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The Ugly Side Effects of Not Brushing Your Teeth At Night, Says Dentist

Bad breath is just the beginning.

Taking care of your pearly whites is such an important part of having good hygiene, and there are some critical steps that cannot be overlooked. In fact, did you know there are some pretty ugly side effects of not brushing your teeth at night? Grab your toothbrush and floss, then listen up, because we have the scoop. And next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Not brushing your teeth at night can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease

man with bad breath, side effects of not brushing teeth at night

We spoke with Dr. Rashi Gupta, DMD + Better & Better's Resident Dentist to find out what happens if you don't brush your teeth before turning in for the night. Dr. Gupta explains, "During the day, saliva serves as a natural defense and helps neutralize the acids in the food and prevents any damage to the enamel. But at night, the production of saliva decreases!" Since you have a lower defense system while you're snoozing away in Dreamland, it's really a must to brush before bed in order to reduce how much bacteria you have in your mouth. "If you don't brush at night, it could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath," Dr. Gupta warns.

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It can lead to complications for individuals with diabetes

woman dealing with diabetes

The majority of people are not aware that not only does the bacteria cause gum disease, but it can also enter into your bloodstream and your heart, leading to an infection in the valves. Pesky gum disease can cause havoc to your body's natural defense mechanisms, too, creating reactions. Dr. Gupta points out, "A side effect of this reaction is an increase in blood sugar levels, which can create complications for people with diabetes."

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Coming up with a solid nighttime regimen to practice good oral hygiene is necessary

woman brushing teeth nighttime routine

It's a good idea to devise a solid nighttime regimen to make sure you're practicing good oral hygiene. Dr. Gupta suggests that instead of crashing after a long day, spend five minutes on yourself in the bathroom. Put on your favorite relaxing song, and do three quick steps. First, floss between each of your teeth. "I enjoy the Better & Better vegan floss because it glides in easier than other brands," shares Dr. Gupta. Then, brush your teeth for two full minutes using SLS-free toothpaste. This will help fight dry mouth. It's best to find a toothpaste that contains Xylitol, which also helps combat dry mouth. Be sure to brush your tongue, too—but not too hard! "To check all of these boxes, I like Better & Better energy vitamin infused toothpaste," Dr. Gupta says.

The next step is to gargle with a mouthwash that's alcohol-free. And then guess what? Time to smile! You're done with your oral hygiene and ready for sleep.

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Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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