Teeth Cleaning or Dental Prophylaxis

A woman having her teeth cleaned

A dental prophy is a dental cleaning performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. It is typically recommended every 6 months for patients with healthy oral hygiene. This procedure involves removing bacteria deposits with specific dental instruments, polishing with fine pumice, and flossing. Topical fluoride may also be applied following the cleaning to strengthen the outside of the tooth structure, called enamel, and help maintain oral health, preventing both cavities and bone loss. It is very important to prevent the progression of dental diseases such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation of the bone and bone loss).

The Benefits of a Professional Teeth Cleaning:

  • Plaque and calculus removal. Plaque is bacteria that forms both above and below the gum line. It can form within hours of brushing your teeth. If it remains on teeth it can harden and form calculus or tartar.
  • Reduction in risk for oral diseases.
  • A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellow teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of your smile. A dental prophylaxis is effective at removing stains on the outside of the teeth.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath or halitosis is a sign of advancing periodontal disease.; A combination of food particles and certain bacteria in the mouth cause bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria noticeably improve halitosis and reduce the potential for infection. Home care is critical in the prevention of bad breath. Seventy percent of bad breath comes from the surface of the tongue. Brushing your tongue daily and adding in a non-alcoholic ADA approved mouth rinse such as ACT can help reduce halitosis significantly.

A professional dental cleaning can be performed at our office. We recommend that a prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure. If you suffer from periodontitis (bone loss), we may recommend cleanings as often as three to four times a year to minimize and prevent further bone loss.