We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished a long day of work and sat on 35E for over an hour to get home. You run some errands, eat some dinner, spend some time with the loved ones, and hit your head to the pillow hard. Then your eyes pop pen. Those starchy chips you just ate are not going to do any favors for your teeth.
According to your dentist in Waco, failing to brush twice a day can do significant damage to your teeth. To learn the importance of having a twice-a-day regimen, take a closer read.
What Happens When You Don’t Brush
The ADA recommends you brush your teeth twice a day because food you consumed throughout the day will remain, which encourages the growth of bacterial. As it collects in your mouth, it transforms into plaque and eventually its hardened form, tartar.
Without removing this plaque, it will eventually lead to cavities and gum disease. As you go through your day, run your tongue along your gum line. If you feel something sticky or fuzzy, you’ll know when there’s plaque remaining on your teeth.
Why Not Brushing Before Bed is Even Worse
As that plaque remains, it will begin attacking your teeth. The longer this plaque is on your teeth, the more likely it turns into tartar, making it far more difficult to remove. Since you aren’t consuming any liquids while you sleep, it causes your mouth to dry out, making it easier for bacteria to multiply.
Antibacterial saliva that normally flows during the day doesn’t occur at night, so you’re leaving yourself more vulnerable to cavity-causing agents and gum disease. This can lead to inflammation and bleeding in your gums if left untreated.
Additional Brushing Tips in the Evening
Technically, it’s not mandatory to brush right before you sleep. The reason most dentists recommend brushing in the morning and before bed is to help patients build a habit (i.e. you can’t fall asleep without having a clean mouth.) This is especially true to reduce the so-called dragon breath your loved ones may have told you about. Furthermore, consider the following tips when brushing your teeth in the evening:
- Try to brush your teeth between dinner and bedtime, about 30 minutes after you finish eating dinner. By doing this, you give the fluoride in your toothpaste and mouth wash the opportunity to build a barrier to acid in your mouth before you go to sleep.
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after dinner. As you eat, your mouth experiences peak acid exposure, which softens the surface layer of your enamel. Therefore, promptly brushing after will cause erosive tooth wear, so wait a bit before heading to the bathroom
- Avoid snacking after brushing. Bacteria will reach for any carbohydrates in your mouth in order to grow and stay alive, so try drinking water or chewing gum to ease those cravings.
Don’t let a long work day cause your oral health to suffer. Learn more from your dentist in Waco by scheduling an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Cofer grew up in Irving, TX and earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at McMurray University. He eventually went to study at the Baylor School of Dentistry to earn his dental degree. To learn more about him and his practice’s cleaning treatments, contact him at (254) 732-0309 or visit his website.