We’ve all been here, it’s true. Sometimes it is way easier to crawl under the covers and sleep instead of trudge alllll the way to the bathroom just for an elbow work out. Believe us, we are well aware. It takes effort to do, especially in a half-conscious state. Still, it is just as essential as those ten extra minutes you would have had sleeping!
Brushing your teeth at night before you go to bed is actually the most important brush of the day. Each time you eat, the bacteria that naturally resides in your mouth feasts on the food that your are consuming. That’s right, like any other living organism, the bacteria in your mouth also excretes waste. The difference though is that this waste is highly acidic and breaks down tooth enamel.
We are sure you’ve heard of tooth enamel before, but do you know what it is? Tooth enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in the human body, made up of minerals like hydroxyapatite. It protects your teeth from decay by covering the outer layer of each tooth. This translucent layer varies from light yellow to grayish white, only partially responsible for the complete color of your teeth.
The factor that matters the most when concerning your teeth’s enamel is that, once it’s eroded, the enamel cannot be replaced by your body. Unfortunately, unlike bones, enamel does not contain living cells to regenerate, meaning that all damage is permanent.
It is up to you to protect your enamel by practicing good hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing your teeth before you go to bed and again the next day. You can also avoid foods that are known to cause damage like:
- Sugary foods
- Sticky foods
- Acidic fruits
- Acidic beverages
- Chewing ice
These substances stick to your teeth, interacting with the bacteria already present in your mouth. It is best to avoid them when you can, but if you can’t, thoroughly brush afterwards. Hard foods like ice cubes or candy will also harm your enamel by causing it to chip or crack when you chew it. Instead, it is better to suck on it to avoid further damage.
In our next blog, find out what happens to your teeth at night when you don’t brush. It’s scary! Be sure to tune in to our blog next month. At Wynnewood Dental Arts, we want to make sure you are doing all you can to protect your teeth for the long-term.
If you are too uncomfortable for a regular visit or a procedure, we offer sleep dentistry in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Our sedation dentistry in Plymouth Meeting, PA will help patients take care of their teeth and enamel with a deep cleaning that your toothbrush cannot provide for you. We are looking forward to seeing you!