Along with brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing regularly, going to the dentist to get a cleaning and check-up every 6 months is an essential part of a good oral hygiene regimen. The cleaning is usually performed by one of the hygienists at your dentist’s office. These cleanings are important because your hygienist will be able to cleanse and polish your teeth, clean areas more effectively, and reaching places you normally wouldn’t be able to. Normally, cleanings are painless and go smoothly. However, your teeth can become sensitive after a cleaning, depending on various factors, including how deep the cleaning is and the state of your teeth and gums before the cleaning. 

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity? 

There are a variety of factors that can affect tooth sensitivity. Your teeth are more susceptible to becoming sensitive when the area beneath your enamel, called dentin, is exposed and unprotected. The area is greatly affected the more recession there is in your gums. This recession can be caused by gum disease, aging, overly aggressive brushing, tobacco use, and lack of proper oral hygiene, among other reasons. 

Other than gum recession, tooth sensitivity can increase due to aging, improper brushing technique, and bruxism (teeth grinding). You are most likely to experience extra sensitivity when consuming foods or beverages that are overly cold or acidic. 

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive During A Cleaning?

Your teeth can be sensitive after a cleaning due to a previous condition such as a cavity, gum recession, enamel breakdown from abrasive brushing, teeth grinding, or another underlying factor mentioned in the previous section. If you receive a deep cleaning, tooth sensitivity can occur due to the areas being cleaned heavily to remove plaque and tartar. Sensitivity from deep cleanings should not last more than a week.

These conditions create more sensitivity when a cleaning occurs because they break down and get rid of plaque that has accumulated in your mouth with more effectiveness than you are probably used to doing yourself. It is hitting the hard-to-reach spots that tend to be more sensitive as they have not been cared for as much as other areas within your mouth. 

If the tooth sensitivity is severe enough to hinder your daily quality of life, contact your dentist and they will be able to diagnose the root of your issue and provide a solution to it.  

How Can I Treat Tooth Sensitivity? 

Since tooth sensitivity stems from a diverse amount of causes, you will need to consult your dentist to help with your specific situation. Gum disease and cavities are needed to be solved in an office with a tooth restoration procedure or deep cleaning of the gums. If exposed gums are the culprit of your issue, you have different options depending on the severity of your exposure and sensitivity. These options include: 

Home Remedies: 

Professional Treatment:

What Can I Do To Avoid Sensitivity In The First Place?

The best way to prevent sensitivity from occurring after a cleaning is to see how you can make your oral hygiene routine more effective. Some examples of this are flossing more, using a soft-bristled toothbrush over a medium bristle, or using a mouth rinse. It is possible through aging or unlucky genes that you simply develop more sensitive teeth. 

Your dentist wants to work with you to ensure you can have a healthy, happy smile, so be sure to consult with them so they can help you decide the best course of action to help deal with your sensitivity issues. Most sensitivity issues should not last long term. If your teeth’ sensitivity and soreness are directly affecting your everyday quality of life, we recommend scheduling an emergency appointment to get on track to resolve the issue as soon as possible.  

The foundation of a healthy and happy smile is conditioning yourself to clean your mouth daily the right way. Other than a nice-looking grin, keeping care of your oral health will help keep away a variety of possible painful and annoying health issues (both dental and non-dental related).  The main components of a good oral hygiene regimen includes brushing twice daily, flossing, and regular trips to the dentist twice yearly. One more factor that helps dictate a good oral regimen is choosing the right tools for the job. Brushing is a wonderful way to keep your teeth clean and healthy, but flossing is needed to reach the nooks and crannies that the toothbrush bristles just can’t hit. 

This brings up the question of which is better: a water pick or regular flossing. The short answer is: flossing has been shown to be more effective at removing hidden plaque in your teeth’ crevices than using a water pick, however, a water pick can be the better choice for your individual needs depending on your specific situation. To find out what’s right for you, let’s break down what a water pick is and who it can be useful for. 

What Is A Water Pick? 

A Water Pick (otherwise known as a water jet or oral irrigator) is a dental device designed to eject a strong & compact stream of water to wash away loose food particles and bacteria. It is useful for reducing bleeding and cleaning hard-to-reach gum areas. As mentioned earlier, it is not as effective as flossing, this is because it cannot always quite reach the same spaces or same functionality as traditional flossing. Water Picks also tend to be more expensive than traditional dental floss. 

Why Use A Water Pick?

The condition of your oral health, along with outside health conditions can make a water pick more suitable and more comfortable for your needs. If you are willing to sacrifice some effectiveness for comfortability, a water pick is probably the choice for you. It is, after all, a better choice than not using any flossing tool at all. 

Some reasons you may consider a water pick over traditional flossing:

Conclusion: Choosing What’s Best For You

Before making any major change in your dental hygiene routine, we suggest consulting with your dentist so they can help you with anything you are curious about. We highly recommend traditional flossing, but choosing a dental routine that you can stay consistent with is the number one priority to keeping yourself on track to a happy and healthy mouth. 

Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious condition of periodontitis. Gingivitis is very common in children and adults and occurs when plaque accumulates on teeth. A poor oral care routine can lead to plaque buildup on the teeth. 

There are four general stages of gum disease:


Symptoms include:

There may not be pain associated with gingivitis, which is why the signs may be overlooked.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

The most crucial step in treating gingivitis is to not ignore symptoms that may seem harmless, such as a little blood in the sink when you floss and brush, and/or irritated gums that look red and/or swollen. If these symptoms appear, make an appointment to check in with your dentist to identify the cause and to get your teeth and gums assessed. Your dentist may recommend an improved daily home-care regimen for your teeth, including adding antiseptic mouthwash to your routine. If pockets of bacteria have formed around the teeth and gums are beginning to pull away from the teeth, a deep cleaning with your dentist or periodontist may be suggested. If ignored, gingivitis can develop into advanced-stage gum disease (periodontitis), which is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults.

If you have any questions about your oral routine, feel free to schedule a visit with Fox Dental and our staff can answer any questions you might have!