Most major dental complications and issues can be prevented. There are two major keys to prevention: regular visits to your dentist and good oral hygiene. Visits to your dentist every six months can allow for professional cleanings and it will allow your dentist time to catch any potential issues before they progress into something more serious. Good oral hygiene includes both brushing and flossing at least twice every day. In the morning, you brush and floss to start your day off clean and fresh. At night, you are cleaning off the food, drink, and bacteria from the day.
Saliva slows down while you sleep
During the day, you are eating, chewing, and drinking (hopefully plenty of water!); all of these activities cause your mouth to produce plenty of saliva. Saliva is your body’s way of rinsing away harmful bacteria. When you are sleeping, your body slows down on the production of saliva. In older adults or people with chronic dry mouth, it may stop production completely. Without the flow of rinsing saliva, the bacteria in your mouth is left free to feed on any remaining food particles and cause cavities.
Avoid those midnight snacks
Because the bacteria in your mouth has a perfect environment while you sleep, it is crucial that you remove as much food and drink remnants as you can. Once you have brushed and flossed, it is important not to introduce anything else to your mouth (except water!). Even cough syrup can be harmful to your teeth. Most contain teeth-harming sugar. It is designed to coat your throat which means it has the staying-power to coat your teeth. Nighttime snacks and drinks after brushing and flossing can stay on there all night.
Good oral hygiene can protect your teeth
Dr. Olson is happy to help you protect your smile. Scheduling a consultation with Coppertop Family Dentistry in Redmond, OR office at 541-923-5927.