Seeing your dentist for routine preventive care visits is important, but did you know that maintaining your oral health care routine is even more important? It may surprise you to learn that sticking to your at-home dental hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to prevent tooth decay.
While many people brush their teeth every morning, you should also brush them at night before bed, too. Dr. Nish Patel of Manatee Advanced Dentistry in Bradenton, FL helps his patients care for their teeth so they can have healthy, beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Learn how you can improve your nighttime oral health routine so you can have the best oral health possible.
1. Learn how to brush and floss correctly
Brushing and flossing are an essential part of maintaining your best oral health. However, if you aren’t brushing and flossing properly, you may be doing more harm than good to your smile. Using dental floss removes leftover food particles and plaque from in between teeth and below the gum line. While using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste, gently in circular motions, make sure you brush as close to those hard-to-reach places such as behind the teeth.
2. Floss before bed
After a day of eating and drinking, plaque can accumulate on the teeth. Oral bacteria that live naturally in our mouths feed on plaque and your tooth enamel. These bacteria thrive in the dark, moist environment that is your mouth while sleeping, and plaque will continue to build up while you sleep. Although Dr. Patel and most dentists would like you to floss more than once a day, if you’re only going to floss once a day, it should be before bed to avoid additional plaque building up during sleep.
3. Use an electric toothbrush
An electric toothbrush can make it easier to brush more effectively during your nighttime oral hygiene routine. Electric toothbrushes remove plaque more efficiently because they provide powerful brushing movements that you can’t perform with a manual toothbrush. It’s not absolutely necessary to use an electric toothbrush, but they can be fun to use and having something you look forward to using every night can make you more likely to take the extra few minutes to brush your teeth.
4. Make sure you don’t grind your teeth
Many people grind their teeth at night without realizing it. If you wake up with a sore jaw or often find yourself carrying tension in the jaw or neck, you may be suffering from bruxism, or tooth grinding. Over time this can lead to tooth damage. If you suspect you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear while you’re sleeping.
Promoting Healthy Smiles in Bradenton, FL
Caring for your teeth every night can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come. In addition to regular visits with Dr. Patel and Manatee Advanced Dentistry, be sure your at-home oral hygiene routine includes both morning and nighttime teeth care. Contact our Bradenton office online or by phone at 941.209.4315 to schedule your appointment.