It’s a good idea for all adults in the United States to see the dentist for professional teeth cleaning every six months. Some people get anxious about going to the dentist every six months. If you experience anxiety or worry about how time-consuming a visit to the dentist might be, it is but natural to wonder, “How long does a teeth cleaning take?”
Brushing and flossing are crucial for oral health, as they remove harmful substances that can lead to gum problems and cavities. If not cleaned within 24 to 72 hours, plaque becomes stubborn tartar, which can cause gum disease and tooth loss. Professional dental cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, so regular dental visits are vital for healthy teeth.
Depending on the condition of your oral cavity, the length of time a teeth cleaning takes may vary from person to person.
What are the Benefits of Teeth Cleaning?
The thorough cleaning provided by scaling and planing can offer significant advantages to individuals showing signs of gum disease. Preventing the advancement of gum disease is a major advantage, but it’s not the sole one.
Here are some key points:
- Non-Surgical: It’s a non-surgical treatment that can greatly benefit your gums.
- Comprehensive Solution: In many cases, teeth cleaning alone can be sufficient.
- Fresh Breath: Removing the bacteria can lead to fresher breath.
- Improved Gum Health: Your gums will both look and feel healthier.
- Elimination of Pockets: The pockets where bacteria gathered will disappear, giving you well-fitted gums.
What Does the Procedure of Teeth Cleaning Involve?
Professional dental cleanings involve several steps, and the time each step takes can vary. Here’s a simplified breakdown:
The cleaning usually begins with carefully checking your mouth. The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to look for issues like inflamed gums, plaque, tartar buildup, or dark spots on your teeth. It helps them identify areas that need attention. The time of this step depends on the overall health of your teeth and gums.
Plaque & Tartar Removal (Scaling)
Using a small hook-shaped tool, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth’s surfaces, between them, and near your gum line. An ultrasonic scaler is sometimes used, which uses water and vibration to remove plaque. The time for this step depends on how much plaque and tartar there is.
Polishing & Flossing
Your hygienist uses an electric tool and gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth. It makes your teeth look better and prevents the buildup of plaque and tartar. Afterward, they floss your teeth to remove any remaining plaque and paste between them.
The hygienist may suggest a fluoride treatment at the end of the cleaning. Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. This treatment involves wearing a mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel for about a minute, and it doesn’t add much time to your overall cleaning. Fluoride gels come in different flavors to make the experience comfortable.
How Long Does a Teeth Cleaning Take in Total?
Generally, the dental cleaning part of your checkup lasts around 30 minutes to an hour. How long a teeth cleaning takes depends on how healthy your teeth are and how much plaque needs to be removed. A full checkup and cleaning typically take about an hour to an hour and a half.
There’s no need to hurry during your appointment; your dentist should go at a pace that makes you feel calm and comfortable. If you ever feel uneasy during the process, it’s important to tell your dentist, and they can take breaks. For most people, these checkups and cleanings are painless and leave them feeling content.
How Can You Reduce the Time a Teeth Cleaning Takes?
At Dental on First, we recognize your hectic schedule and strive to make your teeth cleaning efficient and thorough. Here are some ways to expedite your cleaning while maximizing your visit:
- Prep Ahead: Complete any required paperwork before your appointment.
- Medication and Health Info: Bring a written list of all your medications, whether prescription or non-prescription, and any supplements you take. Include details about recent illnesses or hospital stays.
- Oral Care: Maintain good oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing.
- Biannual Cleanings: Schedule professional dental cleanings twice a year.
Book Your Teeth Cleaning Appointment With Dental on First
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of scaling and planning, Dental on First’s professional dental team is here to assist you. We provide deep cleanings to eliminate plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria, effectively reducing the advancement of gum disease.
How soon can I eat after teeth cleaning?
If your cleaning involves a fluoride treatment or air polishing, it’s best to wait 30 minutes before eating. However, if you don’t have either of these treatments, you can eat right away. We advise steering clear of foods that may stain or discolor your teeth for at least 6 hours following your cleaning.
Why do I feel sick after teeth cleaning?
If you’re feeling flu-like symptoms after a dental cleaning or procedure, it could be your body’s response, especially if you have a weakened immune system or underlying health issues.
Do I need antibiotics after teeth cleaning?
People with specific medical conditions might receive advice to take antibiotics before and after a dental procedure. This precaution is commonly advised for individuals with heart conditions because of the associated risks.