April 21, 2015

Brushing Before Bed

When I ask my child and teenage patients how often they brush their teeth, a surprising number of them say they only brush once a day. A large percentage of them say they are only brushing in the morning to freshen up breath. Although I recommend you brush your teeth after each meal, today I want to stress the importance of brushing before you go to bed.

 

Food Stuck in Teeth

If you skip brushing before bed, food you eat throughout the day will sit on your teeth and weaken teeth all night long. Make sure you get all the food out of your child’s teeth by flossing and brushing before bed. If your child has a bottle or breastfeeds in the middle of the night, make sure you brush teeth again or at least wipe teeth before going back to sleep.

 

Reduced Saliva Flow at Night

Our brain is very smart and reduces saliva flow when you are sleeping, so you don’t drool. That means there is no continual cleansing action from saliva when you are sleeping. Saliva is rich in bone and tooth building materials such as calcium and phosphate. High saliva flow during the day means it continually rinses your teeth and strengthen them, too.

 

Fluoride Protection

If you use fluoridated toothpaste or mouth rinse before you go to bed, it will sit on your teeth until you eat or drink the next day. Fluoride will strengthen teeth and fight cavities while you sleep.

 

Happy Brushing!

 

Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving South Surrey, White Rock and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.

 

“Dr Ella and all her staff members are very cooperative, very polite with children and they're my daughter's favorite. - Jas K.”