Eating Before Sleeping Without Brushing Your Teeth Is Bad
When it comes to your teeth, there is no doubt that sugar is one of the worst substances for your dental health. Although everyone loves its sweet taste and often find it difficult to get enough of it in candy, sodas, and desserts, it can easily damage your teeth and gums. If you want healthy teeth, you will want to avoid eating sugar if you are going to bed and not brushing your teeth.
Sweets and Your Teeth
Many people enjoy eating comfort foods before going to bed. Besides the effects of sugar giving you an extra burst of energy when you are trying to go to sleep, leaving it on your teeth overnight will lead to tooth decay and faster cavities.
When you eat a snack before going to bed and do not brush your teeth, it will lead to damaged enamel on your teeth. This will lead to problems because you cannot regrow tooth enamel. You will need to go to a dentist to repair it.
The Problem with Sugar
There are more than 500 types of bacteria that are naturally found in your mouth. When your mouth is healthy, the bacteria – good and bad – are normally kept in balance.
When the bad bacteria consume sugar, it will produce acid as a result. It is this acid that causes cavities and gum disease. It erodes the enamel from your teeth, causing the enamel to grow thinner, leading first to sensitive teeth, then to cavities.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day helps to reduce the amount of acid that stays on your teeth, protecting them for a while. Of course, the layer of bacteria that is always forming on your teeth – called plaque – will slowly rebuild through the day and night.
Your saliva naturally helps to control the bacteria and acid, too, and it helps to wash it away from your teeth. It does not wash it all away. If you have dry mouth, which can be caused by medications, alcohol, and some diseases, you need to ensure that you stay hydrated. When you have insufficient amounts of saliva and do not stay hydrated, you will develop cavities much faster as the bacteria multiply more than usual and produce more acid. You will also be very likely to develop gum disease and it will also progress faster than usual. You naturally produce less saliva at night.
Not Brushing Your Teeth
If you eat something with sugar in it, or carbs, before going to bed and do not brush your teeth, you already have a considerable amount of plaque on your teeth from the day. Now that you have given the bacteria and acid a head start, they will now continue to produce even more – causing even more dental erosion.
The same bacteria can also cause gum disease. This is because the acid irritates the gums. The more bacteria and acid there is, the more irritation there will be. Soon, an autoimmune reaction will start, and you have gum disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene can help keep these bacteria under control and it will reduce its effects on your teeth.
Tips for Keeping Sugar Off Your Teeth
Sugar comes in many forms and you may not even be aware of some of them. Even the smallest amounts of sugar can give some bacteria enough to produce acid on your teeth. Another thing you must know is that every time that this bacterium consumes sugar it will produce acid for the next 20 minutes.
This is also true for every sip of a sugary drink, such as soda, specialty coffees or tea, or fruit juice. If you are going to be sipping on a sweet drink all day long, you are exposing your teeth to acid all day long. Besides the acid that the bacteria produce, there is going to be additional acid in some of these drinks. Coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice, and others have their own acid your teeth will have to contend with. Diet sodas, even though they may not have sugar in them, they have acid – as do most sodas.
Limit Sugary Drinks to Meals – Because of the acid and sugar in many drinks, it is a good idea to limit yourself to drinking it at a meal. Once the meal is complete, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water, and brush your teeth later. During the day, when you need a drink, drink water.
Avoid Sticky Foods – Foods that will stick between your teeth, such as potato chips, soft candy, breads, etc., will get stuck between your teeth. This enables the bacteria to multiply and produce acid longer – on your teeth.
Brush Twice a Day and Floss – While you want to brush after meals, you should wait about 20 minutes or more before brushing. The enamel on your teeth is softened from your meal, which can cause you to lose some microscopic pieces of your enamel if you brush too soon.
You can enjoy your smile longer if you reduce sugar to help maintain healthy teeth. Eating right will also strengthen your teeth and gums. If you suffer from tooth decay or gum disease, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can help you. He offers many dental services for all ages and can help each family member keep their smile. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas and accepts most dental health plans. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.