Seeing your dentist for regular preventive care visits is important, but did you know that there’s something even more important for you to do to preserve your oral health? It may surprise you to learn that your at-home dental hygiene is the single most important way to prevent tooth decay — even more important than dental visits.
While many of us brush our teeth in the morning, you should also be sure you’re taking care of your teeth at night, too. Dr. Keith Levesque and Dr. Tara Vogel of Levesque Dentistry are respected dentists in Nashua, NH, who help their patients take care of their teeth so they can have healthy, beautiful smiles.
Read on to learn more about the steps you should take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your nighttime oral health routine.
1. Learn how to brush and floss correctly
Brushing and flossing are a vital part of maintaining optimal oral health. However, if you are not brushing and flossing properly, you may actually be doing more harm than good to your smile. Use dental floss to remove leftover food particles and plaque from between teeth and at the gum line.
Make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved toothpaste, and gently brush your teeth in circular motions, making sure to pay special attention to the hard-to-reach places, such as behind the teeth.
2. Floss before bed
After a normal day of eating and drinking, plaque will have built up on the teeth. The bacteria that live in your mouth thrive in that dark, moist environment in your mouth. The plaque will continue to build up while you sleep while the bacteria feed upon it.
While dentists would prefer if you flossed more than once a day, if you’re only going to floss once a day, do it before bed to avoid plaque building up even further during sleep.
3. Use an electric toothbrush
While it’s completely necessary, an electric toothbrush can be very helpful for improving one’s nighttime oral hygiene routine. An electric toothbrush performs powerful brushing movements that can more effectively remove plaque than you can with a manual toothbrush alone. Some people find them fun to use and looking forward to brushing can make it easier to take the extra few minutes to brush your teeth.
4. Make sure you don’t grind your teeth
Many people grind their teeth at night without even realizing it. If you find yourself awakening with a sore jaw or feel that you are carrying tension in your jaw or neck, you may be suffering from bruxism — the clinical name for tooth grinding. Over time this habit can damage your tooth enamel.
If you suspect you grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about treating this issue with a mouth guard to wear while you’re sleeping.
Promoting Healthy Smiles in Nashua, NH
Taking care of your teeth at night before you go to bed will help keep your smile healthy and beautiful for years to come. In addition to regular visits with your Levesque Dentistry dentist, make sure your at-home oral hygiene routine includes both morning and nighttime teeth care. Contact our Nashua, NH office online or by phone at (603) 547-9203 to schedule your appointment.