Do I really need to brush my teeth before going to bed? The short answer is: yes! But why?
Going to bed without brushing your teeth allows for the bacteria that lives in your mouth to make a meal on the food residue that remains in your mouth. The bacteria that excretes waste following a meal, breaks down tooth enamel, which in turn, contributes to the development of cavities and root decay.
During the night, plaque builds up and causes calcification. When this happens, the only way to remove this plaque is by visiting your friendly dental hygienist for a teeth cleaning. Another important fact to note: poor dental hygiene not only causes tooth loss and bad breath, it also affects your heart health and is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.
For overall good dental hygiene, and to minimize your chances of getting cavities, remember to:
1. Visit your dentist at least once a year
2. Brush your teeth at a minimum of twice per day for two minutes. Once in the morning and once before going to bed
3. Floss at least once a day
Getting back to why you really do need to brush your teeth before going to bed, and what you can do if you’re just too tired to move. The best case scenario is to not wait until you’re too exhausted to brush your teeth. In the event you are just that tired, here are a few tips you might find useful, and given enough time and practice, will become habit:
1. Keep disposable mini toothbrushes in your night stand – no water or toothpaste required! With your eyes closed, minimum effort is needed to reach over and remove this object from your nightstand.
2. Brushing your teeth and flossing are like peanut butter and jelly. They go hand in hand. Get in the habit of doing both, one right after the other! Keep disposable floss picks next to your disposable mini toothbrush for easy access.
3. Take deep breaths and as you settle into a good night’s sleep, feel good about your fresh clean mouth and breath!