Prevention is the most important part of oral health. Most major dental problems can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Regular visits include cleanings and check-ups with your dentist every six months. It also means checking in with your dentist when you notice any changes in your mouth or feel any pain. Treating issues early is what prevents them from escalating into bigger problems. Good oral hygiene means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily. It also means mindful choices about what you eat and drink. A good bedtime routine can be an essential part of your good oral hygiene.
Saliva is the body’s natural rinsing agent designed to rinse away harmful bacteria. During the day, saliva production is induced by eating and drinking. Saliva production slows down when you are asleep. Older adults and those suffering from dry mouth may stop producing saliva altogether during their sleep. With the decrease in saliva, the mouth becomes a dry haven for bacteria production. Bacteria feeds on any remnants of food or drink causing the creation of decay-causing acid.
Without saliva rinsing away bacteria, it is important to keep your mouth clear of any leftover food or drink that the bacteria may feast on. After you brush and floss for the night, avoid eating or drinking anything. Let the toothbrush or floss be the last thing that touches your teeth. The only exception is a glass of plain old, non-flavored water. Hydration is good for saliva flow. It is important to avoid even cough syrups or nighttime cold medicine after brushing. Most syrups contain sugar and they are designed to coat your throat. If they coat your throat, they can coat your teeth meaning your teeth are left with a sticky feast for bacteria.
Learn more about protecting your smile from Lone Star Dental Care. Schedule a consultation at our local Frisco, TX office today at 972-335-7100.