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What is a prophylaxis?

Most of the people refer to prophylaxis as a simple cleaning. A prophylaxis is an important dental cleaning because this is the one that stops the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis. Periodontal disease and gingivitis occur when bacteria from plaque colonize the gingival (gum) tissue, either above or below the gum line.

Why do we need a prophylaxis?

Tartar, also known as calculus or plaque buildup, accumulates above and below the gum line. This causes serious periodontal (gum) problems if left untreated. Even when you use the best brushing and flossing techniques at home, is impossible to completely remove the bacteria that deposits on the gum pockets. Specialized dental equipment is used to spot and treat problems such as tartar and plaque buildup.

How often do we need a prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis is recommended every six months as a preventative measure. Although gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the best recommendations for the dentist to effectively contain its destructive progress.

What to expect on a prophylaxis?

The dentist will first measure the space between your teeth and the gums (pocket depths). Typically, these measurements are 3mm or less for someone to need a simple prophylaxis. Using the right equipment, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area above the gum line with scaling tools to rid them of plaque and calculus. A dental assistant will show you the proper techniques of flossing and brushing to help you remove plaque buildup at home. Once the teeth are clean, the doctor will apply topical fluoride to prevent cavities.