Sleep and Tooth Decay

Dear Dr. Ellie,

I have always brushed my teeth at night before bed, but I have often wondered why this is part of nearly everyone’s “night-time routine.” What is different about our mouths when we sleep? Isn’t the time during the day after we are eat just as important for a healthy mouth?

Curious in Michigan

Dear Curious,

That is such a great question! The basic reason we brush before we go to bed is that we don’t salivate as much when we sleep and saliva protects our teeth from decay. Of course it is important to keep as clean a mouth as possible throughout the day, but before bed, or before a daytime nap, brush and use the full CWT program (Closys II rinse, brush, Listerine and Fluoride rinse) for the healthiest, cleanest mouth.

Good luck and sweet dreams!

Dr. Ellie Phillips

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