teeth cleaningGetting your teeth professionally cleaned is a “must” at least once each year. Not only does this ensure that any problems with your teeth are detected and stopped, but it also gives you a remarkably fresh and clean feeling that can last for many hours or even days afterward.

However, you do have to put your teeth to work again in order to eat and remain healthy, and many people wonder how long they must wait after a cleaning before they can safely eat again. The answer varies from person to person because the following items have to be taken into consideration:

  • Was fluoride placed on the teeth? If not, you can eat as soon as you need to after the cleaning is done. If you did get fluoride treatments, you should wait at least 30 minutes or more after the cleaning before you eat or drink. This ensures that the treatment takes full effect and that the teeth have been able to absorb this beneficial and helpful compound.
  • What do you plan on eating or drinking? If you had fluoride treatment you need to avoid acidic and abrasive foods that might cause the fluoride to be removed due to scraping or stickiness. Also note that many people experience tooth sensitivity immediately after a cleaning and extremely hot or cold food may cause a very uncomfortable sensation. The gums may also be sensitive (and in some cases they may bleed a bit) and food could cause irritation.
  • How long do you want that fresh feeling? It may sound silly, but a lot of people hold off on eating for a bit of time (a few hours or so) because they love how unbelievably clean their teeth and gums feel. However, don’t wait too long as it is unhealthy to skip meals.

Getting your teeth cleaned by a dental professional comes with a long list of benefits. They can address some problems, catch things you may not even have detected yet (such as some early decay or gum disease), get the teeth back in good shape, and leave you with a fresh and sparkling mouth. Getting fluoride treatment is also a good idea as it improves the health of the teeth at a time when they need it the most.

If you are still concerned about how long to wait, ask your dentist or hygienist at your next cleaning appointment!