The Importance of Nighttime Oral Hygiene

Friday, November 2nd, 2012, 8:38 pm

Nighttime oral hygiene is an especially important part of keeping your teeth strong and your gums healthy.

While we are sleeping we don’t create as much saliva and we don’t swallow. This keeps the bacteria in our mouths in place during the night and allows them to multiply. The goal of your nighttime oral hygiene routine is making sure that these bacteria can’t find anything in your mouth to feed on overnight.

The basic steps: brushing and flossing, but many people like to add a mouth rinse as well. It doesn’t really matter if you brush first or floss first as long as both are done well. Remember to brush for a full two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste. Don’t rinse with water after brushing because you will just wash away the fluoride that can help protect your teeth from cavities throughout the night.

Flossing cleans away plaque and debris between the teeth that cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Flossing once a day can help you prevent gum disease. Flossing every day allows you to remove the plaque biofilm while it is still soft. Once the plaque is allowed to stay in place it hardens and turns into tartar which can only be removed by a professional cleaning.

If you choose to use a mouth rinse following your routine ask your dentist which one would be best for you. Avoid “mouthwashes” that are used to cover up bad breath as these may contain large amounts of sugar which is a good food source for those oral bacteria we are trying to starve.

To schedule your next dental hygiene visit please contact Toccoa, GA general dentist Dr. Joseph Wilbanks at 706-886-9439 today.

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Category: cavities, gum disease

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