Brushing your teeth is a major part of oral health. Doing this at least twice daily is advised to prevent gum diseases or tooth loss. Many people ignore this missing out to brush their teeth before bedtime out of laziness or hectic schedules. Some feel it is fine to skip a night without cleaning the teeth.
Dentists always promote the importance of brushing especially before bedtime. The food particles that are left in between your teeth and are not removed when you sleep develop a plaque or a sticky and soft film that consists of millions of bacteria. Not brushing for a long period can damage your teeth enamel causing dental caries or tooth decay.
Presence of Bacteria
Every time you eat, the bacteria are busy feeding on the food particles left in your mouth. Brushing helps eliminate the plaque created by these bacteria reducing their acidity and avoiding the appearance of tooth decay. By missing to brush your teeth over a long period, the plaque starts to thicken. Once the plaque hardened, it is difficult for your toothbrush to remove the tartar, even if you do flossing or use a mouthwash. In such cases, you will need the assistance of a dentist during a routine dental cleaning.
It may sound shocking, but hitting your bed without brushing your teeth is like leaving a poop in your mouth. Unable to clean your teeth before bedtime allows the bacteria to produce waste in your mouth. Highly acidic bacteria cause damage to the tooth enamel, which leads to decay and cavities. One common manifestation of poor oral hygiene is halitosis or bad breath. The visibility of plaque or tartar can be embarrassing to your friend at times.
As the plaque buildup worsens, this can result in a gum infection. This activates your immune system to attack the injured gums or affected area. As the body reacts to the affected gums, it may damage the healthy tissues surrounding your inflamed teeth helping the gums to push the tooth away.
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to protect itself from injury, but experiencing it for a long period can cause damage to other tissues or organs. If you have a flu, an inflammation gets rid of the virus to make the body healthy again. But chronic inflammation is not healthy. It stresses the body and attacks the immune system. A chronic oral inflammation can lead to loss of hearing, cardiovascular diseases, and memory loss.
Developing a Habit
Similar to cleaning your face and changing your clothes, brushing, flossing and using a mouthwash are essential oral activities. A two-minute brushing and flossing can benefit you for years by maintaining dental health and extending your lifespan.
If you feel too tired from work, never forget to put your toothbrush near your bed. This will serve as your constant reminder to clean your teeth all the time. Having a floss stick always available in your drawer is also helpful. When lying in bed, you can floss your teeth to keep it clean.
I am Valerie M. Preston, DDS with more than 20 years of experience in the dental industry. I’m an expert in restorative and cosmetic dentistry and a proud member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the North Carolina Dental Society. I own VPreston Dental in Raleigh, NC, a dental clinic known for its spa-like ambiance. For more details, you can check out my website, Facebook and Twitter pages.