A deep cleaning, or scaling, treatment removes hardened plaque, called tartar, from the teeth and the spaces just below the gum line, where it is difficult to brush. This is a more intense cleaning than others, really getting into the pits and crevices of teeth, in between them, and even under the gum line. Anesthesia is used for the procedure, but extra care may be needed afterward to minimize discomfort.
Before coming in for a scaling, continue practicing normal hygiene procedures.
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day.
- Use cleaning aids such as mouth wash, floss, and any others that have been recommended by your dentist.
- Refrain from smoking, as tobacco has a negative impact on oral health.
After a scaling procedure, your teeth and gums can feel uncomfortable for a few days up to a couple of weeks.
- Do not eat anything until the anesthesia has worn off.
- When eating, avoid spicy and hard foods.
- Use a soft tooth brush at least twice per day, and brush very lightly the first night. Rinsing the brush under hot water before brushing can soften the bristles.
- On the second day, continue with flossing and any other cleaning methods, such as mouth rinse (but avoid any that contain alcohol.
- If teeth are still sensitive, try using a desensitizing toothpaste.
- Mixing a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of water will help heal gums faster. This should be done 2-3 times per day.
- Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after the procedure, as the tobacco slows the rate of healing.
- If discomfort persists, you can take up to between 600-800 mg of ibuprofen (Advil) every 4-6 hours as needed, but do not exceed 2400 mg within a 24 hour period, or you can take 1000 mg of Extra Strength Tylenol every 4-6 hours, but do not exceed 4000 mg within 24 hours.