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What is a regular periodic cleaning?

A regular cleaning (prophylaxis) involves scaling and polishing procedures that remove plaque, tartar (calculus), and stains from the exposed areas of teeth. The scaling process scrapes away bacterial plaque and tartar from the tooth. In a regular cleaning, scaling is performed on the part of the tooth that is exposed above the gum line.

How often should I get a periodic cleaning?

The general interval for a periodic cleaning is once every 6 months. In order to maintain your dental health between periodic cleanings, you should do the following.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste)
  • Floss every day
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Don't use tobacco products


All Rights Reserved. Last Reviewed August 2005

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