Benton & Nelson DDS

What is the ideal bedtime oral hygiene routine?

May 10, 2021
Posted By: Blake Nelson
Dr. Nelson with Therapy Dog in Winston Salem

Looking to improve your oral hygiene to really wow your hygienist at your next cleaning? Or maybe you want to get yourself on track to maintain your smile.  Take these steps to impress your dental hygienist at your next visit!

Here’s how Dr. Nelson gets ready for bed:

Should I brush or floss first?

It's actually better to floss first! The floss will loosen the plaque between the teeth for the toothbrush to easily sweep away.  Flossing is essential to keep gums and bones healthy, and to keep cavities from forming between your teeth.  Dr. Nelson prefers string floss over flossers as you can more easily contour the floss to the shape of your tooth. 

Brush with an electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 

Dr. Nelson uses the Sonicare Diamond clean, but any Sonicare or Oral B electric toothbrush is clinically proven to remove more plaque than a manual toothpaste.  Dr. Nelson also uses Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste, as he has sensitive teeth, but any toothpaste with fluoride is clinically proven to reduce risk of cavities.  

Don’t forget the night guard!

After flossing and brushing, Dr. Nelson always wears his night guard to bed.  This appliance prevents grinding, tooth wear, and jaw pain.  In addition, it also keeps his teeth from shifting to preserve his smile after having braces many years ago.  


If you’ve noticed, Dr. Nelson doesn’t use mouthwash or a water pick.  Both of these tools are great adjuncts to oral care, but not necessary if you are thoroughly brushing and flossing! 

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