If you ask your dentist, the most important thing to him or her is getting their patients’ mouths in the best condition possible. But since no two persons are ever truly alike, the approaches a dentist might adopt with one patient could be completely different to what might be suggested to another. However, the basics of good oral health are all the same: everything all starts with night time dental habits.

Why is it so important to take care of our mouths before going to bed?

We’ve all experienced being told to brush our teeth before turning in for bed. Dentists now are saying that because our mouths undergo so many changes when we are asleep, these changes could increase the risk of developing cavities and getting tooth decay.

When we are asleep, we aren’t chewing or moving our mouths that often. This can cause decreased saliva secretion, which leads to an oral environment which is conducive for the growth of bacteria. Not only do bacteria produce foul-emitting substances but they also release acids that could erode the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities.

How should people take care of their teeth?

Dentists suggest following the triad of good dental hygiene—brushing, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing. Brushing is not enough because certain food particles could still be trapped in between teeth. The bristles of a toothbrush are too large to be able to fit into these small spaces, but flossing gets that job done efficiently. In addition, rinsing with mouthwash can dissolve any plaque which may have accumulated on the surfaces of teeth.

Why should plaque be avoided?

Plaque is the soft, white substance that often coats our teeth, and is composed of bacteria and acids. The acid component in plaque can erode the enamel or the white outer covering of our teeth, causing cavities and subsequent tooth decay. While it’s easy to remove plaque–simple brushing, flossing and gargling with mouthwash will do the trick–when plaque is allowed to stand for a long time it turns into a rock-like substance which is known as tartar. Tartar forms on the gum line and can cause pockets or large gaps between the teeth and gums. This gapping is indicative of gum disease. Untreated gum diseases can lead to extensive tissue and nerve damage with the eventual loss of teeth as the ultimate complication.

For more advice on caring for teeth, please contact our office today!