Keeping your mouth clean isn’t just a day job. It’s just as important to practice nighttime oral care as it is to keep your teeth clean during the day. The (somewhat gross) fact is, when you are sleeping, you are not swallowing your saliva. Eight hours of doing this increases the level of bacteria in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath and plaque buildup. Bad oral hygiene can turn into tooth decay or gum disease, so make sure you follow our steps to keeping your mouth clean at night.
Every night before you go to sleep: brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash. This is the best routine you can get into to prevent future problems with your mouth. So let’s break it down.
We recommend that you brush after dinner and before you go to sleep. Doing so will clean your mouth of any plaque buildup and will give bacteria less to feed on. Using an FDA and ADA approved toothpaste with proper brushing techniques will reduce your chances of tooth decay and gum disease.
The ADA suggests the following brushing technique:
Brush at at 45-degree angle to your gums.
Gently brush back and forth on all outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Use short strokes as wide as your tooth.
Turn your toothbrush vertical to clean the inside of your front teeth.
Brush your tongue to rid of any leftover bacteria and prevent bad breath.
While skipping the floss at night may feel like a shortcut, you’re not doing yourself a favor. Flossing helps clean your mouth in the spots your toothbrush physically cannot reach. If you don’t remove that plaque, bacteria will feed on it while you are sleeping. Also, plaque buildup can turn into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
The ADA suggest the following flossing technique:
Use an 18-inch piece of floss.
Wind the floss around the middle fingers of each hand.
Tightly hold the floss and insert between your teeth using your thumb and forefinger.
Curve the floss in a C-shape around the side of your tooth.
Gently run the floss up and down against the side of your tooth.
Floss in between every tooth in your mouth, and don’t forget about your back teeth.
Therapeutic mouthwashes are different from your generic cosmetic mouthwash and do much more than just freshen your breath. They contain certain ingredients that help fight cavities, strengthen the enamel on your teeth, and prevent gum diseases like gingivitis.