Article At A Glance
- Brush gently all teeth twice daily with a soft/electric brush and fluoride paste.
- Floss thoroughly once daily to remove plaque. Use proper tools/techniques.
- Get professional cleanings twice yearly.
Have you ever left the dentist’s office after a thorough cleaning, feeling like you’ve just hit the oral hygiene jackpot? The squeaky-clean sensation, the glistening enamel; it’s a sensation to savor.
Can you maintain this pristine condition between visits? Absolutely. Simply follow these tips after your dental cleaning to keep that freshness alive.
The Importance of Post-Dental Cleaning Care
At-home teeth cleaning isn’t just about flashing a picture-perfect smile or avoiding a spinach-in-the-teeth situation; this fundamental practice is a cornerstone of overall oral health. If you master the techniques, clean teeth also have far-reaching benefits, such as:
- Prevent gum disease: Gum inflammation and degradation lead to pain and potential tooth loss when left unchecked. Consistent brushing and flossing can keep periodontal ailments at bay.
- Minimize bad breath: Remove the buildup of bacteria and leftover food particles, and you’ll keep those embarrassing “coffee breath” moments to a minimum. Friends and coworkers will thank you.
- Combat cavities: The persistent enemy, plaque, can’t accumulate with consistent cleaning, reducing the chances of cavities.
Why risk any of these dilemmas when a simple, consistent oral hygiene routine can keep your teeth shiny and help them last longer?
Follow Proper Brushing Techniques
Too many people, believe it or not, brush their teeth in a hurry or aimlessly, which has less-than-ideal results. Here’s how you can up your tooth-brushing game:
- Know how to hold it: Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. It maximizes plaque removal without causing any harm to the delicate tissue.
- Don’t use too much pressure: There’s no need to use the elbow grease you’d use with dirty dishes; gentle, circular strokes do the trick.
- Consciously clean every tooth: Every tooth counts, including the oft-neglected molars and pre-molars in the back. They’re the prime real estate for food debris and bacteria.
Choose The Right Toothbrush And Toothpaste
Even the most meticulous brushing technique falls flat without the proper tools. If possible, find a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles; it should fit comfortably in your mouth and easily reach all corners. An electric model is also an excellent option when manual brushing feels like a chore.
As for toothpaste, opt for a fluoride-infused variety. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and aids in the fight against decay.
Do you have very sensitive pearly whites? It likely stems from tiny exposed tubes leading to the oral nerves. A product specifically designed to close these holes is a game-changer.
Brush Twice a Day for Two Minutes Each Time
The next step is consistency. Brush your teeth twice daily, spending approximately two minutes each time.
This schedule ensures you thoroughly clean all areas, giving no leeway for plaque to set up camp and wreak havoc. You can even use a timer or play a short song to ensure you’re brushing long enough.
Don’t Forget to Brush Your Tongue and Gums
Your teeth only comprise part of your oral cavity, sharing the space with your tongue and gums. Brushing your tongue helps remove bacteria and freshen your breath, while gently brushing the gums can help prevent gum disease.
Don’t be too harsh on your gums—overzealous brushing can cause your gums to recede.
Incorporate Flossing Into Your Daily Routine
If you ask a dentist what to do after a dental cleaning, they won’t be able to stress this enough: floss, floss, floss! It’s not just an afterthought or an optional add-on; flossing is essential.
This daily practice dislodges trapped food particles and combats the plaque your toothbrush can’t reach. Here’s how to make flossing a breeze:
Choose The Right Type Of Dental Floss Or Interdental Cleaner
There is a dizzying array of options available. If you’re a new floss enthusiast, start with waxed floss; it’s more forgiving and less likely to fray.
A floss threader or water flosser for those with braces or dental bridges will help immensely.
Do you find it challenging to navigate those tight spots? A thin, PTFE floss is worth a look.
Learn Proper Flossing Technique
There’s a knack to flossing that many people overlook, but it can make all the difference to your routine:
- Wrap the floss around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around your other middle finger for maximum grip and control.
- Tightly hold it between your forefingers and thumbs, leaving an open inch or two.
- Gently slide that section of floss between two teeth. Avoid snapping it into your gums.
- Curve it into a “C” shape against the side of one tooth, then gently move it up and down.
- Repeat the process for each tooth section, unrolling a fresh piece of floss each time.
Don’t forget to gargle thoroughly to remove the dislodged plaque and food bits afterward.
Rinse With Mouthwash For Extra Protection
A quality mouthwash is more than a breath freshener; it kills bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. These products also wash away lingering particles and add a layer of protection to keep plaque at bay. Choose a product without alcohol to minimize mouth dryness.
Remember, mouthwashing should only supplement your care after teeth cleaning. It’s quick and convenient, but not an excuse to skip brushing or flossing.
Maintain A Healthy Diet And Limit Sugary Foods
Consuming meals filled with nutrients can strengthen your teeth and gums. Additionally, foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, like milk, cheese, and leafy greens, promote tooth health. At the same time, fibrous fruits and vegetables can stimulate saliva production, your natural defense against decay.
Intuitively, those desserts you adore are a feast for the bacteria in your mouth. Each bit helps these bacterial visitors on your teeth produce acid, so you end up with cavities as the enamel wears down. If you must indulge in sweets, rinsing your mouth immediately may help keep the bacteria at bay.
Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups
Professional check-ups are not just for people with a sweet tooth or those prone to dental issues; they’re essential for every adult and child. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least twice a year, even with a stellar care routine at home.
The dentist offers fluoride treatment and dental sealants. They can also navigate dietary restrictions, what not to eat after teeth cleaning, and more.
Commit To Good Oral Hygiene Habits For Long-Lasting Dental Health
Consistent, diligent oral hygiene greatly affects many aspects of your health. It’s also an excellent stepping stone towards lofty goals like smoking cessation.