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Prophylaxis / Cleaning

What is a Prophylaxis?

A prophylaxis is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from the teeth and under the gums. Cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease and bad breath can be prevented by regular prophylaxis treatment. Although you may floss and brush regularly a professional cleaning is also necessary in order to keep your gums and pockets around the teeth healthy. It is recommended that teeth be cleaned at least twice a year for patients who have healthy gums. Patients with gingivitis or periodontal disease may have to clean more often as recommended by his/her dentist or dental hygienist.

Prophylaxis with Fluoride

While the enamel is the body's strongest substance, it can diminish over time. Enamel erosion can be caused by a variety of factors, including teeth grinding, persistent acid reflux, poor salivary flow, and the use of certain drugs on a regular basis.

Fluoride treatment is given to promote remineralization, making the replaced enamel stronger and preventing further enamel breakdown. Fluoride also fights acids by blocking the harmful enzymes contained in plaque, preventing the acid build-up that can eat away at tooth enamel.

Benefits of regular Prophylaxis with Fluoride

  • Tartar removal - If left untreated, tartar (calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can lead to serious periodontal issues. Even with the best cleaning techniques, removing dirt, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets can be difficult.
  • Fresher breath - Bad breath is a common symptom of periodontal disease (halitosis). Bad breath is caused by decomposing food particles below the gum line, potential gangrene from gum infection, and periodontal disorders. Plaque, calculus, and bacteria are removed, which improves breath and reduces discomfort.
  • Treat Gum Disease - Though gum disease cannot be completely reversed, prophylaxis is one of the tools the dentist can use to effectively halt its destructive progress.
  • A preventative approach to managing dental and oral health.
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