How to Make Your Dental Cleaning Last Longer

Regular dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Attending these twice-yearly appointments can also help identify dental problems at their earliest stages when treatment is often less complex and less costly. 

In addition to the practical benefits, a professional dental cleaning delivers a one-of-a-kind feeling that’s impossible to duplicate with routine brushing and flossing. During a professional cleaning, your dentist or hygienist uses a professional toothbrush and mildly abrasive toothpaste to deliver a deeper clean than you can achieve at home. 

That desirable feeling of freshness you experience occurs with the removal of stubborn plaque and tartar. When left untouched, plaque can leave a fuzzy substance on the surface of your teeth, while tartar can feel rough and crusty. Both substances can release an odor that makes your breath smell rotten. 

Having a thorough dental cleaning can give you a reason to smile. The dentists at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York, provide professional teeth cleaning services that help you maintain optimal function and appearance. With extensive experience in all aspects of general and cosmetic dentistry, the team at Rifkin Dental can help you establish and maintain a smile that helps you look and feel your best.

Find out what our dentists recommend that patients do to help make the benefits of dental cleanings last longer.

Watch your diet

You can extend your dental cleaning by consuming foods and beverages that provide natural tooth-cleaning protection. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and celery help increase saliva production, which naturally cleans your teeth and neutralizes cavity-causing acid. 

Add dairy products and other naturally calcium-rich foods, like spinach and broccoli, to your diet to strengthen tooth enamel and your jawbone. Consume protein-rich foods like eggs, meat, and nuts, which provide phosphorus, a nutrient that helps your body effectively utilize calcium.

As you increase foods that help keep your teeth clean, it’s also important to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. Sugar promotes bacterial growth and acidity in your mouth, which creates a welcoming environment for the development of plaque. Look for hidden sugar in processed foods and beverages like soda. 

Use proper oral hygiene

The way you care for your teeth after you leave your dental cleaning can impact just how long you enjoy the benefits of your treatment. Just because your teeth feel clean doesn’t mean you can cut back on your need for brushing for two minutes two times per day and flossing daily, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). 

Concentrate on proper brushing form by starting with your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Move your brush back and forth, covering an area no wider than one tooth at a time, as you apply gentle pressure. Tilt your toothbrush vertically against your teeth to clean the inside of your teeth, using gentle strokes as you brush up and down on each tooth.

Avoid over-brushing one section and skipping another. Cover the outer surfaces, chewing surfaces, and inner surfaces of all your teeth every time you brush.

It’s also important to floss correctly. When you skip flossing, you risk allowing tiny pieces of food debris to get caught between your teeth, which can bond with bacteria and release odors that result in bad breath. 

Chew sugarless gum

It may seem odd for a dentist to recommend chewing gum, but doing so can stimulate 10 times the normal rate of saliva flow. This can help neutralize and remove the acid that stays on your teeth when food is broken down by bacteria.

Sugarless gum contains a substance called xylitol that can inhibit the growth of the bacteria that can cause tooth decay. 

Treat physical and dental problems

Ignoring oral problems can interfere with maintaining the fresh feeling that you enjoy after a dental cleaning. Dry mouth, which can result from certain health conditions, medications, or medical treatments, reduces saliva production and allows plaque to remain longer on your teeth. Leaving damaged fillings or dental devices unrepaired can also promote the development of plaque.  

Certain medical conditions can also contribute to bad breath. Chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can deliver excessive amounts of stomach acid into your mouth. Eating disorders that involve forced vomiting, such as anorexia and bulimia, can increase the amount of stomach acid that remains in your mouth.

Find out more about dental cleanings and how you can enjoy the benefits of these treatments longer. Schedule a consultation by calling our Yorktown Heights or Carmel office today.

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