April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. While oral cancer isn’t a topic that most people…
Getting your best night’s sleep means finding a nighttime routine that works for you and sticking with it. This might include turning off your devices before you get ready for bed, selecting a good book to read, dimming the lights, and so on. While all of that is great for healthy sleep, you also need to incorporate nighttime rituals that can promote healthy teeth, too. Here are some tips from your Overland Park dentist on how to make your nighttime dental care routine a successful and healthy part of getting ready for bed!
Finish Your Dinner Early. The timing of your evening meal may not be directly related to your nighttime dental care routine, but it’s still solid advice. You should wait two or three hours between eating and heading to bed. This can help to prevent problems such as heartburn, reflux, and insomnia. And it goes without saying that you should avoid caffeine before bed. That includes energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate, coffee, and even tea.
Brush Your Teeth. For best results, wait about 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth. The acid in foods can weaken your enamel, which may lead to undue wear on your teeth if you brush too soon. Right before you go to bed, brush your teeth for about two minutes.
Floss. Some say that you should floss before you brush so that you get particulate food matter out from between your teeth. Others say that you should floss after. As far as your Overland Park dentist is concerned, as long as you’re flossing regularly, you’re already doing yourself and your teeth a huge favor. Keep in mind that there’s no reason you can’t floss as part of your morning routine, too.
Clean Your Tongue. You can do it while you’re brushing your teeth. The goal here is to remove bacteria, which can collect on your tongue just as easily as any other part of your mouth and lead to bad breath and other oral health problems.
Rinse. Speaking of fresh breath, mouthwash is great for that, but an ADA-approved mouthwash can also help to eliminate bacteria and even strengthen your teeth. It’s a great way to wrap up your oral health routine before you hit the sack!
Use a Mouth Guard. If you suspect that you might be grinding your teeth at night—a condition also known as bruxism—then a mouth guard is a must. Signs may include headaches or jaw pain when you wake up or uneven wear on your teeth. Ask your Overland Park dentist about what mouth guard is right for you!
Be Consistent! This may be the most important piece of advice on this whole list, besides brushing and flossing every night. Be consistent. A routine is only good if you stick to it, and once you break a healthy habit, it’s a lot harder to get it going again.
You don’t need to come see your Overland Park dentist every evening before bed, but it is still important to stay consistent with your visits. Just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule your next appointment!