How long does a cleaning take?

Your first visit to a new dentist or dental hygienist can be stressful if you’ve had bad experiences in the past or you aren’t used to dental care. So we’re focused on making you comfortable and answering all your questions, especially about dental hygienists’ core specialty: cleanings. Why get your teeth cleaned? How will it affect your mouth? And how long will it take?

The inside skinny on cleanings and how long they take

  • Your first cleaning appointment will last 1 hour. 
  • If you come in regularly, each subsequent cleaning should take about 30 minutes. 
  • Getting a teeth cleaning and a dental check-up will help keep your mouth healthy. 
  • You can make a cleaning appointment with CHD by phone or through our Contact page.

How long does a cleaning take?

A teeth cleaning appointment usually lasts 1 hour and includes: 

  • a discussion to review your oral health (5 min),
  • scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatment (45 min), 
  • and a discussion of at-home care tips and goal-setting (5 min).

You can skip all the talking and just have a cleaning, but you would be missing the real key to a healthy mouth! Dental hygienists are specialists trained to provide personalized advice and care.

When you crunch the numbers, since adults should have 28 to 32 teeth each of which has 5 different faces to clean, that means it takes less than a minute to clean each tooth. That’s pretty fast! Your cleaning will also remove the tartar above and below your gums.

At Clinique d’Hygiène Dentaire, we are committed to removing every last speck of tartar and we never provide incomplete care. That’s why all our cleanings for adults who have tartar last a minimum of 30 minutes so our hygienists have the time to provide optimal care in a great environment.

At CHD, all cleanings are performed by qualified specialists: dental hygienists.

Can you get your teeth cleaned in 30 minutes?

Yes, you can get your teeth cleaned in 30 minutes. But in most cases it would be a surface cleaning that only removes tartar above your gums, not a deep cleaning that eliminates the tartar lurking under them.

Cleanings can also go fast if you had a previous cleaning very recently (in the past 3 to 6 months) so dental plaque and tartar haven’t had time to build up.

Why get your teeth cleaned?

A dental cleaning gets rid of dental plaque and tartar above and below your gums. It involves two steps: scaling and polishing. Scaling can use different techniques, and can be done manually with tools like curettes or automatically using the latest technology like ultrasonic inserts. The hygienist will also polish your teeth before or after scaling, using two techniques that can be combined: air polishing and polishing paste applied directly to your teeth.


How many teeth do adults have?

Most adults have 32 teeth. They are: 

  • 8 incisors 
  • 4 canines 
  • 8 premolars 

12 molars, including 4 wisdom teeth.

How many teeth do children have?

Most children have 20 baby teeth by age 3.

How often do I need a cleaning?

There’s no one right answer. It depends on factors like your diet, lifestyle, at-home care, and whether you have gum disease. 
On average, we recommend a cleaning every 9 to 12 months.

Can children get their teeth cleaned?

Yes, children can start teeth cleanings at age 3. We recommend adding cleanings to their healthcare routine to build the habit of taking care of their teeth.

What can I eat after a cleaning?

You can eat 30 minutes after your cleaning. But avoid foods that could stain or discolor your teeth, like 

  • coffee, tea, soda, wine, berries (blackberries, blueberries, black currants), certain vegetables like red cabbage, beets, and tomato sauce, or spices (curry, paprika, saffron, etc.).

How to get in touch with CHD Dental Hygiene Clinic?

Feel free to contact the CHD Dental Hygiene Clinic by phone, email, or WhatsApp. We are delighted to welcome you in our dental clinics in Geneva, Meyrin, Lausanne, and most recently Yverdon!