Are you prone to falling asleep on the couch while watching television in the evening? While this habit is not inherently harmful on its own, it can be problematic for your oral health if you commonly fall asleep without brushing your teeth first.
Brushing at night is necessary for removing the bacteria, food debris, sugar, and plaque that may have accumulated on your teeth since you brushed in the morning. It only takes a few hours for plaque to form on your teeth, and if you are like many people with busy schedules, it could be twelve or more hours between your morning and evening brushing sessions. If it has already been that many hours since you brushed your teeth in the morning and then you fall asleep before brushing at night, plaque has all that time to build up on your teeth and start to harden into harmful tartar. Plus, saliva production decreases while you sleep, so your mouth is less able to wash away plaque and bacteria naturally.
You do not need to cut out your nightly TV in order to keep your oral health in good shape. But if you frequently fall asleep while watching TV and are too tired to brush before moving to bed, you should consider brushing before sitting down in front of the TV. Try setting an alarm for a certain time each night when you would normally still be awake and watching TV, or set a timer for 30 minutes after you eat dinner. That way, you can get your oral hygiene routine out of the way for the evening before you get too tired. Plus, brushing earlier in the evening could be a good way to deter you from late-night snacking or indulging in sugary desserts, which could be especially problematic to consume before bed if you forget to brush your teeth. Call our office for more helpful brushing tips.