Most people know they should brush their teeth at least twice a day, but do you know why it’s so important to brush your teeth before you go to bed?
You probably have several meals and perhaps a few snacks and plenty of different drinks on an average day. By the end of the day, your teeth are coated with a layer of food particles. At the same time, a layer of dental plaque containing harmful bacteria builds up over your teeth. If you go to bed without brushing your teeth, food particles will remain covering them overnight. The bacteria in dental plaque digest these foods, producing acid as a byproduct that softens and damages your tooth enamel, eventually causing cavities. Also, you produce less saliva at night.
Saliva is a protective substance that helps your mouth maintain a more neutral pH, washing away some of the bacteria and excess food particles. Because your mouth is drier overnight, bacteria can thrive more easily, and your morning breath is likely to be worse. If that isn’t bad enough, leaving dental plaque on your teeth increases the risk of gum disease. The bacteria in dental plaque can infect and inflame your gums, causing them to bleed easily and eventually to recede. Serious gum disease can cause tooth loss and even affect your general health.