Prophylaxis (Preventive Teeth Cleaning)

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Prophylaxis is an effective procedure to keep the oral cavity in proper health and can help halt the progression of gum disease. The benefits include:

  • Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
  • A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. A dental hygienist can remove  plaque, calculus and bacteria to reduce halitosis and address infection.

Prophylaxis can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed at least twice annually as a preventative measure, however, since some people need more frequent care, each patient is evaluated individually so an appropriate program can be established. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools our dental team can use to effectively halt its progression.