Simple ways to make teeth cleaning less painful

Simple ways to make teeth cleaning less painful

If you hate getting your teeth cleaned, you’re not alone. Many people hate getting their teeth cleaned because it hurts and they rather skip a scheduled appointment.

However, when you ask dentist, they will advise that the best way to avoid having painful teeth cleaning, is to have frequent cleaning. Sounds strange, right?

But the logic behind this is quite simple. If you have frequent teeth cleaning, there’s less to clean and the process itself is shorter and less invasive.

Waiting too much to have your teeth cleaned is not really a good idea. The built up plaque and residue on your teeth, trigger an immune response and your gums can become more sensitive to the touch.

The same logic is behind pulling a band-aid. When you remove it, the skin underneath is very sensitive because it used to be covered and protected.

When you allow too much time to pass between cleanings, the plaque and residue builds up, not only above but also underneath your gum line. The plaque becomes really difficult to reach and to clean, so your dentist will spend more time cleaning than usual.

To those of you that haven’t had their teeth cleaned in a long time, you might find these tips below helpful on how to make your cleaning less painful.

Tips to make your teeth cleaning less painful

The first thing you can do to make you less sensitive for teeth cleaning is to take Advil before your appointment and after. Advil is a good medication for treating pain so you can take 600 to 800mg one hour before your cleaning and again six hours after your cleaning. Why after? Well during teeth cleaning, your dentist might irritate your gums which will become a bit inflamed. By taking Advil after, you can reduce the inflammatory reaction significantly.

Other than pain medication, you can also ask your dentist or hygienist to give you some numbing. Just like when you get numbing for fillings. The dentist or hygienist can rub some topical anesthesia on the area that is going to be cleaned, and that should be enough.

The type of toothpaste you’re using can play a huge part in how sensitive your gums and teeth are. There are a lot of options of desensitizing toothpaste which reduce the sensitivity of your gums. Try switching over to this type and make it your new daily toothpaste.

Another source of teeth sensitivity is gum recession. When gums recede, they move down from the tooth and expose a more sensitive part of it. This is usually caused by gum inflammation. As they heal, they recede. So the more times they get inflamed, the more they recede. This not only makes your teeth sensitive to cleaning, but also to your favorite food.

We all know that good oral hygiene is important for your overall oral health. Furthermore, with good oral health e.g. brushing regularly, scrapping your tongue, flossing after a meal etc. you are removing more plaque and residue so your dentist will have less work to do. Flossing is especially important, because it removes 40% of the plaque between your teeth and your hygienist will have 40% less to clean.

The way you brush your teeth is also important. Some people tend to “over-brush” meaning they brush their teeth way too hard and long or even with wrong motions. This can also irritate your gums and make your teeth more sensitive. So don’t overdo it!

Those of you who often over-brush, should consider getting an electric toothbrush because they do the work for you. Also, electric toothbrushes are a really good way of cleaning below the gum line, so there will be less plaque to clean.

And finally, you need to have the right hygienist. The skills and experience of a hygienist can really make a difference. Some tend to be too light and don’t clean everything, while other can be too rough and tend to overdo it. The goal is to find something in the middle, that thorough but not too rough.

We hope that these tips will help you minimize the discomfort of your next teeth cleaning appointment. If you haven’t cleaned your teeth in a while, and would like to schedule it, make sure to contact us.


Leave a Reply

Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”