How to make your dental cleaning last longer

Kanata South Dental - Dentist Kanata

How to make your dental cleaning last longer

Making your dental cleaning last longer involves adopting good oral hygiene practices and healthy habits. Here are some tips to help maintain the cleanliness of your teeth and gums between professional cleanings:

  • Brush Twice a Day: Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for at least two minutes, covering all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Floss Daily: Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gum line, areas where your toothbrush can't reach.
  • Use Mouthwash: An antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help reduce plaque, prevent cavities, and freshen your breath.
  • Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Drinks: Sugary and acidic foods and beverages can contribute to tooth decay and erosion. Limit their consumption and rinse your mouth with water afterward.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food particles and bacteria, and it also stimulates saliva production, which naturally cleanses your mouth.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: Foods rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium and vitamin D, support healthy teeth and gums. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins in your diet.
  • Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help increase saliva flow, which neutralizes acids and washes away food particles.
  • Avoid Tobacco Products: Smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting these habits will greatly benefit your oral health.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Schedule regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups. Your dentist can catch and address any issues early on, preventing them from becoming more serious.
  • Use Dental Products as Recommended: Your dentist might recommend specific dental products, such as an electric toothbrush, interdental brushes, or a water flosser. Using these tools can enhance your oral hygiene routine.

Why Do Dentists Insist on Deep Cleaning?

Dentists recommend deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, for several important reasons, primarily related to the prevention and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Here are the main reasons why deep cleaning might be necessary:

  • Treatment of Periodontal Disease: When plaque and tartar build up below the gum line, they can lead to gum disease. Early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) can progress to more severe forms (periodontitis), which can damage the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Deep cleaning helps remove this buildup and allows the gums to heal.
  • Prevention of Tooth Loss: Untreated gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that become infected. Over time, this can lead to the destruction of the bone and tissue that support the teeth, potentially resulting in tooth loss. Deep cleaning helps prevent this progression.
  • Reduction of Inflammation and Infection: Deep cleaning helps reduce the bacterial load in the mouth, decreasing inflammation and infection. This can improve overall oral health and reduce symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, and discomfort.
  • Improvement in Oral Hygiene: By removing tartar and plaque from below the gum line, deep cleaning makes it easier for patients to maintain good oral hygiene at home. Smooth tooth surfaces after root planing make it harder for bacteria and plaque to adhere.
  • Prevention of Systemic Health Issues: There is a growing body of evidence linking periodontal disease to other systemic health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. By controlling gum disease through deep cleaning, patients may reduce their risk of these related health issues.
  • Customized Dental Care: Each patient's oral health is unique. Dentists recommend deep cleaning based on individual assessments of gum health, pocket depth measurements, and overall dental condition. This personalized approach ensures that each patient receives the appropriate level of care to address their specific needs.

Deep cleaning is a critical procedure for managing and preventing gum disease, protecting overall oral health, and potentially preventing related systemic health issues. If a dentist recommends deep cleaning, it is usually because they have identified signs of gum disease that require more intensive treatment than regular cleaning can provide.

What is the Fastest Way to Heal Gums After Deep Cleaning?

Healing gums after a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, requires good oral care practices and some lifestyle adjustments to promote healing and reduce discomfort. Here are some tips to help speed up the healing process:

  • Follow Your Dentist's Instructions: Your dentist or hygienist will provide specific post-procedure instructions. Follow them carefully for the best results.
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene:
    • Brush Gently: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day. Be gentle around the gum line to avoid irritation.
    • Floss Daily: Continue to floss, but be gentle to avoid damaging the healing gums.
  • Use a Mouth Rinse: An antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce bacteria and promote healing. Your dentist might recommend a specific type of rinse.
  • Salt Water Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) several times a day to help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  • Avoid Irritating Foods and Beverages:
    • Avoid Spicy, Acidic, and Hard Foods: These can irritate the gums. Stick to softer foods that are easy to chew.
    • Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks: They can contribute to bacterial growth and delay healing.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist and help wash away food particles and bacteria.
  • Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol: Smoking and drinking alcohol can delay healing and increase the risk of infection. Avoid these until your gums have healed.
  • Manage Pain and Discomfort:
    • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
    • Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek for 10-15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and numb the area.
  • Rest and Relax: Give your body time to heal by getting plenty of rest. Stress can negatively impact your immune system and slow down the healing process.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Follow up with your dentist as recommended to monitor the healing process and ensure there are no complications.

By following these guidelines and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can help your gums heal more quickly and effectively after a deep cleaning.

What Not to Do After Deep Cleaning

After a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), there are several things you should avoid to ensure your gums heal properly and minimize discomfort or complications. Here are some key things to avoid:

  • Avoid Eating Immediately: Wait at least a few hours before eating to allow your gums to start healing. It's best to wait until the numbness from any anesthesia has worn off to avoid accidentally biting your tongue or cheek.
  • Avoid Hard, Crunchy, or Chewy Foods: Foods like chips, nuts, popcorn, and tough meats can irritate your gums and disrupt the healing process. Stick to softer foods for a few days.
  • Avoid Hot Foods and Beverages: Hot foods and drinks can increase sensitivity and may cause discomfort. Opt for lukewarm or cool options instead.
  • Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods: Spicy and acidic foods can irritate your gums. Avoid foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spicy dishes until your gums have healed.
  • Do Not Smoke or Use Tobacco Products: Smoking and using tobacco can delay healing, increase the risk of infection, and negatively affect gum health. It's best to avoid tobacco products entirely during the healing process.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol can interfere with the healing process and may increase bleeding. It's advisable to avoid alcoholic beverages for at least a few days after the procedure.
  • Do Not Skip Oral Hygiene: While you should be gentle, continue to brush and floss your teeth to keep your mouth clean. Skipping oral hygiene can lead to plaque buildup and further gum issues.
  • Avoid Vigorous Physical Activity: Intense exercise can increase blood flow and potentially lead to more bleeding in the treated areas. Take it easy for a day or two after the procedure.
  • Avoid Using Straws: The sucking action can disturb the clotting process and may cause more bleeding. Drink directly from a glass instead.
  • Do Not Ignore Unusual Symptoms: If you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, or signs of infection (such as swelling, pus, or fever), contact your dentist immediately.

By avoiding these actions and following your dentist's post-procedure instructions, you can help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery after your deep cleaning.


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How to make your dental cleaning last longer
Tue, 11 Jun 2024

Making your dental cleaning last longer involves adopting good oral hygiene practices and healthy habits. Here are some tips to help maintain the cleanliness of...

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