reached for more information through his website.