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Sleeping for Healthy Teeth

A good night’s rest is an essential part of everyone’s daily routine—I know that this Irvine family dentist needs a good 7-8 hours to feel refreshed! Sleep is key to one’s mental and physical health, and when this is lacking there is almost always physical indicators. Not only does lack of sleep appear in the eyes and the skin, but it also affects the teeth.

What many people don’t know is that lack of sleep is the second most important lifestyle factor when it comes to the appearance of periodontal disease—the first factor being smoking. Research has shown that those who received seven to eight hours of sleep per night exhibited smaller signs of periodontal disease progression compared to those who received six or fewer hours of sleep per night. Other lifestyle factors that affect oral health include: alcohol consumption, drug usage, nutrition, amount of physical activity, and mental stress.

In order to received the proper amount of sleep per night consider these tips:

1) Set a regular bedtime. Creating a routine will help your circadian rhythm work at tip-top shape. Choose a time when you normally start to feel sleepy. This way you will not toss or turn through the night. I know it is hard, but try not to break this routine on weekends. If you do want to change your bedtime, help your body to adjust by making small daily changes—15 minutes is a good standard.

2) Nap, but nap smart. If you find that you’ve missed out on some much needed sleep, you can make up for these hours by opting for a daytime nap rather than sleeping late. However, sometimes this can create problems, particularly insomnia. If you have to nap, try to do it in the early afternoon and limit it to thirty minutes—this Irvine family dentist can definitely appreciate a catnap!

3) Turn off the electronics. Winding down after dinner with some television programs may be an entertaining time, but try to shut off the noise from the TV screens, computers, etc. at least a hour before bedtime. If you must do something before bed, try reading a book or stretching.


For more tips on better oral health, contact your Irvine family dentist today at (949) 857-1270!

-Martha Ha, Tozzer Dental