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Do you brush your teeth at night?

May 01, 2017 08:26 IST

Bed time for you is snack time for bacteria.

Do you brush your teeth at night?

It is understandable that by bedtime some of us are too spent to go to the bathroom and brush our teeth.

And, you don’t think too much about it, because hey, you will just brush your teeth in the morning!

But that is not right at all. Going to bed without brushing your teeth has certain consequences.

Rest for you; snack time for bacteria

Throughout the day as you eat and swallow your food, your mouth constantly produces saliva. But when you sleep, you do not need to swallow, so your mouth does not produce much saliva.

Saliva is as an antibacterial agent. This is the time the bacteria starts attacking any food left in your mouth.

Without saliva, bacteria will get its window of opportunity to cause havoc.

They produce acids that slowly corrode your tooth enamel.

There is plaque build up and the acid leads to cavities. In simple terms, the longer the bacteria stay in your mouth, the more dental visits you will need.

Long-term health effects

As plaque build-up accelerates, your body starts to see that as a threat.

In fact, the plaque is seen as a source of infection and your immune system attacks it. But as it attacks the plaque, the healthy tissues around the tooth get affected too.

These tissues hold your tooth in place. Your body destroys these tissues and the tooth loosens from the gum.

Your body protects you through inflammation. But over the course, it turns to damage your body. If you have the flu, the inflammation prevents the good antibodies from protecting you.

If inflammation remains chronic, it severely affects your body. Inflammation has been linked to dementia, hearing loss and heart diseases by several studies.

Don't forget to floss

Flossing is equally as important as brushing.

Flossing gets rid of the particles of food that your brush misses.

Food particles, sometimes, get stuck in the most stubborn of places, like the edges around your back teeth. Flossing will help get rid of harmful plaque there.

So, if you want healthy teeth and a bright smile for years to come, remember to always brush your teeth before bed.

Make brushing and flossing a regular night-time routine. And absolutely no midnight snacks after brushing your teeth!

If you eat after brushing, the entire purpose of brushing is defeated.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Bill Branson for National Cancer Institute/Wikimedia Commons