Many of us know that we should brush our teeth at least twice daily. However, many do not see the importance of brushing before going to bed. People prioritize morning brushing before leaving the house to start the day with fresh breath. However, the most crucial time to brush is before going to bed.

Why Brush Before Bed?

When you think of a typical day, picture all the meals, snacks and beverages you have. When bedtime comes around, a lot of food particles and bacteria remain on and in between teeth. Even with proper brushing and flossing, it is hard to remove 100% of bacteria from under the gums and on the surfaces of the teeth. The more times you brush each day, the greater the chances of removing all or most of the bacteria.

Brushing Before Sleeping Prevents

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Cavities or Dental Decay
Going to bed without brushing your teeth means teeth will be covered in bacteria the entire night. Bacteria digest the food remnants on teeth and under the gums. The by-product is acid production which damages tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Saliva helps protect your teeth from damaging acids during the day. However, when sleeping, your body produces less saliva causing your mouth to become dry. A dry mouth increases your risk of cavities when going to bed without brushing.

Bad breath
What is referred to as “morning breath” is due to foul odours produced by the bacteria. Cleaning your mouth before sleeping makes it less likely to have morning breath.

Gum disease or Gingivitis
When plaque is left on the teeth for a long time, it hardens into tartar which is a form of hardened plaque. Only a professional cleaning can remove hardened plaque. Gums become swollen, red, inflamed and bleed easily when tartar is not removed.

Oral Hygiene Routine

Floss
Flossing removes bacteria from between teeth, and under the gums, a toothbrush cannot always reach.

Brushing
Ensure that you brush for two minutes minimum. Use a tongue cleaner to clean your tongue as well.

Rinses
Try rinsing with a mouthrinse that is anti-microbial. Anti-microbial mouthrinses help kill bacteria to prevent gum disease.

If you frequently skip brushing and flossing before bed, brush earlier in the evening. Once you get into the routine, it will become second nature.