IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US… Our good intention to go through our nightly oral hygiene ritual before bedtime is there, but once in a while it just doesn’t happen! Not to worry. A rare, occasional slip-up isn’t a problem—BUT, skipping your nighttime brushing and flossing routine as a habit can have negative effects, especially while you have braces!
When we sleep our metabolism slows. Our body reduces the amount of saliva we produce so we’re not always having to swallow all night or gag on our spit! Pretty cool, yes.
But without that moisture our mouths dry out, the tissues start becoming inflamed, and bacteria can proliferate (especially when they have something to feed on, like the cookies the lady in the photo above just ate) causing gingivitis and eventual periodontal disease.
Now, all that is worst-case scenario. However, it doesn’t minimize the importance of developing great habits.
1. Brush & Floss Right Before Bed – Use a gentle, soft toothbrush. Spend two full minutes (at least!) to treat every cranny, nook and surface.
2. Brush You Tongue And Roof – Teeth aren’t the only important things inside our mouths. Your tongue and the roof of your mouth can harbor bacteria. Gently brush them too.
3. Floss, Floss, Floss – Of all the great habits you could develop, making it routine to floss each time you brush is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your smile. Don’t neglect those very, very back teeth either. If flossing with braces is difficult for you, think about using special tools to make it easier.
4. Don’t Cheat – If your routine happens too early in the evening, you’ll be tempted to cheat… That is, you’ll eat another cookie before retiring to bed! If that happens, better go through your routine once more.
5. Brush The “Right” Way
One of the most important ingredients for great oral health is a great routine. This week, take a moment to re-examine your nightly habits and see if there’s something you can improve! If you have questions, let us know!