If you want a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime, you need to maintain a healthy dental hygiene not only during the day but at night as well. What you may not know is that you are more susceptible to bacterial plague during the night than daytime. At night, salivary glands naturally produce less saliva thus providing an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This makes nighttime oral care extremely important. If you want to know how to go about it, follow the guidelines below.
Brushing – Brush your teeth properly before going to bed. Depending on your susceptibility to gum disease or tooth decay, you can brush immediately after dinner or before retiring to bed. For an effective intended outcome, use a soft bristled toothbrush, fluoride based toothpaste and a proper brushing technique. Make an effort of switching to an electric toothbrush once in a while as well.
How to brush properly: Hold the toothbrush on a slightly angled position, approximately 45° between the gum surface and teeth. Gently rub the surface of the teeth using back and forth motion. Brush the outside surface first, and then continue along the inner and chewing surface of your teeth. Do not forget the tongue.
Flossing – Brushing alone is not enough to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing correctly is needed to (almost) complete the oral hygiene cycle. Dental floss helps in removing plague in areas brush cannot reach. Flossing once a day is fine, especially before going to bed. But it can be done in the morning as well if you’re prone to cavities or gum disease.
Rinsing with mouthwash – This completes the oral hygiene cycle. Mouthwash reaches places dental floss cannot reach. They not only kill bad breath germs, but also prevent gum disease, cavities and plague. To get the best outcome, ask your dentist for the right mouthwash that best suits your needs.
Drink water before bed – It helps keeping your mouth moist at night.
Do not eat after brushing – You won’t be doing your teeth any favors by eating after you’ve brushed. If you have to eat, make sure you brush again before bed.
Mouth guard for teeth grinding – Some people grind teeth at night without even realizing they are doing it. It not only causes pain in the jaws, but also wears away the enamel on teeth. To avoid damaging your teeth, wearing a mouth guard at night is highly recommended by dentists since there is nothing that can be done to stop the grinding.
Regular dental check-ups – You should make it a routine of seeing your dentist after every 2-3 months.