How Long Should A Child's Teeth Cleaning Take?

How Long Should A Child’s Teeth Cleaning Take?

Team Pediatric Dentistry

Having children involves many new experiences. It's common to have questions and concerns about your child's visit to the dentist. You may even feel a bit of apprehension and wonder how long it will take to clean their teeth. 

However, by selecting a compassionate and gentle dentist and adequately preparing your child for what to expect, you can make their visit more successful.

How Long Will Your Child's Dental Cleaning Take?

The duration of a pediatric dental cleaning at the dentist's office can vary. A typical cleaning for children may take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, though the entire appointment may last between 60 minutes.

Keep in mind that the length of the cleaning largely depends on the child's behavior and how comfortable they are with the pediatric dentist working in their oral space. Children who have been well-prepared for the dental visit by their parents often have no reservations about the experience, allowing a faster appointment.

What to Expect at Your Child's Dental Visit

Once you and your child have checked in and completed the necessary paperwork, you can typically expect the following:


The dentist will introduce themselves and explain the procedure to both you and the child. If X-rays are deemed necessary, they will be taken at the beginning of the visit to ensure any hidden cavities or abnormalities are detected.


The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of the child's oral soft tissues. This examination looks for any irregularities and ensures that the child's teeth are developing correctly. To check for cavities, the dentist may use a specialized tool to gently probe the teeth. They might refer to this as "counting the teeth" to keep the child at ease, and it should not cause any discomfort.

Dental Cleaning

Using an electric tooth polisher and toothpaste with a fun flavor, often of your child's choice, the pediatric dentist will clean the child's teeth. They will also check for hardened plaque (tartar) and remove it using a specialized tool to prevent tooth decay and gum disease caused by tartar buildup.


With your approval, the dentist may apply flavored fluoride varnish using a small brush or paint it onto the child's teeth, allowing it to sit for a few minutes.

If the visit goes smoothly without any concerns or cavities, the dentist will review at-home oral hygiene practices and steps with both you and the child. Depending on the child's age and dental development, the dentist may recommend applying dental sealants in future appointments.

Schedule an Appointment with Dream Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of Gaithersburg Today

At Dream Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of Gaithersburg, we specialize in gentle, compassionate care for our young clients and their parents. We will explain what we are doing throughout your visit and let you know what to expect.

Call us at 301-327-1003 or contact us online to request an appointment to learn more about dental X- your child's dental health and what to expect when you bring them in for a routine dental exam and cleaning.