How to Care for Your Smile at Bedtime

Throughout each and every day, your show your mouth the most love at two times: when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. Because your oral and overall health are connected, it’s important to make the most of these dental hygiene times to keep your teeth and gums healthy and working properly. Today, Livonia, MI dentist Dr. James Stewart wants to discuss how to up the ante with your bedtime dental hygiene routine.


There are three steps to proper dental hygiene: brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an oral rinse. Let’s start with brushing.

To help protect your teeth from plaque buildup and tooth decay, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to brush your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends holding the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and brushing back and forth in short, gentle strokes. Be sure to brush the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of your teeth.

As long as you brush your teeth before you go to bed for the night, it doesn’t matter if you brush right after dinner or right before going to bed. Once you brush for the night, however, make sure that you don’t eat or drink anything other than water.


Flossing is essential to remove plaque and debris that your toothbrush can’t reach. The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day, so before bed is a good time.

To properly floss your teeth, use an 18-inch piece of floss to gently clean between each of your teeth, taking care to floss all the way up to the gum line and behind all of your back molars. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a clean section of the floss.


In addition to brushing and flossing, rinsing with an ADA-approved oral rinse or mouthwash can help your smile stay plaque, cavity, and gingivitis free. Ask Dr. Stewart for mouthwash recommendations at your next appointment.

For more tips and tricks for a healthy smile, call our Livonia, MI dentist office at (734) 425-4400 to reserve a dental checkup and cleaning appointment with Dr. Stewart.