When most patients think of teeth cleaning, they are thinking of a prophy. The word prophy comes from prophylaxis which means preventive. This type of teeth cleaning is meant to prevent gingivitis or the early stages of gum disease. If done regularly, the official recommendation from the American Dental Association is every 6 months, then the harmful plaque and tartar that is missed with home hygiene efforts is found and removed and the disease process starts back at square one. The teeth are able to stay relatively tartar free and healthy. Without regular phophys, the tartar accumulates and disease is more likely to set in. A prophy includes scaling tartar from above the gum-line and polishing the teeth free of stains.
teeth cleaning before and after