Are you guilty of this dentally destructive habit?
If you’re like most of the population, you probably remember hitting the sack after dinner or dessert with a mouthful of un-brushed, dirty teeth at least a couple of times in your life. (Gross – but we’re pretty sure we’ve all been there). And hopefully you’re not somebody who’s made a regular habit of such neglectful ways!
So… why is skipping brushing before bed (after eating) such a poor choice, anyway? Isn’t it enough to brush twice a day and not have to worry about when that happens? Our downtown Toronto dentist has the explanation:
1. You’re allowing bacteria to fester and create oral problems
Let’s say you snack on some leftovers just before hopping into bed (no teeth brushing implied). Well, you’re giving the bacteria in your mouth a perfect opportunity to use the food bacteria to produce acids that are harmful to the teeth and gums. In other words, you’re welcoming gum disease and tooth decay – especially if your snack of choice featured the infamous ingredient: sugar. As you snooze, your production of saliva slows down, as well – making that dirty oral environment even more harmful to your smile.
2. You’re preventing remineralization (the process that keeps your teeth from decaying)
During sleep, clean teeth have the chance to recover from previous bacterial acid attacks of the day – a process referred to as “remineralization”. This cavity-fighting process is enhanced by the use of fluoride present in toothpaste or mouth rinse. However, just the opposite occurs when a person falls asleep without cleaning the last meal or snack of the day off their teeth.
3. It’s just plain nasty
Smelly breath and a poor oral environment need not be a problem of yours! Just ensure you’re brushing twice a day for two full minutes each time, and don’t forget to floss once daily, as well!
The Bottom Line: Brush Before Bed, ALWAYS!
Alright, being “dead tired” isn’t an excuse anymore. Neither is “but it was only half a sandwich”. Your smile depends on you to brush every night before sleep… and if you’ve already been doing this with no slip-ups, then we raise our toothbrush to you!