Dental cleanings are a crucial part of our dental care routine, helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums. But how long does a dental cleaning take?

The answer to this question is flexible, as it varies from person to person. Your oral health, compliance with daily oral care, and the need for additional examinations or X-rays can all affect the duration of your cleaning. Understanding what to expect before and after a dental cleaning is essential to maximize your appointment and maintain a bright, healthy smile.

Why Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

Why Should You Get a Dental Cleaning

Millions of bacteria live in our mouths and multiply every day. If these bacteria are not eliminated, they will produce plaque, a sticky material, in a matter of hours.

Plaque can harm our teeth by attacking the hard enamel surface, leading to painful cavities. If it moves down to the gums and touches the soft tissue, it can also lead to gum infections.

To fight this problem, healthcare experts advise us to brush our teeth twice a day and use floss at least once. Even with our best efforts, there are still hard-to-reach areas in our mouths where plaque can build up, especially if we eat certain foods. This is where professional dental cleaning comes into play.

So, How Long Does a Teeth Cleaning Take?

Regular dental cleaning usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. This essential procedure helps check and care for your oral health. The quality of your teeth, your oral health, and the speed at which the dental hygienist works can all affect how long does a dental cleaning take.

Factors Affecting the Duration of Dental Cleaning

Factors Affecting the Duration of Dental Cleaning

Oral Health

The duration of your cleaning is mostly dependent on how well your mouth is doing right now. If you have minimal plaque and tartar buildup, the process will be quicker. However, if you haven’t had a cleaning in a while, it may take longer to remove the accumulated debris.

Compliance with Oral Care

Frequent use of mouthwash, brushing, and flossing can all have a big impact on how long your dental cleaning takes. Proper at-home oral care can reduce the amount of buildup and make the cleaning process more efficient.

X-Rays and Examination

Sometimes, your dentist may recommend X-rays or a thorough examination before the cleaning to identify any underlying issues. The amount of time spent at the dentist office may increase with this extra step.

Gum Health

If you are suffering from gum disease, the cleaning process may take longer as the hygienist or dentist needs to address the condition adequately.

Dental Cleaning — What to Expect Before, During, & After

teeth x-ray

Before Dental Cleaning

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your appointment. 

During the Dental Cleaning

The actual dental cleaning involves several steps:

After the Dental Cleaning

Once your dental cleaning is finished, you can expect some immediate benefits, which include: 

Book Your Dental Cleaning Appointment with River Rock DDS Today

Book Your Dental Cleaning Appointment

If you need basic dental cleaning, dentures (full or partial), or fillings, our skilled and certified team at River Rock Dental Downtown Shakopee is here to handle your dental needs. Our team is well-trained in the latest advancements in modern dentistry, and we approach our work with a gentle touch.

From enhancing the look of your smile to diagnosing and treating dental conditions, we provide a wide range of dental procedures.

Book your appointment by calling (952) 445-5556 or writing to


Why does dental cleaning take so long?

A big part of dental cleaning is about taking away the plaque and tartar that has gathered in your mouth. The time it takes depends on how much plaque and tartar there is to get rid of. So, the more plaque and tartar, the longer it might take, but cleaner teeth mean less time spent on the process.

Do teeth look better after cleaning?

A dental cleaning helps get rid of stains from plaque and tartar before they get too stubborn. That’s why lots of folks say their teeth look whiter after the cleaning. And, if your teeth are healthy, you’re in a good position for professional teeth whitening later on.

Does teeth cleaning remove black stains?

The great news is that if the stains are on the outside of your teeth, they can probably be removed with a good dental cleaning. Begin by making an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning. Tartar and black stains can be removed from your teeth by your dental hygienist using specialized instruments.