Caring for Sensitive Teeth After a Dental Cleaning: A Simple Guide

by | Jan 12, 2024 | Resources

Have you ever left the dentist’s office with your teeth feeling more sensitive than usual? If so, you’re not alone. Tooth sensitivity following a dental cleaning can be quite uncomfortable, but understanding why it happens is the first step to finding relief.

Why Teeth Get Sensitive After Cleanings

When our dental team at Beaches Dental Mona Vale gives your teeth a thorough cleaning, they’re removing plaque and calculus (more commonly known as tartar) that have built up over time. Plaque is soft and sticky, but tartar is tougher—tartar is plaque that hardens on your teeth over time. Getting rid of plaque and tartar is great for your oral health, but it can leave your teeth feeling a bit exposed.

You see, underneath all that build-up lies your tooth enamel. When plaque and tartar are removed, parts of this enamel that haven’t been exposed for some time might feel sensitive to temperature changes or certain foods. This is often temporary and should settle down after a few days.

It’s also worth noting that during cleaning, we sometimes need to clean your teeth below the gumline. This process can irritate your gums temporarily, making them—and by extension, your teeth—feel a little more sensitive.

Managing Sensitivity After Dental Cleanings

If you’re dealing with tooth sensitivity after a cleaning, there are several ways to alleviate it. First, you might want to try a sensitive toothpaste which can help reduce discomfort over time. Also, using a soft toothbrush can prevent further irritation to sensitive areas.

We also recommend avoiding extremely hot or cold foods and drinks for a few days following your cleaning as they can trigger tooth sensitivity. If you notice that your teeth are particularly sensitive to sweets or acidic foods like citrus fruits, it might be wise to limit these as well until your teeth’s sensitivity decreases.

Should the sensitivity persist or become more severe, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dentist here at Beaches Dental Mona Vale. Persistent discomfort could be a sign that something else may need attention.

Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Sensitivity

To minimise future sensitivity, make sure you’re keeping up with daily oral hygiene by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly, and rinsing with mouthwash if recommended by your dentist.

Regular dental visits are also crucial—having regular cleanings done professionally before too much tartar builds up can reduce the chance of needing a more extensive deep clean, that may lead to heightened sensitivity.

Furthermore, try being mindful of consuming foods and beverages that are high in acid like sodas or citris as they can contribute to enamel erosion over time and increase sensitivity.

Understanding Enamel Wear and Sensitivity

Your tooth enamel is tough but not indestructible; wear and tear over time can thin it out leading to increased sensitivity as the nerves within your teeth have less coverage and can become more exposed.

Acidic food intake, aggressive brushing habits, bruxism (teeth grinding), or general ageing can all play roles in wearing down enamel. To help protect teeth from undue wear, practice gentle brushing techniques, consider a night guard if you grind your teeth while sleeping, and keep acidic treats to a minimum.

Professional Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

If home care isn’t enough to manage sensitivity issues effectively, we at Beaches Dental Mona Vale have treatments that can help shield sensitive teeth from discomfort.

Fluoride varnishes applied in practice can help strengthen enamel while sealants provide a protective barrier over tooth surfaces prone to decay or wear—and sometimes more advanced treatments might be considered if these aren’t sufficient.

The Importance of Communicating With Your Dentist

Always let us know if you’re experiencing any sensitivity during visits so we can adjust our approach accordingly—your comfort is paramount! Moreover, personalising advice based on individual needs is easier when communication lines are open—so share any concerns freely during appointments.

Putting It All Together: Maintaining A Healthy Comfortable Smile

In summary, while post-cleaning tooth sensitivity is common it’s usually temporary and manageable through various means—from specialised toothpastes to professional treatments when necessary—and preventative measures go a long way in keeping those pearly whites happy between visits!

Remember—it’s important not only for aesthetics but overall health too; hence regular upkeep is key!

We enjoy helping our patients achieve smiles they’re proud of here at Beaches Dental Mona Vale; feel free contact us about any concerns or simply schedule your next appointment—we look forward to seeing you soon!