Many people dread dental cleanings due to the noise and probing, but learning about what happens before and after a visit may ease anxieties. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
Brush your teeth before breakfast, but skip the OJ. It’s too acidic for your teeth and may lead to enamel damage.
A dental cleaning removes excess bacteria from the surface of your teeth. This helps prevent gum disease, which has been linked to other health conditions like heart attack and certain cancers. The cleaning also helps detect broken, cracked, or fractured teeth, and early-stage cavities. Brushing and flossing can help reduce the build-up of plaque, which hardens into tartar, but only a dental professional can remove it. Learn more about these and other important IBD topics in our free micro-lessons.
Getting your teeth cleaned at least twice each week is essential to keeping bacteria-producing materials at bay. A dental cleaning removes much of the bacterial debris that is stuck to your tooth enamel, making it harder for more bacteria to grow in places you can’t easily reach with a toothbrush. Maintaining good oral hygiene is also important in preventing more serious mouth diseases such as gum disease and tooth decay that can lead to cavities. Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to stay on top of your oral health, but you should also rinse after meals and avoid hard foods like peanut brittle or popcorn that can get lodged between your teeth.
Having an understanding of what happens during your dental cleaning can make you feel more confident about scheduling future appointments. If you are nervous about dental care, we offer sedation dentistry to help you relax before and during your visit.
Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine. It helps remove food and plaque between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach, and it can prevent gum disease. It also helps reduce bad breath.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting the dentist regularly is the best way to keep your smile healthy. But even the most effective toothbrushes can’t fully clean the tight spaces between your teeth. This space is the perfect hiding place for plaque, a clinging bacterial biofilm that causes tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Brushing and flossing help stop the buildup of plaque before it hardens into tartar, which can only be removed at the dentist’s office. If you’re not sure how to floss properly, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for tips. They can show you techniques and recommend the right type of floss for your needs. It’s recommended that you floss in the evening before going to bed.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral known to prevent and reverse tooth decay, and promote strong bones and teeth. It’s absorbed from the food we consume, including taro root, yams, cassava, milk, and eggs, and from certain dental products such as toothpaste.
Bacteria in the mouth break down sugars and carbohydrates from the foods we eat to produce acids that attack and weaken tooth enamel. This process, called demineralization, strips minerals like calcium and phosphate from the enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to bacteria that cause cavities. Fluoride protects teeth by remineralizing the enamel and preventing plaque from producing harmful acids.
It’s added to many public water supplies and found in most dental products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses. It can also be professionally applied by dentists as a gel, foam, or varnish. Although safe, getting too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, which causes changes in the appearance of tooth enamel.