Your Late Night Oral Health Care

Pre bedtime cleaning is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth.

Whether we have stayed up later than intended, or have just returned home from a party or other social occasion, it can sometimes feel like a real effort to do anything other than flop into bed to go to sleep. However tired we are though, it is important that you take a few minutes to clean your teeth and gums before going to bed.

If we don’t clean our teeth before bedtime, food that has becomes trapped between the teeth, along with the bacteria in our mouths, will start to get to work whilst we sleep, potentially damaging our teeth. In today’s Cygnet Dental Practice blog, we take a look at some of the reasons why this is an important time to clean your teeth.

Dry mouth and gum disease

Especially if you have been out socialising and drinking alcohol, there is a very good chance that you will wake up with a dry mouth. This is not a good thing for your teeth or gums. Gum harming bacteria love this type of environment and will rapidly multiply, significantly increasing the risk of problems like gingivitis or even periodontitis. The gases that these bacteria expel are also a big contributor to bad morning breath.

Ideally, you should carry out your full cleaning regimen, however tired you are. This should include cleaning between your teeth using dental floss. At the very least though, however tired you are, make sure to brush your teeth well and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You should, of course, resume your interdental cleaning the next day.


A recent report indicated that many parents had a poor understanding of the importance of a child’s oral health and how to help them look after their teeth. One issue that arose was that many parents would let their children eat or drink after cleaning the teeth at night. This really defeats the point of cleaning the teeth. Any food such as a pre bedtime biscuit  or fruit drink means that sugars will remain on the child’s teeth overnight, damaging the enamel.

Even a milk drink, whether plain or as part of a warm milky drink, can damage the teeth if drunk after brushing the teeth. Milk may be high in calcium, important for strong teeth and bones, but it also contains lactose, which is a form of sugar, and even these natural sugars can damage your teeth whilst you sleep.

Whether an adult or child, the only thing that should pass your lips once you have brushed your teeth at night is plain water. Anything else will be detrimental to your teeth and gums.

In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, we encourage our Wickford patients to consider having their teeth professionally cleaned by our hygienist every six months or so. This is an inexpensive and effective way of removing any hardened bacterial deposits which could cause problems. It will also leave your mouth feeling really fresh too!

To book an appointment with the hygienist at the Cygnet Dental Practice, please call us on 01268 733078.