Why is brushing before bed the most important time to brush?

While a child sleeps, any unswallowed liquid in the mouth feeds bacteria that produce acids and attack the teeth. Protect your child from severe tooth decay by brushing their teeth before putting them to bed and by also not giving them anything but water after the brushing. If they do have something to eat or drink again, remember to brush again!

Brush, Book, Bed, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has a simple and clear message for parents:

  • Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.
  • Read a favorite book (or two)!
  • Get to bed at a regular time each night.

Having a predictable nighttime routine will help them understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime.

Brush, Book, Bed Overview:
The purpose of the Brush, Book, Bed (BBB) Program is to link together three important nighttime routines in one health message. It aims to educate both pediatric providers and families about the importance of nighttime routines and focuses on improving the implementation of oral health services in the medical home by linking oral health information to messages about early literacy and sleep. BBB may be used during the 6 month – 6 year old well-child visit.

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