Nighttime Brushing: Take Those Five Minutes!

Does this sound familiar? You crawl out of bed in the morning and within the next half hour or so, you brush your teeth. It’s a ritual most of us adhere to without much thought, after years of doing the same thing.

But how about bedtime? Do you follow a similar ritual? Many of us, after a hard day, want to crawl back into that same bed as quickly as possible. Are you as regular with your nighttime brushing as you are the morning routine? You should be!

Overnight Bacteria Growth

Did you know that you don’t produce as much saliva at night as you do during the day? That means that if you skip brushing in the evening and just go to sleep, bacteria breeds more easily. This phenomenon can be even worse in individuals suffering from dry mouth. Compare that to those who regularly brush: A level of fluoride from your toothpaste helps prevent bacteria from flourishing. Bedtime brushing and flossing also help clear away any tiny daytime food stragglers that may still be lodged in your teeth.

When Should You Brush?

Brushing time is also important. We suggest avoiding brushing right after a meal and waiting about an hour if possible. It’s thought that your teeth are temporarily weaker after consuming particularly acidy foods like oranges, so brushing too soon could affect that important, protective enamel coating. The American Dental Association says that one hour is a good time to wait, enough time to allow your mouth to return to a proper PH level.

After brushing, don’t forget to insert mouth guards if you grind or clench your teeth. And keep in mind that therapeutic mouth rinses can also help keep your teeth healthy and help prevent gingivitis. Your periodontal hygienist at the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics will be happy to review techniques with you. Just ask!