While it may seem tempting to skip brushing your teeth at night if you’re already comfortably lying in bed, the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day goes beyond fresh breath. It’s an essential part of dental hygiene that helps prevent cavity, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Not convinced that brushing before bed is necessary? Our family dentist in Cary is sharing the in-depth reason you need to visit your toothbrush before visiting your bed at night!
The Importance of Brushing Twice a Day
Brushing your teeth at least twice within a 24-hour period is extremely important. By regularly removing food particles, debris, and bacteria, you’re preventing the most common causes of tooth decay and gum disease. Every time you skip brushing your teeth, you are encouraging the buildup of bacteria that would’ve been destroyed with an easy, two-minute brush.
Is It Better to Brush Your Teeth in the Morning or Night?
While it’s optimal to brush your teeth both in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed, brushing at night is actually more important. During the day, the foods you eat leave particles and debris on your teeth that feed bacteria.
Normally, saliva helps act as your mouth’s natural defense against bacteria in the mouth because it has anti-bacterial properties, neutralizes the acid level in your mouth, and washes away food remnants. However, saliva production decreases at night, allowing plaque to form and bacteria to attack your tooth enamel. If you don’t remove those before bed, it has all night to damage your teeth. Over time, this can add up to significant damage.
How Plaque Builds Up When You Don’t Brush
Bacteria in your mouth that stays there after you skip brushing before bed creates plaque. Plaque is the sticky, fuzzy substance you feel along your teeth when you haven’t brushed in a while. It takes about 24 hours for the plaque that bacteria produce to build up and mature in your mouth.
When you do brush, you destroy this growth of bacteria that has developed since you last brushed.
When plaque stays on your teeth after you skip brushing, it calcifies by becoming harder, rougher, and more yellow. This new substance is known as tartar, and it continues to grow the more you skip brushing your teeth. Eventually, tartar buildup can cause cavities and tooth loss because it feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay and can only be removed by your Cary family dentist.
Skipping Brushing Leads to Gum Disease
In addition to cavities and tooth decay, not brushing your teeth regularly can cause gum disease. As the bacteria, particles, and food debris form plaque, then tartar on your teeth, this can also attack your gums.
Gum disease can range from mild and fairly easily treatable to severe, with symptoms ranging from receding gums and bleeding gums to loose teeth. In the most severe cases, gum disease can cause gum deterioration and bone loss which can lead to losing your teeth.
What to Do if You Haven’t Brushed Your Teeth in a While
If you’ve gotten out of the habit of brushing your teeth, whether it’s been a few weeks, months, or longer, the first thing to do is replace your toothbrush and get back in the habit. Set a reminder on your phone to brush your teeth five minutes after your alarm goes off in the morning and at the same time near bed each night.
You should also immediately schedule an appointment with a family dentist in Cary. You most likely have tartar buildup that needs to be removed with a teeth cleaning, and you should also have a thorough exam and dental x-rays to check for tooth decay or cavities. It’s never too late to get back on the path of good dental hygiene and getting the care you need to restore a healthy mouth, but it’s important to do it sooner, rather than later!
Brushing Your Teeth the Right Way
When you do brush your teeth, both before bed and when you wake up in the morning, make sure you’re truly doing the best for your teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush your teeth for two minutes, taking care to brush up and down toward the gum lines and behind your back teeth. You should also use this time to floss your teeth to ensure all debris is gone before you go to bed.
Contact Our Family Dentist in Cary for Teeth Cleaning
Whether you brush twice a day regularly or you have gotten out of the habit, it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist. If you don’t have a regular dentist in Cary, we can help! Schedule an appointment today by filling out the form below or calling us at (919) 467-0654.