Dental cleaning promotes good oral hygiene. This is important not only for your smile, but for your overall health as well. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and is a factor in other medical conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pregnancy. A healthy mouth is essential to general health.
A professional cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is literally a preventive treatment of a disease. It is necessary to remove plaque, calculus (tartar), and stains from the teeth and from underneath the gums. Cleaning is especially effective in areas that are difficult to reach in routine toothbrushing. It is recommended that most patients have their teeth cleaned twice per year. Some individuals may benefit from more frequent cleanings. More frequent cleaning and examination may also be necessary during treatment of dental and other oral disorders.
Overly vigorous or incorrectly performed brushing or flossing may cause injury to the gingiva (gums). Improper or over-vigorous brushing may cause sore gums, damage to tooth enamel, gingivitis, and bleeding gums. Dentists and dental hygienists can instruct and demonstrate proper brushing or flossing techniques.