While attending routine preventative appointments with your dentist is important, were you aware that there’s something even more critical you can do to preserve your oral health? You may be surprised to learn that maintaining an at-home dental hygiene regimen is the single most important step you can take to prevent tooth decay — even more important than attending dental visits.
While many people know they’re supposed to brush their teeth every morning, you should also brush them at night before bed, too. AH Smiles in Arlington Heights, IL helps their patients care for their teeth so they can have healthy, beautiful smiles for a lifetime. Learn how you can step up your nighttime oral health routine so your oral health can be at its best.
1. Learn how to brush and floss correctly
Brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining good oral health. However, if you are not brushing and flossing correctly, you may actually be doing more damage to your teeth and gums than you are benefiting them. You should floss in between teeth and at and just under the gum line.to remove the leftover food particles and plaque that cause tooth decay. Using a soft-bristled ADA-approved toothbrush and a fluoride-added toothpaste, gently brush your teeth in circular motions, paying close attention to the hard-to-reach spots such as behind the teeth.
2. Floss before bed
After a day of eating and drinking, food particles can combine with saliva and bacteria to form plaque on your teeth. The naturally occurring bacteria that live in our mouths feed on plaque and keep eating right down through your tooth enamel. These microscopic lifeforms thrive in the dark, moist environment that is your mouth while sleeping, and plaque will continue to accumulate while you sleep.
Although most dentists, including the skilled professionals at AH Smiles, would like you to floss more than once a day, if you’re only going to floss once a day, it should be before bed to deter additional plaque building up during sleep.
3. Use an electric toothbrush
An electric toothbrush can help some people brush more effectively. Electric toothbrushes are designed to more easily remove plaque since they provide powerful brushing movements that you can’t perform with a manual toothbrush. It’s not absolutely necessary to use an electric toothbrush, but they can be fun to use which may make you more likely to remember to brush.
4. Make sure you don’t grind your teeth
Many people grind their teeth at night without even realizing they’re doing it. If you wake up with a sore jaw or often find yourself carrying tension in the jaw or neck, you may suffer from bruxism, or tooth grinding. Over time this can lead to tooth damage. If you suspect you grind your teeth at night, schedule a consultation with an AH Smiles dentist or your local provider to discuss possibly getting a mouth guard to wear while you’re sleeping.
Improve Your Nighttime Oral Hygiene Routine in Arlington Heights, IL
Maintaining a nightly oral care routine can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come. In addition to regular visits with your AH Smiles dentist, make sure your at-home oral hygiene routine includes both morning and nighttime teeth care for maximum effect. Contact our Arlington Heights office online or by phone at (847) 230-9703 to schedule your appointment.