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Foods You Should Avoid After a Professional Teeth Cleaning

A woman smiling while eating an orange slice.

When you’ve just finished getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, and your stomach starts to rumble, what do you reach for? As long as any local anesthetic has worn off, you are technically free to eat whatever you want.

However, since some sensitivity and discomfort may linger, avoiding certain foods while your teeth and gums heal is a good idea. Keep reading to learn which foods to avoid after professional teeth cleaning and which are okay.

Sticky or Chewy Food

After your dental cleaning, avoid sticky or chewy foods such as dried fruits, caramel, bubblegum, candy, beef jerky, and other similar snacks. These foods are more likely to get stuck in your gums or between your teeth and cause discomfort.

Sticky foods such as gummies and taffy can also pull on your teeth. This puts unnecessary excess stress on an already sensitive area.

Spicy Food

Those spicy hot wings might be calling your name, but it’s best to refrain from indulging in spicy foods for at least 48 hours after your deep clean. Spicy foods are known to cause discomfort even in healthy mouths, so it’s definitely not a good substance to expose your healing gums to. Doing so may cause further irritation and discomfort.

Acidic or Sour Food

Immediately after deep teeth cleaning, your teeth are especially vulnerable to acidic foods that can break down your enamel. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid anything sour or acidic in the first few days following your cleaning.

This includes tomatoes, oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pickled foods, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and grapes. It’s also a good idea to avoid acidic beverages like coffee, tea, wine, and soda.

Oversized Food

It’s important to let your entire jaw, not just your teeth, rest and heal after professional teeth cleaning. This means avoiding oversized foods that your teeth must work harder to bite and chew through, like large sandwiches, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and whole apples. Instead, stick to smaller foods or cut larger foods into small bites to avoid overworking your jaw.

Very Hot or Very Cold Food

Since your teeth are likely to be more sensitive right after a professional teeth cleaning, extreme temperatures are not a good idea. As such, you should avoid frozen foods like ice cream, popsicles, and frozen fruit.

Similarly, hold off on hot soups, stews, and hot beverages until the residual sensitivity has gone away. This will help you avoid any temperature-related discomfort.

Sharp Food

Sharp or crunchy foods are great for snacking — but not so great for your teeth. Foods like potato chips, popcorn, tortilla chips, nuts, pretzels, and crackers may be too sharp for your sensitive gums to handle right after professional teeth cleaning. In general, if it snaps or breaks between your fingers, avoid eating it for at least two days after your teeth cleaning.

Highly Pigmented Food

For a short period of time immediately after your professional teeth cleaning, your teeth are more susceptible to stains and discolorations. It’s crucial to avoid highly pigmented foods such as beets, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, soy sauce, and dark chocolate. These foods have very dark hues that may penetrate the tooth’s surface and cause discoloration.

So What Can You Eat After Professional Teeth Cleaning?

With such a long list of foods to avoid, it probably feels like there’s nothing left for you to eat. However, there are plenty of foods you can still consume immediately after a professional teeth cleaning. Look for foods that are soft and easy to chew and swallow, such as:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Rice
  • Cooled soups
  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Smoothies
  • Soft sauteed vegetables

Once your teeth have had time to heal, you may reintroduce your favorite foods at a speed that feels comfortable to you. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what your body can and cannot handle after a deep dental cleaning.

Schedule Your Next Professional Teeth Cleaning

Regular dental cleaning is essential for maintaining good oral health. Not only does it reveal a healthier, happier smile, but it also gives your dentist an opportunity to catch any dental issues you may have. At Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists, we perform thorough deep cleanings to help you stay on top of your oral health.

If you haven’t had your teeth professionally cleaned in the last six months, don’t wait any longer. Reach out to our team today to schedule your professional teeth cleaning with Dr. Brett Langston.