Dental Cleanings and Prevention
Maintaining regularly schedule dental cleanings and prevention is imperative to your oral health.
A dental cleaning, or also know as a “prophylaxis” is a dental procedure which is performed with the goal of reducing the risk of gum and tooth disease. Also known simply as a prophylaxis or prophy, this procedure is recommended at intervals which can vary from six months to one year, depending on a patient’s history and individual health needs. It is performed by a dentist or licensed dental hygienist (RDH) who has received specialized training in tooth care.
During a dental cleaning, the hygienist performs both scaling and polishing. During the scaling process, tools are used to remove tartar, plaque, and stains from the teeth, including below the gum line. The polishing process smooths the teeth to remove rough spots which might otherwise attract bacteria. Some dentists also offer tooth sealant services, which are designed to prevent decay of the teeth.
The most important part of a dental cleaning involves cleaning below the gumline. People who floss and brush their teeth regularly can usually keep their teeth relatively healthy above the gums. Below the gums, however, it is difficult for tools like toothbrushes to reach, and dental calculus can build up. This exposes the patient to the risk of gum disease and dental decay.