Listen, we understand. You had a long hard day and the last thing you want to do is add another step to your nightly routine before going to bed. You are aware that brushing your teeth before bed is “dentist recommended”, but you don’t see why it’s so important, especially when the first thing you do when you wake up is go for the toothbrush. However, the reasoning behind brushing your teeth before bed is pretty convincing, and we’re sure you’ll be a fully-converted night-time tooth brusher.
It’s not something we like to think about often, but our mouths are home to countless numbers of bacteria. It’s just a fact of life, and while good oral hygiene can help abate the build-up of bacteria, the presence of these little critters is normal, and part of every healthy mouth. The problem, however, is that bacteria eat the food particles left on our teeth, and release substances that corrode enamel over time, leading to tooth decay. Or, as we like to say to our younger patients: “the bacteria poops on your teeth.”
If that thought alone isn’t enough to convince you to brush before bed, you should know that this “bacteria poop” does serious damage to your teeth if left unchecked. This can lead to gum disease, cavities, and a range of other ailments. At night, your mouth and teeth are inactive and don’t produce the same amount of saliva as during the day, removing one of the mouth’s most important defense mechanisms.
The best defense is regular brushing, and especially, brushing right before bed. This literally clears your palate, removing any and all of the loose food particles stray bacteria find delicious. Without anything to eat, the bacteria have a harder time reproducing and cause much less of an impact on your teeth. So even though you are in the habit of brushing regularly during the day, failing to do so at night gives bacteria a pretty wide window to do their damage.
So don’t forget to make a thorough tooth-brushing part of your nightly routine. And for it to really work, you have to make sure that it’s the very last thing you do, meaning no midnight snacks! Try it for yourself and you’ll be rewarded with healthy teeth for years to come.