Your oral hygiene routine involves more than just brushing your teeth, especially at night. While you should brush your teeth twice a day to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay, there are additional steps to take before bed to keep your teeth healthy.
Dr. Don Alexander and Dr. Michael Greenburg offer patient focused, comprehensive dental care to meet all of your oral health needs. Learn more about how to improve your nighttime oral health routine!
1. Brush and floss correctly
Brushing your teeth is probably not the most fun thing you’ll do during the day, but not brushing and flossing effectively can actually do more harm than good to your smile. Plaque builds up on the teeth throughout the day, so it’s important to remove it before bed to prevent tooth decay.
Use dental floss to remove leftover food particles and plaque from in between teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste, gently brush your teeth in circular motions, making sure you get hard-to-reach places such as behind the teeth.
2. Floss before bed
After a day of your usual activities, plaque has built up on the teeth. Oral bacteria in plaque love the dark, moist environment in your mouth while sleeping, and plaque will continue to build up while you sleep. While your dentist would like you to floss more than once a day, if you’re only going to floss once a day, make it before bed to avoid plaque building up even further during sleep.
3. Use an electric toothbrush, but it’s not required
An electric toothbrush can help some people improve their nighttime oral hygiene routine. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque because they provide powerful brushing movements that you can’t achieve with a manual toothbrush. It’s not absolutely necessary to use an electric toothbrush, but having something you look forward to using can make it easier to take the extra few minutes to brush your teeth.
4. Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth
If you wake up with a sore jaw or carry tension in the jaw or neck, you might suffer from bruxism, or tooth grinding. In addition to the unpleasant effects of the tension, bruxism can cause 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 Jacksonville, FL
Having good oral hygiene includes both morning and nighttime steps. Combined with regular visits to Dr. Alexander or Dr. Greenburg, you can keep your teeth healthy for years to come. Contact us online to schedule your appointment or call 904.901.4302 today to learn more.