Why Can't You Eat or Drink for 30 Minutes After Going to the Dentist?

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Patients should wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking after their teeth cleaning appointments to ensure that the fluoride treatment takes effect, according to Southeast Family Dental. Patients who opt out of fluoride treatments can eat or drink as soon as they leave the appointment.

After having fluoride treatments applied to the teeth, patients should stay away from highly acidic or abrasive foods or drinks, according to Southeast Family Dental. Hot or cold foods cause discomfort for some people because the fluoride application causes tooth sensitivity as a temporary side effect. Gums may also be sensitive after a dental appointment and can bleed when a patient eats a short time after a visit to the dentist.