Remember the last time you took your kids to the dentist? And the dentist asked you to get them into the habit of brushing teeth at night?
Well! Most of us are not hearing or reading about this for the first time. Ever since our growing age, we were advised to brush our teeth twice a day i.e after waking up and before going to the bed.
But how many of us actually follow it. Not quite many.
All kids religiously brush their teeth in the morning as it forms a part of their morning routine. However, some kids conveniently skip brushing teeth at night.
Most kids don’t know that brushing teeth at night is actually more important than brushing them during the day.
No, I am not asking the kids to skip their morning brush and start brushing only at night. The point I am making here is that since they go to the bed a few hours after having dinner, they are giving the mouth germs and bacteria about 8 to 10 hours to feast on the food particles left in their mouth. This is a party time for the germs as they grow inside, colonize and decay the tooth, and give rise to many dental problems.
Importance of brushing teeth at night
1. Cleans the residue from the mouth – brushing teeth at night
The food we eat from morning through night passes from our mouths into our stomachs. However, a very small part of this food stays and sticks to the far-off corners inside the mouth. Even though our tongue acts as a natural cleaner and tries to get rid of these particles but it can’t clean everything.
Hence, if your kids don’t brush their teeth at night then the food residue which is left in their mouth will be cleaned only the next morning. This can lead to teeth decay while they are asleep.
2. Food particles are a feast for the mouth bacteria – brushing teeth at night
Scientists have found that millions of bacteria (including 700 different species) reside in our mouths and they grow by colonizing their areas.
Most kids enjoy sugary candies and food that contains starch. All the bacteria feast on the food that is left in your kid’s mouths and start harming their teeth.
3. Mouth becomes the ground for waste excretion from these bacteria – brushing teeth at night
Feasting on the food particles is not the complete story. You will be surprised to know that these bacteria excrete inside our mouth too and their waste is highly acidic in nature.
When your kids are not in the habit of brushing teeth at night, the acidic excrete can break their tooth enamel, add cavities and lead to further tooth decay.
Now just imagine what would happen if our kids sleep without brushing their teeth.
4. Leads to the Formation of sticky plaque – brushing teeth at night
Plaque is a transparent layer of bacteria that attaches to our teeth. All the sticky plaque solidifies and soon it becomes difficult to remove via brush or floss. The solid plaque can also lead to other mouth problems such as gum infection, swollen gums, bad breath, etc.
Having your kids brush their teeth at night does more good than you’d know. It stops the expansion of bacteria and prevents the formation of plaque.
5. Improves the overall health -brushing teeth at night
Brushing teeth at night definitely improves the oral health of your kids. There are also some evidences that link it with the improvement of the overall health of the body too.
In a research it was found that kids with strong teeth are able to better chew their food which means the nutrients are easily passed to all parts of the body. When the teeth aren’t as strong, then much of the grinding is delegated to the other parts, causing problems related to digestion.
Things to keep in mind while brushing teeth at night
1. Brushing teeth at night should be anytime between 11 to 16 hours after the morning brush.
2. Flossing your teeth is highly recommended as it forms an essential part of maintaining oral hygiene. If your kids are new to flossing, it might feel a little strange during the first few times, but they will enjoy it once they get a hang of it.
3. More than brushing, it’s important to understand the right way of brushing. Some kids simply brush their front teeth. You must watch them carefully while they brush and correct them if they go wrong. They must brush all sides i.e. front and back, upwards and downwards, inside and outside, and sideways.
4. Don’t allow them to brush too fast. Ask them to be slow and gentle on their teeth and brush for about 2 minutes each time.
5. Kids must not scrub their teeth too hard as it can harm the enamel layer of their teeth.
6. Brushing is the first step towards oral care. While you teach your kids to brush to the remote corners of the mouth, sometimes due to mobility issues, it becomes a little difficult. For such kids, you can try the electric toothbrush.
7. Prefer toothpaste with fluoride as it makes the teeth strong.
8. Another good practice that is highly effective in oral care is rinsing the mouth after every meal instead of waiting for the brushing time at night.
9. Choose a toothbrush that has gentle bristles and change your brush every 3 to 4 months.
A few words from CityMom
Our teeth are vital in a variety of ways. Teeth that are strong and healthy help us chew our food properly, they let us speak correctly, and gives us that perfect smile.
So even if your kids are too tired or exhausted after a hectic day, ensure that they follow the practice of brushing teeth at night.
Remember how essential the teeth are and once these permanent teeth are gone, they can never be brought back.
Hope you now understand the importance of brushing teeth at night and the consequence of neglecting this practice.
cdc.gov | nj.gov and many others!