A lot can happen in eight hours – especially in your mouth! While you are sleeping, bacteria is gathering on your teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways to maintain your oral health while you sleep.
Brush Before Bed
Brushing your teeth before you go to sleep at night helps protect against plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. If you are particularly susceptible to cavities and gum disease, dentists recommend that you brush immediately after dinner, then again right before bedtime.
Use Good Form
According to dentists, the best way to clean your teeth is to brush back and forth gently in short strokes. Brush the outer tooth surfaces first, then the inner tooth surfaces, followed by the chewing surfaces. To clean the backs of your front teeth, use the tip of the brush and gently brush up and down.
Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
The rotating and oscillating movement of the electric toothbrush head removes plaque from your teeth more efficiently than a regular toothbrush. Be sure to choose an electric toothbrush that’s comfortable to hold, easy to use, and has the rotating-oscillating head. Pick one up at Dental Salon at your next appointment!
Don’t Just Brush – Floss!
Flossing removes food particles and plaque buildup while it’s still soft. If this debris stays on the teeth, bacteria will increase throughout the night and feed off them while you’re sleeping. Furthermore, if the plaque is allowed to harden, it will turn into tartar, and tartar can only be removed by a hygienist or dentist during a professional cleaning.
Rinse With Mouthwash
Mouthwash isn’t just for fresh breath – therapeutic mouth rinses contain special ingredients that strengthen teeth and help treat certain oral health conditions. Rinsing with a therapeutic mouthwash before bed will help keep your teeth free of plaque and cavities and your gums safe from gingivitis. On the contrary, most commercial, over-the-counter mouthwashes – known as cosmetic mouthwashes – are designed to mask bad breath and they won’t do much to contribute to your oral health. Talk to your dentist about which mouthwash is right for you.
Be Aware of Teeth Grinding
If you experience worn tooth enamel, increased tooth sensitivity, or torn cheek tissue, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Though dentists can’t stop you from doing it, they can make you a mouth guard that you can wear at night to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding. Ask a Dental Salon provider if a night guard would help you!