women cleaned teeth

How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take? Everything You Need to Know

Cleaning your teeth is an essential part of your oral health. However, simply brushing and flossing at home isn’t enough to ensure that your teeth stay healthy. You occasionally need a deeper clean to get the nooks and crannies of your mouth and to ensure that your teeth feel refreshed.

Dental cleanings by your dentist are an important part of oral hygiene. Regular cleanings are the best way to maintain your teeth and prevent potential problems later on. Teeth cleanings don’t take too much of your time, but how long does it take?

Keep reading to find out how long a dental cleaning takes to help you plan your next cleaning.

Dental Cleaning Basics: What’s Involved

Let’s first walk through what dental cleaning is.

A dental cleaning is getting your teeth cleaned by a dental professional. The dentist’s office has tools you wouldn’t have at home and processes that get deep within to ensure that your teeth are clean through and through.

Most of the time, a teeth cleaning is performed by a dental hygienist, with the dentist checking that everything is okay at the end.

women during dental cleaning

The process starts with a physical dental exam to check out the current state of your teeth and what’s changed since your last check-up or regular dental cleaning. The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to check your teeth and gums and watches for signs of gingivitis or other problems. They may call the dentist early to check out your mouth if they catch something. Otherwise, if everything looks okay, they’ll start your cleaning.

Your dental hygienist will start by removing plaque and tartar in those hard-to-reach places – your gum line and between your teeth – to prevent gum disease, periodontal disease, and gingivitis. This part is what many people dread the most, as it requires scraping.

Although this part should be painless, it is unpleasant to some. Here’s a trick: the more you brush and floss your teeth, the less tartar build-up you have and the less scraping you must endure.

Once your hygienist removes all of the tartar, they’ll use a special electric toothbrush and toothpaste with a gritty consistency to give you a deep clean and remove any leftover tartar.

After the deep professional teeth cleaning, your hygienist will go in with dental floss to get deep between your teeth. Getting your teeth professionally flossed is a step up from flossing at home, an excellent opportunity to have them get any trouble spots that you have trouble reaching yourself.

Once they are done flossing, you will rinse with liquid fluoride. Finally, your dental hygienist will apply a fluoride treatment to protect your teeth and fight cavities, and you usually get to choose your preferred fluoride flavour.

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?

Getting a professional dental cleaning regularly is one of the most important things you can do for your dental hygiene.

Many people dread dental cleanings. Indeed, it involves various tools, and it’s normal to feel mild discomfort throughout the process. However, dental cleanings are one of the most straightforward and least stressful dental procedures.

You may have infections or other dental problems if you don’t get a routine dental cleaning. Correcting these requires much more invasive dental work, including a filling or root canal for more serious issues.

These procedures are notorious for being unpleasant, so it’s best to keep going to your dentist for regular cleanings to avoid getting to that point. The best part is that most insurance plans cover most, if not all, of the cost of your cleanings.

How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take?

dental cleaning process

Now that you know the entire dental cleaning process, you may still have one burning question: how long does a teeth cleaning take?

Considering how easy they are and that dental hygienists do several dental cleanings daily, the whole process is pretty quick. From beginning to end, teeth cleaning typically takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. However, this timing is dependent largely on the state of your teeth. If you have other issues to deal with first, then your appointment may take a longer amount of time.

Most dental professionals recommend getting a dental cleaning every six months to ensure that your teeth are cleaned regularly and prevent excessive plaque and tartar buildup, in addition to other dental problems such as cavities. What’s more, when you go this often, if you do end up with other dental issues, your dentist can catch it sooner rather than later — before it gets worse.

The Takeaway: Dental Cleanings For Lasting Oral Health

The most important takeaway is not to skip your dental cleanings. Teeth cleanings are a small investment for long-term oral health. A 45-minute appointment every six months may save you from longer appointments to correct problems in the future.

At You Make Me Smile, we ensure that your dental cleanings are efficient and as comfortable as possible. If you’re in the Belleville or Trenton area and due for your next cleaning, don’t wait. Contact our office to get booked in today.