Woman at dentist

How to Prepare for a Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning is an important procedure that helps prevent tooth decay and other common oral health issues. While there aren’t any major requirements going into a routine cleaning, there are a few simple steps that you can take to make it go as smoothly as possible.

What to Avoid Ahead of Your Dental Cleaning

You should avoid eating or drinking anything other than water immediately before your dental cleaning. It’s not surgery, so you don’t have to fast for 24 hours beforehand, but it’s considered good practice to brush your teeth and floss ahead of your appointment. Smoking is another thing to avoid for several hours before your dental cleaning. 

If you’re using some kind of over-the-counter whitening product, you should stop a few days ahead of your cleaning. These products can cause your teeth to be overly sensitive, which can make the cleaning less comfortable. If you’re considering whitening and have a cleaning coming up, it’s best to wait until after your appointment to get started.

What to Bring to Your Dental Cleaning

An important part of regular dental cleanings is a routine examination to determine whether you’re developing any dental issues or not. You should be prepared to fill the dentist in on any symptoms you’ve been having. Some patients find that bringing a list to remind them can help them avoid missing any important details.

This is also true for your medical history since your last cleaning. Many conditions that you might not think are related to oral health can have an impact on your teeth and vice versa. If your health situation has changed, you should let your dentist know of any list of medications or letters from other doctors pertaining to dental treatment.

Patients who have oral appliances should bring them along to their dental cleaning. This includes retainers, mouthguards, and other appliances. If you’re having any dental issues, the dentist may need to assess the fit of your appliance to find out whether it could be causing your symptoms.

Preparing for Your Dental Cleaning

You should brush and floss ahead of your dental cleaning to make it go as smoothly as possible, and make sure to do so after the last time you’ve eaten before your cleaning. That way, your dentist can focus on the plaque and tartar that only professional cleaning can deal with.

Arriving a bit early for your appointment can help you get started efficiently. There may be paperwork about your personal details and insurance that your dentist needs you to complete before they can render services. This is particularly true if it’s your first time with a new dentist.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid After Your Dental Cleaning

Typically, dental cleanings are very straightforward. You don’t have to worry about healing or waiting for medication to wear off. If your cleaning included a fluoride treatment, you should avoid eating or drinking for half an hour after your cleaning. This is simply to allow the fluoride more time to absorb completely.

During your cleaning, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. These cause tooth decay in the long run and form a layer between your teeth and the food you eat.

This means that you could have a higher sensitivity to certain foods immediately following your cleaning. This is generally minor, but cautious patients could avoid hard, spicy, or sugary foods for the rest of the day.

Your Dentist in Great Neck and Briarwood

Cohen Dental Care can provide you with a wide range of dental services here in Great Neck and Briarwood. Our experienced staff offers cleanings, exams, and other general dentistry procedures. We also practice cosmetic and implant dentistry and periodontics. Contact our office today to book your appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve or maintain your oral health.