If you are scheduled for a teeth cleaning at the dental office, especially if it is early in the morning near breakfast time or in the afternoon around lunch time you may be wondering if you can eat afterwards. After all, Chick-Fil-A serves both breakfast and lunch so this might be the craving of choice after the cleaning! Many people have this question about when they can eat or what they can eat after a cleaning and it can be best answered by understanding what takes place during the cleaning.
During the teeth cleaning, the dental hygienist will ensure that the teeth receive a deep clean. The type of clean where you absolutely know that the teeth feel fresh and almost “like new”! To achieve this feeling of cleanliness, the dental hygienist will use a series of instruments to remove any bacteria, stain or tartar (the hardened form of plaque) from the teeth. Sometimes the bacteria or tartar may sit on top of the tooth surface, whereas in other cases the bacteria and tartar are in harder to reach places likely where a regular toothbrush has a harder time reaching. For example, the bacteria and tartar may be hiding in places like the gum line or slightly below the gum line. The hygienist will have to use finer tipped instruments to remove this bacteria or tartar out of these areas. If this is the case, the gums may become sensitive or bleed.
After the full cleaning, the hygienist may ask if you would like to receive fluoride . Fluoride is applied to the teeth in effort to help prevent cavities and to help repair teeth in the early, microscopic stages of disease.
If you do opt to receive fluoride, it is expected that you wait at least 30 minutes after the teeth cleaning to eat or drink, which means waiting for that Chick-Fil-A sandwich or biscuit! Essentially, this 30-minute “wait period” is to ensure the fluoride takes effect and the teeth are able to properly absorb the fluoride.
Following a dental cleaning, you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking 30-minutes afterwards in the event that you receive fluoride. If you are more sensitive to teeth cleanings and usually experience sore gums afterwards, it may be best to eat something softer rather than a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. For example, a smoothie would be a good option since it would give the gums a chance to recover.
If you have further questions about teeth cleanings and what to expect during the process or afterwards, please contact the office of River Run Dental Spa. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Please know that we are located in Richmond, Virginia for your convenience.