Proper Oral Care Before & After a Dentist Appointment

The way you care for your teeth before and after your next dentist appointment will determine the longevity of your treatment.

Dental work can be very expensive, so pre and post-operative care of your mouth is essential.

Things to Do Before Going to The Dentist

Once you;ve scheduled your next appointment, the way you care for your teeth matters in the interim. This list of do’s and don’ts will show you how to prepare for a dental procedure:

Brushing Teeth Before The Dentist

If you’re wondering if you should brush your teeth before going to the dentist, the answer is yes. You absolutely can brush (and floss) your teeth the day of your next office visit. However, if you are planning to undergo a full teeth cleaning, any residual food particles or stains will be effectively removed whether you brush your teeth or not.

Eating Before Going to the Dentist

The timing of your appointment will dictate whether or not you should have anything to eat before your visit. If you are particularly anxious of undergoing dental work, then it’s recommended to keep an empty stomach to avoid becoming nauseous in the dentist chair.

Proper Oral Care Techniques

As a general best practice, it’s recommended to adopt a regular oral hygiene routine which consists of proper brushing and flossing technique. Leading up to your next dentist appointment, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once either when waking in the morning or before going to sleep at night.

Following the listed steps below will ensure you properly look after your teeth before your next dentist appointment so as to avoid any pain or injury before being operated on with fine tools.

Can you brush your teeth before surgery?

  • You may brush your teeth and floss before your dentist appointment. However, please note that if you’re scheduled for a regular cleaning, your dental hygienist will be assigned to floss your teeth thoroughly.

Can I eat before going to the dentist?

  • It is recommended you do not have anything to eat or drink (except for water) at least 5 hours before your scheduled appointment. This will prevent food debris from lodging in your teeth, which can irritate you during a cleaning and give your dentist a little extra work to do.

Smoking Before Dentist Appointment

  • Do not smoke at least a few hours prior to your dentist appointment. It is recommended not to smoke at all, since cigarette smoke contains other harmful chemicals that can wear your enamel over time.

Dental Care for Pregnant Women

  • If you are pregnant, you need to follow careful instructions before scheduling your next dentist visit. Since you may have heightened senses during this period, you may not be able to undergo certain procedures which would require the use of anesthetics since they can negatively harm your gestating child. Check with your dentist to find out what services you are still able to receive while carrying.
  • If you are expecting to undergo major oral maxillofacial surgery, your dentist might recommend not brushing or flossing your teeth the day of your appointment. You should also avoid eating or drinking any fluids for at least 12-24 hours prior to your procedure, which especially applies if you are typically anxious when visiting the dentist.

What to Do After a Dentist Appointment

Depending on your scheduled procedure, it may be necessary to temporarily abide by certain oral care routines in the interim while you are recovering from possible numbness, pain, and swelling. However, once the side effects of your treatment subside, you should resume your normal oral hygiene routine by brushing twice daily and flossing once each day.

How to Relieve Pain After Dental Cleaning

  • If you need to relieve pain after a procedure, especially if you just underwent a root canal or wisdom tooth removal, you can ask your dentist for prescribed numbing agents to take home with you to use over the course of the next few days while you recover. In cases where oral maxillofacial surgery is required, your dentist might already prescribe you mild oral sedatives to take at home.

How Long After Fluoride Can I Drink Coffee?

  • If you’ve just endured an oral cleaning followed by a fluoride varnish, you might be reluctant to consume any of the culprit food and beverages that can lead to lasting stains, including coffee, tea, and red wine. You can eliminate these substances from your diet altogether if you wish to preserve the whiteness of your smile, but if these foods are part of your daily regimen, then it is safe to consume them 2-3 hours after your varnish.

What to Eat After Teeth Cleaning

  • Depending on the type of work you just got done at the dentist, it may be necessary to eliminate certain hard, crunchy, or crispy foods until you’ve fully recovered from the side effects of your procedure. Implants and cavities might also need some time to settle and harden into your teeth before chewing anything at all. As a general rule of thumb, it is safe to consume soft substances after a dentist appointment, including:
    • Oatmeal
    • Rice
    • Bananas
    • Jello
    • Soup
    • Any foods that do not require much chewing

Dental Care Mouthguard Instructions

If you’ve been custom-fitted for a mouthguard to help you resolve the side effects of conditions such as bruxism (grinding teeth) while sleeping, make sure you brush and floss your teeth before inserting your mouthguard before bed. You may not eat or drink anything while you are wearing your mouthguard.

If you need a mouthguard to help you while you’re sleeping but can’t afford to have one custom-fitted to your mouth, visit your local big-box retailer to find a standard mouthguard. It may be uncomfortable to wear at first, but it can protect your teeth from chips and breaks if you suffer from anxiety symptoms during wakefulness or rest.

Dental Advice for Patients

By taking good care of your mouth throughout the year in between your routine dental visits. Proper brushing and flossing techniques can save you a ton of money in the long run by preventing the need to have expensive surgery performed on receding gums or cavity-ridden teeth.

Tooth Brushing Technique For Recession

If you have started to notice the recession of your gum line as a result of inconsistent flossing or long-term exposure to harmful activities such as smoking, then it may be necessary to visit a periodontist to have a deep cleaning procedure performed to eliminate any hard-to-reach bacteria under the gumline that may be the cause of your receding gums.

  1. It is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after your last meal to brush or floss your teeth, since the acids on your teeth from the food you just ate can actually wear your enamel if your saliva does not have enough time to neutralize these acids.
  2. Most people prefer to floss before brushing so as to loosen any embedded food particles that may not be reached with a toothbrush.
  3. Choose a toothbrush that contains soft bristles so that you do not harm your gums or scrape your teeth during brushing.
  4. Make sure to move your toothbrush around your tooth in a circular fashion without pressing too firmly on your teeth, which can cause pain if you have a sensitive mouth.
  5. After you are finished brushing, you can use an antibacterial or antiseptic mouthwash to help you dislodge any residual debris that may have been missed during brushing and flossing.