Aftercare Tips to Use Following Your Teeth Cleaning Treatment
If you just had a professional cleaning by your dental hygienist you may be wondering what else you can do to keep your teeth and gums in good health, especially if you have ongoing periodontal problems (the infection of the gums that can lead to the loss of teeth).
First, use the opportunity to ask the hygienist to go over the right technique for brushing. Few of us grew up being taught the optimum way to do this. You need a soft-bristled brush (anything harder may damage the gums) and stroke from the gum line to the top of the tooth on both sides, as well as the chewing surfaces, for two full minutes each day (ideally after breakfast and dinner). Keep the brush head covered and change it every few months. Also ask if you need to add a Waterpik to your routine or a stronger dental-grade mouthwash. If all this doesn’t prevent gum infections, request an antibiotic pellet inserted where this is worst or an injection of an antibiotic solution.
Second, floss thoroughly after your last snack of the day, being sure to scrape both sides of each tooth, while moving the string each time to avoid contaminating the next area between the teeth. Flossing can be challenging and be sure you are using the optimum type. Don’t make excuses about being too tired because the bacteria turn food particles into a sticky film called plaque and eventually this hardens into tartar, which only a hygienist can remove with special tools.
Third, be sure you also have a thorough dental exam by our Panorama City dentist, Dr. Pirian, twice a year, as well as a digital x-ray once a year, to be sure your teeth are healthy beyond what can be seen on the surface.
Fourth, eat less sugar of all kinds (especially sucrose, dextrose, cane sugar, and fructose). It attracts oral bacteria that can cause both cavities and periodontal infection. Add more leafy vegetables, beans, legumes (like peas), seeds, nuts, and whole grains to your diet (reduce the amount of refined flour and pasta, since simple carbohydrates that turn into sugar). There are also nutritional supplements that can help, such as taking vitamin C several times a day (it is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it only stays in the blood for a few hours).
Fifth, make sure you don’t suffer from dry mouth, since saliva helps fight periodontal bacteria. Drink lots of water to keep your whole body hydrated and if you still don’t seem to have enough saliva, chew some sugarless gum or ask a pharmacist for a medication that will stimulate its production.
Most importantly, be sure you return for a professional cleaning in 3-6 months, depending on your needs.