Brushing Teeth

Should I Brush My Teeth Before Going To The Dentist?

If you have a dentist appointment coming up, you’re probably a little more cognizant about caring for your teeth. After all, if the dentist is going to be looking in your mouth and cleaning your teeth, you want to give them the impression that you practice good oral hygiene. However, is it worth it to brush your teeth right before you leave for the appointment, or is it pointless because your dentist is going to give you a thorough cleaning anyways? Below, we share what we tell our patients who ask us this question.

Brushing Before The Dentist

So is it worthwhile to brush your teeth prior to the dentist appointment, or are you just making things easier for the dentist who is giving you the cleaning? When people ask us this question, we always respond that yes, we recommend that you brush, floss and use mouthwash before you leave to come to your dental appointment. You are making our job a little easier, but it also benefits you for a couple of reasons.

  1. Removes Surface Plaque – Brushing and flossing will help to remove any food particles and plaque from your teeth’s surfaces. This isn’t going to get all the tartar that has hardened and formed in hard to reach places, but it will help to remove bacteria and plaque. Aside from helping get rid of plaque that can serve to break down your teeth, this process is more helpful than spraying your car with a hose before heading to the car wash. By doing this, less plaque removal will need to be done by the dental tech, which in turn will reduce the amount of irritation and inflammation in the gums. You’ll likely find that your mouth is less sore or irritated if you give your mouth a nice clean prior to visiting the dentist.
  2. Reduced Time In The Chair – Although it won’t greatly reduce the time you spend in the dentist’s chair, if you help to remove plaque and food particles prior to the operation, it will take less time for the dentist to deep clean your teeth. If you don’t like visiting the dentist, you can try to reduce the time you spend there by giving your mouth a brush, floss and rinse before you head off to your appointment.
  3. Confidence – Finally, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash can give you a little bit of confidence heading into your appointment. Again, you’re not really going to be able to fool your dentist into thinking you always take such good care of your teeth by doing this, but it will show that you do at least somewhat prioritize your teeth health, which can help if you’re nervous about what the dentist might say (We know not everyone brushes and flosses like the American Dental Association recommends, it’s okay!). Also, caring for your teeth before the appointment can help to freshen your breath so that you’re not self-conscious that someone will be up close and personal for the next 20-30 minutes. If anything, brushing and rinsing will give you a clean feeling heading into your appointment.

So as you can see, brushing your teeth before you leave the house for your appointment has more benefits than meets the eye. We’re not going to shame you if you choose not to brush before visiting, but if you want to help reduce irritation and maybe spend less time in the chair, choose to brush, floss and rinse before you head off to your appointment! To schedule your next appointment, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.