Flossing After a Deep Cleaning

A deep cleaning (also called ‘scaling and root planing‘) is one of the most common periodontal treatments performed in our practice.


Who needs a deep cleaning?

We consider this treatment to be the first line of defense against periodontal disease. A patient who has plaque buildup below the gum line and is at risk of developing gum disease would benefit from a scaling and root planing procedure. 

If a person develops pockets in the spaces between their teeth and gums, and these spaces measure greater than 4 millimeters, a deep cleaning becomes essential for  developsThis treatment is essentially the first becomes necessary if pockets form in the spaces between the teeth and gums that measure greater than 4 millimeters.


Anyone who has plaque buildup below the gum line should undergo a deep cleaning to prevent further inflammation, bleeding, and gum disease.

The scaling and root planing procedure can greatly improve gum health, but dental home care is equally as important as the  procedure itself. When it comes to flossing and brushing at-home after a deep cleaning, here’s what you need to know:


Oral Care After a Deep Cleaning

After a deep cleaning when the bacteria in the pockets has been removed, it is important to keep up your oral hygiene routine.

When can I floss after a deep cleaning?

Wait approximately 24 hours before flossing. There will be swelling which may reach its maximum at 48 or 72 hours after treatment.

How do I brush my teeth after a deep cleaning?

You can carefully brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush the same day as your treatment, even if your teeth and gums are feeling sore.

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water 5 or 6 times a day (after meals and at bedtime) for the day following your deep cleaning.



Eating After a Deep Cleaning


After the deep cleaning procedure, when your mouth is still numb and the local anesthetic and (optional) laughing gas is wearing off, it’s important that you refrain from eating. Eating while numb can increase the chances of you biting your cheeks or tongue and disrupting the healing process.

Once the numbness wears off and you can feel your tongue and lips again, you can eat! This may take a few hours though. 

It’s important to be cautious with what you eat during the healing process. The last thing we want is a piece of popcorn or other hard food getting lodged in your gums. 

  • Avoid sharp or crunch foods, like nuts and popcorn, for at least 24 hours post-treatment
  • Avoid hot foods and beverages, like hot soup or hot coffee, for about 48 hours post-treatment
  • Avoid highly acidic foods, like oranges and tomatoes, for at least 48 hours post-treatment
  • Avoid spicy foods and alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours to promote healing

The Bottom Line

It’s also normal to experience sensitivity to cold foods and liquids following periodontal treatment, which can last 2-6 weeks. Using an over the counter Sensodyne toothpaste twice a day will greatly reduce this sensitivity.
Deep cleanings are often necessary to treat periodontal disease. At Periodontal Health Center, we always put your comfort and experience first and will be sure to thoroughly explain the procedure and care instructions to our patients.


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