Routine dental appointments are a key part of good oral health. However, they aren't the only important part. The right actions on your part can play an integral role in the overall health of your teeth and gums. Here are four things you can do after your dentist appointment to keep your teeth in excellent shape:
1. Schedule your next dentist appointment.
Most people with healthy teeth should visit their dentist every six months. Those with gum disease, soft teeth, or advanced tooth decay may benefit from more frequent visits. No matter what your dental cleaning schedule looks like, you can benefit by booking your next appointment before you leave the dentist's office. Scheduling in advance has a few benefits. You're more likely to get a convenient appointment date when you book it ahead of time. Plus, scheduling your dental visit before going home means you won't forget to do so later.
2. Avoid eating if you had local anesthesia.
If your dentist finds decay in your teeth, they will need to treat it by removing the decay with a dental drill and applying a filling. This treatment is done using local anesthesia, which will prevent you from feeling pain. After your treatment is done, your lips, gums, and tongue may still be numb for a few hours until the local anesthesia wears off. During this time, you should avoid eating anything, since you may accidentally bite your cheek or tongue while it's numb. You may eat once you regain feeling in your mouth.
3. Continue brushing and flossing your teeth.
Your teeth will feel very fresh and clean when you leave your appointment. A dental hygienist will have carefully removed all plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, giving you a fresh start. To keep your teeth clean, you'll need to continue to do your part at home. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily between visits to your dentist. This will prevent cavities and keep tartar buildup to a minimum between professional cleanings.
4. Be gentle with your teeth if you feel any tenderness.
Immediately after your dental visit, your gums may feel tender. Dental hygienists scale your teeth, meaning they scrape away tartar with a sharp metal implement. This can cause some minor cuts on your gums. Be gentle with your teeth for the rest of the day, especially while brushing and flossing.
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