Do you sleep better when you brush your teeth before bed?
October 9, 2004 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Do you sleep better when you brush your teeth before bed?

Most of the time, I do brush before bed. But on the rare occasions when I forget or I don't feel like it or I'm too tired, I find that my sleep is MUCH less fulfilling. Obviously, it could be the conditions that cause me to not brush that contribute, but I'm wondering if anyone else has seen the same thing.
posted by Caviar to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
i only don't brush when I come home stinking drunk and forget to. and by then, I'm usually not going to have any problems getting to sleep anyway.

but, you probably just have a well ingrained sense of routine that lets you know when you've forgotten to do something. normal, I'd say.
posted by Hackworth at 12:12 PM on October 9, 2004

I'm not thinking about how gross my mouth feels when i brush my teeth, and I've likely neglected to pee if I haven't brushed my teeth, so there's that added discomfort as well.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:55 PM on October 9, 2004

Yes, definately. Like Space Coyote says, your teeth feel smoother after brushing and there aren't any lingering aftertastes of whatever you ate or drank. And there's the psychological side of feeling you've done what's required for your body's maintanance.

I also sleep much better in fresh clean sheets, it's one of the few nice things about laundry day…

Mind you it also negatively impacts my mood if I haven't shaved for too long or the dishes haven't been done or a million other things like that; Perhaps I'm just a neat freak, but a clean, well-groomed me in a clean, well-groomed environment is a happy me.
posted by fvw at 4:22 PM on October 9, 2004

I don't sleep as well when I haven't brushed, but I think that's the mental and cultural detritus that accumulates over so many years of brushing every night.

It's not a matter of habit, it's almost guilt.
posted by codger at 7:56 PM on October 9, 2004

The teeth have lots of bacteria and it it's like fighting a cold your bodys immune system is working harder if you dont brush. The same can be said for keeping clean sheets, clean house and taking showers. You feel better mentally, and physically. If you lived in filth and never washed you would physically feel more tired from your immune system having to work harder. That's why people with chronic bacterial infections (lyme disease etc,..) are tired all the time the immune system is constantly fighting off the bacteria.
posted by stbalbach at 10:47 PM on October 9, 2004

BTW on this subject, the best thing is to brush to remove any physical pieces stuck on.. and use mouthwash to kill the bacteria (after brushing not before, since the brushing causes micro tears in the gum where bacteria can hide). Anything with %28 or more alcohol (56 proof) held in the mouth for 7 minutes will kill all the bacteria. Toothpaste isn't anti-bacterial, except the stuff with chemicals in which case there are potential side effects, alcohol is the best and safest.
posted by stbalbach at 10:52 PM on October 9, 2004

You don't need to kill all the bacteria in your mouth, and it's physically impossible anyway. The mouth is the most bacteria-laden part of the body, including the anus and rectum.

7 minutes of 56 proof a day will dehydrate your oral mucosa, cause chemical gingivitis, damage your dental enamel, kill immune cells such as lymphocytes that live in your oral mucosa, and other badness. How about just a nice swish and spit after brushing and flossing, with maybe a gargle or two?
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:14 PM on October 9, 2004

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