Professional Dental Cleaning (Prophylaxis)

How often should I get a dental cleaning?

Professional dental cleaning is a procedure of removing plaque, calculus (tartar) and stain from the teeth that do not have gum disease.  Regardless how well a person brushes his or her teeth, plaque and tartar can accumulate over time. Therefore, we generally recommend a professional cleaning twice a year to maintain a healthy teeth and healthy gums.


What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris and saliva.   The bacteria produce toxins or irritants that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of gum disease.


What is calculus/tartar?

Calculus is plaque that has been left on a tooth surface for a period of time and has become hardened.  It is a rough porous mineral buildup that is usually yellow or brown in color. It can form above or below the gumline and can only be removed with special dental instruments.