Seeing your dentist for preventive care visits is important, but did you know that there’s something even more important in your oral health care routine? You might be surprised to learn that your at-home dental hygiene routine is the single most important thing you can do to prevent tooth decay.
While many people brush their teeth in the morning, you should also be sure to care for your teeth at night before bed, too. Dr. J. Eric Hires of Hires Dental Care is a Toledo, OH dentist who helps patients take care of their teeth so they can have healthy, beautiful smiles. Learn more about how you can improve your nighttime oral hygiene routine.
1. Learn how to brush and floss correctly
Brushing and flossing are an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. However, if you are brushing and flossing incorrectly, you may be doing more harm than good to your smile. Use dental floss to remove leftover food particles and plaque from in between teeth. For brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste. You should gently brush your teeth in circular motions, making sure to brush the hard-to-reach places such as behind the teeth as well as you can.
2. Floss before bed
After a day of eating and drinking, plaque has built up on the teeth. The oral bacteria that live in plaque love to feast on the plaque in your mouth while you’re sleeping, and the plaque will only continue to build up. 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 significant plaque build-up during sleep.
3. Use an electric toothbrush
While it’s not totally necessary, an electric toothbrush might help some people improve their nighttime oral hygiene routine. An electric toothbrush provides powerful brushing movements that can remove plaque more efficiently than a manual toothbrush. Using something you look forward to using can make it easier 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 even knowing 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 teeth grinding, clinically known as bruxism. Over time this habit can lead to headaches, jaw and bite issues and permanent 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.
Nighttime Oral Hygiene and Healthy Smiles in Toledo, OH
Taking proper care of your teeth at night will help keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come. In addition to regular visits with Dr. Hires, make sure your at-home oral hygiene routine includes both morning and nighttime teeth care. Contact our Toledo, OH office online or by phone at 419.365.2217 to schedule your appointment.