At the end of a long day, there is nothing better than changing into comfortable pajamas and climbing into bed for the night. Most people have strict nightly routines that ease them to a more relaxed state before bedtime, but many don't factor enough time to properly care for their teeth.

Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of overall health, and it's not something that should only be thought about during the day, as bacteria is at work at night as well.

The best way to ensure that your mouth is properly cared for while your sleeping is following a three step process before hitting the hay.

  • Brush – In one of our recent posts, we discussed choosing the right toothbrush for your needs. It is important to have a toothbrush that you like and one that works for you because brushing your teeth is a key part of maintaining good dental health. The best way to protect from plaque buildup and tooth decay is to use a soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. The best practice, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), is to brush back and forth in tooth-wide strokes. No matter whether you elect to brush right after you eat, or right before you crawl into bed, brushing your teeth properly and regularly is really important.
  • Floss – The goal of floss is to reach all the places that your toothbrush cannot. We recommend flossing daily, as it is the best way to prevent build-up. It is important to be gentle so as not to irritate or damage the gum tissue. There are many types of floss, from waxed dental floss to oral irrigators and mouth rinses, but the fact that you floss everyday is more important than the type of floss you use. According to Richard Price, a spokesperson for the ADA, in a statement to Everyday Health, "any floss that slips easily between teeth without hurting and damaging the gums is the floss for you. Ask your dentist for a recommendation. Some have samples you can try. Waxed, unwaxed, high-tech teflon types, nylon types? Just use it!"
  • Rinse – Washing out your mouth with a mouthwash will help keep your breath fresh, and it is great practice to get in the habit of using some form of mouthwash in the morning and at night. Generally, these types of products are available in anti-gingivitis, anti-plaque and fluoride options. It is up to you to select the one that works best for you and your needs. 

Whether you are teaching kids good oral hygiene or trying to correct your own habits, implementing these steps is a good place to start! If you have any questions or are seeking out a consultation with orthodontists in New York, contact Upper Eastside Orthodontists today.

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