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How Long Does a Teeth Cleaning Take?

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teeth cleaning

Most people clean their teeth every day at home by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. This is an important part of an oral care routine. But periodic professional teeth cleaning in a dentist’s office is also necessary to ensure the teeth and gums stay healthy. Please keep reading to learn more about what to expect at a teeth cleaning appointment.

Why should I get my teeth cleaned at a dental office?

Poor oral health is linked to many serious general health problems. Getting a professional teeth cleaning can help you maintain a healthy mouth. Here are some of the key benefits of having your teeth cleaned by a professional:

  • A dental hygienist can remove many of the stains on your teeth, leaving with a brighter, whiter smile.
  • Having your teeth cleaned in a dental office can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Professional teeth cleaning can remove tartar, which causes a yellow discoloration of your teeth and leads to tooth decay.
  • A dental cleaning is an opportunity to have your mouth checked by a dental professional. This way dental issues like broken fillings or a fractured tooth can be detected. Also, more serious conditions like oral cancer can be diagnosed in the early stages.
  • Getting your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis can save you from complicated and expensive dental procedures in the future.

What happens when you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist?

The dental hygienist will start by examining your mouth with a small mirror. If they see any specific issues, they’ll ask you to see your dentist as soon as possible. If there is a serious issue, they may put the teeth cleaning on hold and have you see a dentist immediately.

The teeth cleaning process itself involves using a tool called a scaler to remove tartar. The dental hygienist will also polish your teeth using a gritty tooth polishing substance and a high-powered brush. This is typically followed by professional flossing to clean any plaque from between your teeth. The final step in teeth cleaning in a dental office is rinsing your mouth to remove any residual tooth polish. The hygienist will also use suction to clear saliva and debris from your mouth.

How long does teeth cleaning take?

Teeth cleaning usually takes 30-60 minutes to complete.

How many sittings are required for teeth cleaning?

The general recommendation is to have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every six months. Some people may need to get it done every 3 months while others may only need it every 9-12 months, depending on the eating habits and oral health routine at home.

How much does professional dental cleaning cost?

Professional teeth cleaning costs $90 to $120 on average. If you have had had your teeth professionally cleaned in a while, it may cost more because a buildup of plaque and tartar will need to be removed. Many dental plans cover teeth cleaning, so if you have insurance, be sure to check if it is covered.

Do dental cleanings hurt?

Dental cleanings should not hurt. Most people tolerate them without any problems. If you have anxiety related to dental procedures, be sure to let your dental hygienist know. There are several measures they can take to keep you comfortable.

How long after teeth cleaning can I drink?

You can drink about 60 minutes after you have your teeth cleaned. This is to allow your teeth to recover and avoid any sensitivity after the procedure. It may be a good idea to avoid very cold or very hot liquids or acidic drinks like citrus juices for the rest of the day.

Can I eat after dental cleaning?

Yes, you can eat after a dental cleaning. However, it’s a good idea to avoid very sugary, acidic, or sticky foods. Spicy foods may also cause some discomfort and they are best avoided immediately after your dental cleaning treatment. If you also get a fluoride treatment after your teeth cleaning, your hygienist may ask you to wait 30 minutes before eating anything.

If you’ve been putting off routine dental care, now is the time to get back on track. Call Express Dentist today and we’ll be happy to connect you to a dental office in your area. If work or family responsibilities do not allow you to get into a dental office during regular business hours, we can help you find an after-hours or weekend dentist nearby.

About the author

Dr Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo

Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.

As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.

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