A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease.
The benefits include:
- Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
- A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
- Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Prophylaxis can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but prophylaxis is one of the tools we use to effectively halt its progression.
Dental decay is a common condition all over the world. One way to help prevent cavities from occurring is through the use of fluoride.
Fluoride helps harden the tooth enamel and make it more resistant to tooth decay. A small cavity can be stopped and even reversed by the remineralization process enhanced by fluoride.
Even though the benefits of fluoride are maximized before the teeth erupt (come in), fluoride is still very beneficial for children and adults after the teeth are fully erupted. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth structure to delay or slow down the tooth decay process.
Children Up to Age 3
For children ages 3 and under, we typically use a topical fluoride (often referred to in our office as varnish) that is applied with a brush. Because very young children may have difficulty not swallowing a rinse-type fluoride, our hygienists will carefully brush it on to ensure that none is swallowed.
Adults and Children Ages 4 & Up
For older children and adults, we use a rinse-type fluoride treatment that is swished in the mouth for a brief period of time and then discharged — not swallowed.