Should I Brush My Teeth Before Visiting the Dentist?

A typical dental visit

Many wonder before their routine teeth-cleanings or dentist appointments if they should first brush their teeth, or if it’s unnecessary given that they’re about to receive a teeth-cleaning. We always like to tell our patients to go ahead and do a quick brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush before they come in. This helps us assess your oral health with more clarity upon our first look. 

In the first step of a teeth cleaning, your hygienist will prod around, looking for cavities or for any immediate problem areas. This is a bit easier to do with a ‘clean mouth.’ For example, if a chocolate bar was consumed en route to the dentist, this could appear to be discoloration or a cavity at first glance. Of course, this is minor and a full picture of your oral needs will become evident after the teeth-cleaning has finished, but many patients also prefer to brush and rinse with fluoride first for confidence. 

Teeth-Cleaning Procedures

It should be noted that teeth cleaning is not quite the same as the teeth brushing that you do at home. Our team uses a high-powered vibrating brush with polishing toothpaste. This helps us to do an effective cleaning job, scrubbing the surface area of each tooth to remove any plaque or buildup. 

After this process is complete, we do a professional flossing. This simply means that we do the flossing that you do (or, you’re supposed to do!) at home, but this can also help us to assess any gum inflammation or tender areas. Because of this professional flossing component, it’s not necessary to also floss before your appointment. 

If it’s been a while since you flossed, this may result in a very mild soreness, so some patients get on top of daily flossing in the week leading up to their appointment. We don’t mind either way, and will have a conversation with you about creating an oral health regimen that you can stick to.

Finally, we usually finish the teeth-cleaning procedure with a fluoride treatment. Fluoride clings to your teeth like a shield, which helps to prevent cavities. It’s a way of ‘sealing’ the cleaning work we just completed. 

Rifkin Dental Services

Beyond teeth cleaning, we also offer a myriad of other oral health services, from wisdom tooth extraction to oral surgery, dental implants, periodontic assistance, and snore guards.  For your next teeth-cleaning appointment, visit our office. We are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. If you have any other questions about how to prepare for an appointment, give us a call at our office line.

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