Why a Nightly Brushing and Flossing Routine Is So Important

| December 8, 2014

Couple's night time tooth brushing routine

Why a Nightly Brushing and Flossing Routine Is So Important

 Keeping your smile bright is not just a day job. Your teeth and gums need protection at night, too!

You already know you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Brushing after every meal or snack is even better!

But did you know that when you brush and floss can be almost as important as how you perform these important oral hygiene tasks

 Why Night Time is the Right Time for Brushing and Flossing

There are about 25,000 different species of bacteria in the average human mouth, and at least 1,000 of them are involved in plaque formation and tooth decay.

It’s important to remove bacteria and the food particles they feed on just before bed, because nighttime conditions in the mouth contribute to bacterial growth. When we sleep, our metabolism slows. Our bodies produce less saliva, which means we have fewer enzymes and lubricants to control bacteria. Our mouths dry out, and we swallow less frequently, giving bacteria more time to grow. Most of us sleep for six to eight hours, which gives bacteria plenty of time to multiply.

Your Nightly Oral Care Routine

Dr. Thompson, Dr. Hoellrich and the hygienists at Grandview Dental Care recommend that you floss and brush just before turning in for the night. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and brush for at least two minutes. Cover all tooth surfaces, and don’t forget to brush the tongue, which acts as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Flossing gets to places your toothbrush can’t, removing small bits of food trapped in between your teeth and gums as well as the film of bacteria that can harden into plaque. You can floss before or after brushing. However, if you floss before brushing, the fluoride from the toothpaste has a better chance of reaching between teeth.

If you like, you can finish off with a therapeutic mouth wash designed to help reduce plaque, gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Choose one that’s approved by the American Dental Association (if in doubt, check for the ADA seal, or just ask us!). Make sure to vigorously swish the rise around in your mouth for the recommended time, usually 20 to 30 seconds.

Questions about oral hygiene? Just ask! Your Columbus, Ohio dentists at Grandview Dental Care are here to help.  Give us a call at 614-486-7378 or send us an email.

Check out our other blog posts about keeping your mouth healthy and beautiful!

Common misconceptions about dental health

4 Important benefits of regular dental checkups