Professional teeth cleanings are an essential part of maintaining oral health. The American Dental Association recommends these cleanings be performed twice a year to detect early signs of oral health issues and improve the overall health of your mouth. Tooth enamel, which protects your teeth, can be enhanced with fluoride treatments often administered during these cleanings. However, post-teeth cleaning, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleanings
A professional teeth cleaning, also called routine cleaning, provides a deep clean that regular brushing and flossing at home can’t achieve. These cleanings remove built-up plaque and tartar deposits that can lead to gum inflammation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. The dental cleaning process also includes a thorough examination of your mouth for signs of oral diseases and issues such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Overview of Post-Cleaning Eating Habits
After professional teeth cleaning, your mouth may feel sensitive from the removal of plaque and tartar, which can expose your tooth roots. If fluoride treatment is administered during the cleaning, it is recommended to wait 30 minutes before eating to allow the fluoride to fully adhere to your teeth. The wait time to eat may vary depending on any additional procedures done during the cleaning. It’s important to follow the advice of your dental provider and communicate any concerns or questions you may have about healing.
Foods To Not Eat After a Teeth Cleaning
Certain foods and drinks should be avoided after a teeth cleaning to prevent discomfort and to allow your teeth and gums time to heal. These include:
Acidic foods can cause discomfort and further sensitivity in your newly cleaned teeth, such as carbonated drinks, alcohol (mostly red wine), and citrus fruits. These can also interfere with the fluoride treatment, reducing its effectiveness.
Spicy foods can irritate your gums, especially if they’re already sensitive from the cleaning. For example, avoid hot wings, spicy salsas, and hot peppers, and when your mouth has had ample time to recover, test the food first by taking a small taste of it.
Chewy & Crunchy Foods
Chewy and crunchy foods like hard candies, popcorn, and chips can be hard on your teeth and gums immediately after cleaning. They can cause discomfort if your gums are sensitive or if there was a significant amount of plaque and tartar removed during your cleaning.
Hot or Cold Foods
Extreme temperatures can exacerbate tooth sensitivity. Avoid very hot beverages like coffee and tea, as well as ice-cold foods like ice cream, and stick to foods that are closer to room temperature.
Recommended Foods To Eat Post-Teeth Cleaning
While there are foods to avoid after a teeth cleaning, there are also foods that are recommended to eat. These foods are gentle on your teeth and gums and can help soothe any discomfort or sensitivity you may be experiencing.
Soft foods are ideal to eat after a teeth cleaning. They require less effort to chew, which gives your mouth a break and allows it to heal. Foods like mashed bananas, applesauce, and yogurt are good options. They’re not only easy to eat but also provide essential nutrients that can aid in the healing process.
Mashed Potatoes & Other Starchy Veggies
Mashed potatoes and other starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and squash are also great to eat after a teeth cleaning. They’re soft, easy to chew, and full of vitamins and minerals. Just be sure to let them cool down before eating to avoid irritating your sensitive gums.
Cool or Lukewarm Foods
Extreme temperatures can irritate the gums, while cool or lukewarm foods can help soothe and provide temporary relief from any sensitivity or discomfort. Choose low-sugar options to prevent tooth decay.
Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water after a dental cleaning can help rinse away any residual cleaning agents and soothe your mouth. Water also promotes saliva production, which is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth because it helps neutralize acids, wash away food debris, and keep your mouth moist. Drink lots of water throughout the day, particularly after meals, to help keep your mouth clean.
Low-Sugar Fruit Juice
Low-sugar fruit juices can also be a good beverage choice after a teeth cleaning. Make sure that the juices are also low in acid, and refrain from them if they are irritating. Juices like apple or pear are generally a good choice, but be sure to check the label for added sugars.
Tips for Maintaining Oral Health Post-Cleaning
Maintaining optimal oral health involves more than just the immediate aftermath of your cleaning; it’s about the long-term habits you establish for ongoing oral care.
First, it’s essential to adhere to a regular oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day using toothpaste that isn’t too abrasive, which could potentially damage your tooth enamel. Opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid irritating your gums unless told to do otherwise by your dentist. Flossing daily is also vital to remove food particles and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar deposits.
In addition to brushing and flossing, use an alcohol-free mouth rinse as recommended by dental professionals. These can help eliminate harmful bacteria in the oral cavity, reducing the risk of dental cavities and gum inflammation.
Also, a nutrient-rich diet is key for oral health after a cleaning. Avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks that cause decay. Instead, choose soft-cooked rice, mashed potatoes, and soft vegetables to gently nourish teeth and gums while providing minerals that strengthen teeth.
Finally, regular dental check-ups are also essential for catching any potential oral health issues early. Remember, the goal of a dental cleaning is not just to clean your teeth but to set a foundation for ongoing oral health.
Why Choose Dr. Gaertner?
Choosing a dental provider is an important decision. Dr. Gaertner and the team at Bliss Dental offer a wide array of general and cosmetic dental services, including veneers, smile makeovers, Invisalign, dental crowns, teeth whitening, bonding, and emergency dental care.
Dr. Gaertner, a multilingual dentist with experience practicing in both the United States and Belgium, is committed to providing high-quality dental care to a diverse range of patients.
The Bliss Dental team strives to make every patient feel comfortable and prioritizes patient satisfaction, comfort, and quality of care. You can trust that your oral health is in good hands with Dr. Gaertner and the Bliss Dental team.