Although it is hard to believe, 2020 is upon us. With the advent of the New Year comes the exciting (or dreaded) prospect of making resolutions that hopefully, will make us healthier, wealthier, and wiser. It would be nice to make a resolution that we wouldn’t break within the first few weeks or days. From us at North Raleigh Periodontics to you, we’d like to suggest a New Year’s Resolution that is simple to make, simpler to keep, and results in long term health benefits.
Here it is, folks: brush and floss your teeth when you get up, after you eat, and before bed.
Sounds easy enough. Yet the oral and whole body health benefits are manifold. When we sleep, bacteria are free to populate our unsuspecting mouths unmolested. So by brushing our teeth first thing in the morning, we eradicate the pesky critters that love to grow in our mouths overnight. Moreover, when we eat, food debris and bacteria stick to, and get stuck between, our teeth. Brushing the surfaces of the teeth scrubs away the bacteria on the front and back of our chompers. But unless we floss, the bacteria stuck between our teeth happily multiplies, injuring not only the teeth but also the gums. Moreover, the bacteria between the teeth will swiftly turn into plaque. Plaque, a sticky white substance, wreaks havoc on tooth enamel and inflames the gum line. Therefore it is crucial to not only remove the bacteria from the surface of the teeth by brushing, but also to get rid of the bacteria between the teeth by flossing as well.
Finally, brush your teeth before bed. Doing so ensures that you’ve scrubbed away any bacteria lingering in your mouth before you go to sleep. You should floss before bed too! “But I already flossed after eating; why do I need to floss again?” you exclaim. Well, before bed, any particles you may have missed after your post-meal floss will still be soft, meaning you can easily remove them with one last floss. But if left unremoved, that bacteria will repopulate and calcify (harden) during sleep, making it all the more difficult to remove the following day.
Moreover, the six to eight hours an adult sleeps on average per night is ample time for that bacteria to begin attacking your tooth enamel and eating away at your gum line. Do not let the bacteria win — floss and brush before bed! Brushing and flossing throughout the day is not difficult or time consuming. Yet doing so will help prevent the rapid onset of tooth decay and gum disease. This is one resolution that you can keep. And with 2020 drawing near, we recommend you make this resolution ASAP!
Double check your brushing and flossing techniques by viewing the videos below. You can also watch this video to reinforce why brushing and flossing is so crucial! Also, check out Dr. Singletary’s challenge to you and your chance to earn a Starbucks gift card!