Care Following Dental Cleanings

Your gums may be tender after a cleaning appointment depending how much tartar needed to be removed. Rinse with salt water (dissolving 1 tsp of salt in an 8 oz. glass of water) 2-3 times a day for a few days until the gums feel better. An antibacterial mouth rinse may be used; however, if the mouth rinse seems to feel like it is burning your gums then use salt water.

It is extremely important that brushing and flossing is continued diligently after a dental cleaning. Proper home care is crucial to aid in the healing process. In tender areas, be very gentle for a few days until the gums feel comfortable.

For sensitive root surfaces a sensitivity toothpaste for sensitive teeth may be used. Brush with a toothpaste of your choice, once you have finished and rinsed your mouth, take some of the sensitivity toothpaste on your finger and burnish (rub) the toothpaste along the gum line in the sensitive areas and leave the toothpaste on the teeth (do not rinse). Prolonged exposure of the sensitivity toothpaste speeds up the desensitization of the teeth because it allows the toothpaste to be absorbed by the root surfaces over a longer period of time.

If your gums were very tender or your teeth were very sensitive, tell the hygienist at your next cleaning appointment. The use of desensitizing agents may be used to make your next cleaning appointment more comfortable.