You definitely brush in the morning but do you remember to do it at night time?
Well, if you do not then you are sacrificing your oral health.
Not only brushing but a proper oral hygiene routine is as important to follow in the day as it is at night.
If you are ignoring oral care at night then this article is for you.
Keep reading to know how you can set up your dental hygiene routine for night time step by step so that you can start following it from today!
Beginning the Night Time Routine with Brushing Teeth
Even if you are tired, do not skip brushing your teeth.
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and then at night.
You may brush in the morning to get rid of your morning breath. However, that is not the only reason for brushing teeth.
Brushing helps to remove the plaque and bacteria accumulating all day and prevents it from turning into stubborn tartar on teeth.
Eating and drinking throughout the day will increase the bacteria inside your mouth.
Hence, at night you need to brush to get rid of all of it.
If you do not and let it stay overnight then you risk getting cavities, gum disease or other oral health problems.
Thus, it is absolutely necessary to sleep with a clean mouth.
You cannot let the bacteria and food debris stay in your mouth for that long.
In fact, if you are more susceptible to periodontal disease and decay then your dentist will recommend brushing after every meal.
While brushing you should also keep in mind that there is a need to brush properly.
Only then you will be able to get rid of the plaque effectively.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
- Clean in short strokes and circular motion
- Keep brush at a 45-degree angle
Clean the outer, inner and then the chewing surfaces for a full 2 minutes.
Use gentle pressure as harshness will only damage the enamel.
Furthermore, you should use the tip of your toothbrush to reach the backsides of your teeth.
You can also replace your manual brush with an electric toothbrush. Its rotating and oscillating head will clean more efficiently and reach where the manual toothbrush cannot.
Also, ensure that it has soft bristles and is comfortable so that you are not brushing hardly.
Next Step- Flossing!
Brushing twice a day and flossing once are the basics!
If you brush at night then you do not necessarily need to floss in the morning after brushing your teeth.
However, you need to floss once in your nightly routine.
Flossing teeth at night means that you are getting rid of the soft plaque and food debris.
If you let it stay overnight then it will harden into tatar that only a dentist can remove by professional teeth cleaning.
Moreover, if the food remains in your mouth then it will only allow the bacteria to feed on it and produce acids.
These acids can gradually erode the enamel and result in cavities.
Hence, you floss between the interdental spaces and harder-to-reach areas at night.
Besides a dental floss or floss threader, you can also use an interdental brush.
This is easier to use than floss and can reach the spaces between your teeth.
Moreover, if you have issues with dexterity or want to make sure that your kids floss their teeth then it is better to use a water flosser.
Nonetheless, remember to floss at night and remove the plaque from places your brush cannot reach while it is still soft.
Cleaning the Tongue at Night Time
Right after brushing and flossing, it is time for tongue cleaning.
After a day of eating and drinking, your teeth and gums are not the only places with bacteria.
Your tongue carries a lot of them too. Thus, if you do not clean your tongue at the end of the day, bacteria will accumulate there giving you a morning bad breath.
Thus, you should be scraping your tongue using a scraper or tongue cleaner.
If you do not have both then you can use a tongue brush, a toothbrush or back side of a spoon to gently scrape the bacteria, debris and dead cells off your tongue.
Start from the back and then make your way forward towards the tip of the tongue.
Do not scrape the other way round and make sure the scraper does not cut your tongue.
You may wnat to start from the middle rather than further back because it can result in strong gagging.
Thus, begin from the middle, get used to the sensation and then slowly keep going back.
Repeat it once or twice. Clean the scraper or tongue brush when you scrape the tongue once and then start again.
If you have chronic halitosis then you may like to clean your tongue after every meal.
But at least you should clean your tongue atleast twice a day so that bacteria that are cleaned from the teeth do not settle onto your tongue.
This will help to maintain a good oral ecology and protect your mouth from other oral health problems related to the bacteria.
Hence, you should go to bed with squeaky clean teeth. Follow through with the last step in keeping your mouth completely clean before going to bed i.e. rinsing by using a mouthwash.
Rinsing Before Bed Using a Mouthwash
The last step before finishing your hygiene routine is to use a mouthwash to rinse away any remaining bacteria and freshening your breath.
Most commercial mouthwashes are only for masking your bad breath and giving you the feeling of a clean mouth.
However, if you carefully choose your anti bacterial mouthwash then it can also rinse away the bacteria remianing in your mouth after several steps of cleaning before that.
Therapeutic mouthwashes can alos treat or reduce the symptoms of certain oral health problems. Your dentist can specifically recommend these to you if are at risk of cavities and gingivitis.
Thus, a good rinse before bed can protect your teeth from plaque and your gums from severe oral health problems such as gingivitis.
Take a small amount of mouthwash in its cap. Rinse your mouth wit it by swishing it around for 2 to 3 minutes.
Try to cover the entire teeth by swishing it all across the mouth and your tongue as well as gums.
Other than antibacterial mouthwashes, you can also choose to get a fluoride rinse if your teeth are susceptible to cavities or a whitening rinse if you want whiter teeth.
They will clean your teeth while also giving you the treatment.
Here you end your night time routine unless you want to use extra products.
MouthGuard for Teeth Grinding
Your hygiene routine finishes by using a mouthwash however, if you grind your teeth at night then you need to implement another precaution.
You may not know if you are teeth grinding in sleep but certain signs will tell.
Do you feel your teeth are more sensitive lately? Do you have head and jaw pains? Are you going through some sort of problems or stress?
If the answer to all of these is a Yes then you need to meet up with your dentist.
Chances are you are grinding your teeth in stress unconsciously even when you are awake.
It can also be due to misaligned teeth.
Your dentist can add one more step to your oral hygiene routine i.e using a mouthguard.
A mouth guard will not stop teeth grinding however, it will reduce the damage done to the enamel.
The enamel wears down over time as you clench, gnaw and grind your teeth in sleep.
This leads to an increase in sensitivity and other symptoms.
However, if you wear a mouthguard while sleeping then it will prevent your teeth from coming into contact and damaging your enamel.
Other than that, you can also start meditating, exercising and practicing mindfulness to reduce your stress.
Therefore, if you face bruxism then the last step of your oral hygiene routine will be to wear your mouth guard and then go to bed.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
It is crucial for you to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the day whether it is the morning or right before going to bed.
If you have other problems such as yellow teeth or sensitivity then you may add a fluoride treatment or teeth whitening treatment right before bedtime too.
Teeth whitening strips, gels, mouthguards or mouthwashes can make your teeth whiter and a night time routine is the best time to keep these on for long.
It is as essential to have a night time routine as it is to have a daytime routine.
You can even skip flossing or rinsing in the morning but you cannot do that night.
Thus, if anything your night time dental hygiene routine may just be more important if not less than your daytime routine.
So, do not stick to brushing only in the morning, rather brush, floss, scrape your tongue, and rinse your mouth during the night as well.