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Last Updated on February 28, 2023

How Long Does a Proper Teeth Cleaning Take at The Dentist?

When it comes to oral and dental health, the teeth are always a good indicator to look at. While it is always advisable to brush regularly, floss when you can, and have a good balanced diet, sometimes all that is just not enough to ensure that your teeth stay relatively healthy. This is where the experts can lend a helping hand.

Visiting the dentist is not always about removing teeth or other painful scenarios that you have concocted to get out of a trip to the clinic. Dental cleaning is also a key part of going to the dentist, and it is one procedure that everyone should include in their routine.

Going in for professional teeth cleaning is usually a straightforward and painless affair. More importantly, it benefits your oral health as a whole, both for the present as well as the future.

Professional dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, can help patients remove both tartar and plaque that has accumulated since your last visit. Once these are taken care of, your teeth are more protected from the likes of cavities, bleeding gums, and other common issues.

If you have questions regarding the procedure, including how long it will take, read on and find out more.

How Long Should a Teeth Cleaning Take?

To put you at ease, we will be going through just what goes on during a visit to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned. In general, a professional cleaning should take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Overall, it doesn’t take very long and it’s certainly worth your time to give your teeth a refreshing clean and consult your dentist about any other dental issues. If any further issues are detected, you may need to spend a little more time in consultation with your dentist.

What to Expect During Teeth Cleaning??


The initial stage will see the dental expert examine your teeth. By using a small mirror, the expert can have a closer look at the general condition of your teeth, and if a problem is present, decide where to proceed next. The dentist will check the health of your gums closely while also checking for any cavities.

Your dentist is also able to spot tartar that’s not usually easily spotted with just the naked eye. Since tartar encourages the growth of bacteria and issues like gum disease, your dentist will want to remove any traces of it

X-rays might also be part of the package. This allows the dentist to check for the following issues and more:

Once the initial checks are done, then the actual dental cleaning can begin.


Utilizing a scaler, your medical professional is able to remove the plaque and tartar that has built up on the surface of the teeth, near the gum line, or in between the teeth. Depending on the clinic you visit, they may use a manual scaler or an ultrasonic scaler that uses both vibration and water to remove any oral impediment.

As mentioned, regular brushing and flossing can go a long way in maintaining your oral health. However, it is difficult to ensure that plaque hiding between your teeth and all along the gum line is removed entirely. Before the problem worsens into tartar, a good cleaning can rid you of the problem.

Polishing and Flossing

Once the cleaning is done, it is likely that your dentist will proceed to help you polish your teeth. By using a specialized and high-powered tool, this step will help ensure that your teeth are good to go after all of that cleaning. Polishing helps remove any surface stains that may have appeared on your teeth.

Next, flossing will be carried out for a complete clean. This will help remove any plaque hidden between teeth that may have been missed. Once the processes are complete, you will then need to take a good rinse to remove any foreign material that may have been produced due to the cleaning.

Fluoride Treatment

Your dentist will apply a fluoride treatment that will help prevent cavities over the next few months. It usually has either a foamy or stick texture. Some dentists might also apply a fluoride varnish that’s painted on the teeth.


The hard part is done, with your dentist now clearer on the situation about your oral health. In addition, there may be more recommendations that your dentist will make depending on your oral health. This can include the likes of stain removal, sealants, fluoride application, partial dentures, and others that may apply.

This is also the best time to ask any questions you may have, and to clear up the doubts you have in regards to teeth maintenance and care. It is likely also that your dentist will advise you to book an appointment six months down the road as well.

As a general sentiment, a dental cleaning procedure only results in minimal pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. Do keep in mind that there are certain individuals that will be more sensitive to the process.

This includes those who have an increased dental sensitivity caused by inflammation, gum disease, or tooth decay. If you have not gone for a clean for long periods, it could also hurt more. Lastly, temporomandibular disorders can result in more pain as well.

Also Read: How to Get Rid of Tartar & Plaque Easily?


Everyone is always looking to maintain a healthy smile, and making sure your teeth are cleaned and healthy is a good way to achieve that.

This means that in addition to the regular brushing and flossing, you should also make sure that a professional help you with a good dental cleaning as well.  A visit every six months, as well as a more comprehensive check with X-rays each year, will give you the best foundation to ensure your oral health for the years to come.

Also Read – 10 Best Mouthwashes for Sensitive Teeth: Reviews & Buying Guide

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