San Antonio Dentist Has 5 Maintenance Tips after Teeth Cleaning
Teeth cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth, mind, and body. However, maintaining oral hygiene extends to more than just professional cleaning. You need to brush and floss regularly using the right techniques, avoid foods that are harmful to your teeth and gums, use mouthwash, and eat healthily.
Tooth decay is painful and leads to crowns, fillings, and inlays. If left untreated, it can infect your tooth nerve and lead to an abscess. On the other hand, gum disease leads to bone loss around your teeth and eventual teeth loss. To appreciate the essence of maintaining your oral hygiene, you need to understand gum disease and its effects on your health. Continue reading for take-home tips that will keep you in check until your next local dentist visit!
What is Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleaning is an essential undertaking that includes the removal of dental plaque from your teeth. Professional cleaning helps prevent gingivitis, cavities (dental caries), and periodontal disease. While you routinely clean your teeth every time you brush and floss, professional teeth cleaning removes hardened deposits not removed by daily cleaning.
Professional cleaning includes tooth polishing, debridement, and tooth scaling. Your dental hygienist will use various devices and instruments to loosen and then remove the hardened tartar deposits from your teeth. If you have dentures or natural teeth, you may supplement cleaning using a denture cleaner.
Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth using a small metal tool to scrape tartar (hard mineral buildup) off of the surface of your teeth. The hygienist will then floss your teeth, polish them, and apply fluoride. Cleanings are not usually painful, especially if you’ve been practicing good dental habits at home.
Why Professional Teeth Cleaning Matters
Maybe you have never had tooth cavity in your life, or perhaps you gloat about your excellent oral hygiene. However, irrespective of how healthy your smile appears to be, it does not mean that you can avoid seeing your dentist. Seeing your San Antonio dentist should be an essential part of your routine. Below are some of the reasons to see your local dentist.
- To remove tartar and plaque buildup, two culprits for gum disease and decay.
- To remove unsightly dental stains.
- Detect small oral issues using sensitive x-ray technology.
- Monitor small issues to prevent them from becoming worse.
- Detect gum disease and start treatment to avoid tooth loss.
- Use restorative options to improve your gums and teeth.
- Detect oral cancer and any other precancerous growths in time.
- Your dentist teaches you good at-home oral hygiene as well as how to floss and brush your teeth properly.
- Provide preventive dental options like fluoride treatment and dental sealants to reduce future risk of decay.
Gums inflamed by tartar buildup swell and become sensitive because of their rich blood supply. Tartar attaches further down from where your gums and teeth meet creating small pockets. Regular brushing and flossing at home prevent these pockets from deepening. Deeper pockets indicate gum disease. Seeing your dentist allows you to keep track of your pocket readings.
When you visit your dental hygienist for teeth cleaning, the method they use is dependent on your pocket reading and the health of your gums. Having no gum disease can reduce your risk of dementia, heart disease, and complications if you have diabetes. Gingivitis refers to early onset gum disease, which progresses into periodontitis.
After Teeth Cleaning Tips
After your dental hygienist cleans your teeth, you are recommended to maintain them in good condition by cleaning them at least three times a day. Taking care of your teeth after cleaning helps your gums heal quickly by reducing the triggers of sensitivity and pain. Brush your teeth carefully and wait for one day before flossing.
1. Brush Effectively
Before brushing your teeth, use a mouth pre-rinse containing calcium since it helps fluoride remain on your teeth for a longer time, which benefits your oral health. Frequent, careful brushing helps prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Brush twice a day, especially in the morning and at night. Use a toothbrush with a small head and rounded-end, soft bristles that reach all parts of your mouth and teeth.
For increased effectiveness, you may decide to use an electric toothbrush since it reduces gingivitis and plaque formation compared to conventional manual toothbrushes. The American Dental Association encourages people to use of electric toothbrushes with their seal of approval. What’s more, powered toothbrushes that rotate and oscillate are more efficient.
Make sure to brush your tongue, gums, and cheek-side. Also, pay close attention to the front of your teeth as well as all back teeth surfaces. Make sure to brush your gums gently to prevent bleeding. Failure to clean your gums may lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
When brushing where your teeth and gums meet, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Press firmly but gently rock your brush back and forth in circular movements. Do not scrub or brush vigorously since this can make your gums pull away from your teeth and can even scratch your tooth enamel. Finally, replace your toothbrush after every three months or as soon as the bristles become weak.
2. Floss Regularly
On top of brushing, you are recommended to floss your teeth after eating using interdental brushes or dental floss. Cleaning between your teeth prevents plaque build-up. Almost 80 percent of cavities occur in the pits, grooves, or fissures of your teeth’s chewing surfaces. Toothpicks and oral irrigators can also be used to supplement interdental cleaning.
Flossing is essential to help keep your mouth in good health. Many people decide not to floss because they think that brushing is enough to maintain their oral hygiene. However, a toothbrush misses areas in between teeth that they cannot physically reach.
The finger-wrap method uses a piece of floss 18 to 20 inches long. When you floss, wrap the ends of the floss around each of your hand’s middle fingers until they are two to three inches apart. On the other hand, the circle method uses a piece of floss 12 inches long. Here, tie the floss’ ends together to form a loop. While flossing, make a U-shape curve with your floss around each and every tooth, and thereafter, gently slide it under your gum line. In addition, scrape off plaque by moving the floss up and down.
3. Avoid Harmful Dental Habits
Maintaining your oral hygiene after teeth cleaning extends to more than simply brushing and flossing. It requires you to avoid harmful foods, drinks, and habits that can wreak havoc on your teeth. Below are some of the habits.
- Avoid Soda. Soda has excess sugar that causes you teeth to break down over time. What’s more, soda’s fizzy ingredients like citric acid and phosphoric acid corrode your enamel and make you susceptible to cavities. While an occasional soda is not harmful, over-indulgence is unhealthy.
- Cut Down on Sugar. Decreasing your intake of sugar will keep your teeth healthy and hygienic in between cleaning appointments. Sugar promotes acidity and the growth of bacteria in your mouth, which causes plaque to form. Plaque attacks your gums and tooth enamel and potentially leads to tooth decay. You do not have to stop taking sugar altogether. However, limiting its intake as well as flossing and brushing after a sweet treat benefits your overall oral health. There’s many healthy food alternatives out there that are both tasty, and healthy.
- Quit Smoking. Smoking is terrible for teeth. Irrespective of how clean your teeth get after professional cleaning, continuing to smoke undoes all the work done by your dental hygienist during your last appointment. Tar and nicotine found in cigarettes corrode your gums. Additionally, smoking increases plaque and bacterial production in the mouth. This makes you susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, smoking gives you at a higher risk for oral cancer and tooth loss.
4. Use Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash containing fluoride can help you to prevent decay. However, do not use mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth since it will rinse away the concentrated toothpaste fluoride left on your teeth. Additionally, don’t drink or eat for at least 30 minutes after using mouthwash. You may choose to use mouthwash at a different time such as after lunch.
5. Make Regular Visits to Your Dentist
Dental disease invades silently and presents itself in many forms including puffy, bleeding gums; abscesses; cavities; gingivitis; and oral cancer. Your mouth may appear in good health, but over time, stresses, life changes, body changes, illness, age, and medications can tax your immunity. Regular cleanings help you maintain your oral health and alert you when potential issues arise.
Making regular visits to your local dentist assures you that any oral care issues that may arise will be addressed immediately. Moreover, since many dental savings plans cover cleaning, you will be able to save on your dental expenses. Teeth cleanings are not only designed to improve appearances. They are also the principal means of preventing and treating gum disease as well as maintaining tooth health.
Dentist Near Me
You should make it a point to have your teeth cleaned biannually and schedule dentist appointments for x-rays, checkups, and cancer screenings. Remember to take good care of your teeth after a cleaning by brushing and flossing correctly, limiting your sugar intake, avoiding smoking cigarettes, and using mouthwash. We’re looking forward to your next visit!