Dental Cleanings

Why Dental Cleanings Are Essential

Prophylaxis or dental cleaning is a procedure that consists of a thorough cleaning of the external surfaces of the teeth; it is always performed in a dental office. Prophylaxis is an important treatment because it helps stop the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Know that under normal, healthy conditions the tissue that surrounds our teeth superficially, i.e. the gums, are coral pink; and when brushing our teeth or eating an apple, they should not bleed. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, this state of dental health will be altered by the accumulation of food debris (dental plaque), either by the lack of tooth brushing or, in some cases, the presence of systemic diseases such as diabetes or hormonal disorders and pregnancy.

These disorders manifest  as gingivitis or periodontitis; the difference between the two is that gingivitis is  the inflammation of the gums while in periodontitis, there will be damage not only to the gums but to all the tissues that surround the tooth internally and keep it in position.

Gums with gingivitis will be a dark reddish color and shiny. They have a tendency to bleed spontaneously or upon a stimulus. This is the initial phase of periodontal disease. It can result from the accumulation of food debris (dental plaque) between the gum and the tooth. Once this dental plaque begins the mineralization process, it becomes dental calculus. It  cannot be removed with daily brushing, so a visit to the dentist will be necessary.

Dental calculus that adheres to the dental surface will deepen,  implying the reabsorption of the bone that supports it and the ligaments that hold the tooth in position. This destruction of the supporting tissues is periodontitis and is irreversible, ending in the loss of the affected teeth.

To avoid both gingivitis and periodontitis, the American Dental Association recommends reinforcing the habit of brushing after meals, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash at least once a day. This will prevent the accumulation of food debris, avoiding the formation of plaque and  subsequent calcification. In addition, visits to the dentist at least every six months help slow down the process of accumulation or mineralization. The procedures to be performed will be prophylaxis or dental cleaning and dental scaling.


Prophylaxis or dental cleaning is a procedure that helps maintain good oral health and stop the progression of periodontal disease. It can be included in regular visits to the dentist, where the entire surface of the tooth both above and below the gums is cleaned with special tools, either brushes with different  bristles or metal instruments. This will leave the surface of the tooth shiny, smooth, and whiter, as it  removes pigmentation as a result of drinking too much coffee and tea, or smoking.


  • Remove plaque and dental calculus: after 2 or 3 days without brushing your teeth, the food debris remaining on the tooth surfaces change consistency and will not be easy to remove with simple brushing. Your dental office will make use of special instruments to remove it completely, especially when plaque hardens and becomes calculus.
  • Aesthetics:the appearance of healthy, pink gums that do not bleed, in addition to their smooth and shiny surface, will give a beautiful smile.
  • Fresh breath: it is common in the presence of periodontal disease to find bad breath (halitosis)because accumulated food will degrade in the mouth. Eliminating plaque and calculus will considerably reduce halitosis and tissue inflammation.


The American Academy of Periodontology recommends a prophylaxis or dental cleaning as a prevention at least twice a year, and in patients with periodontal disease every three months or four times a year. Although periodontitis, which includes gum and bone recession, is irreversible, continuous prophylaxis will maintain the state of the tissues and prevent further progression.


If you have any questions about this or other topics, contact us at Channel Island Family Dental. At Channel Island Family Dental we will be attentive to your visit and make a timely diagnosis.  Besides, our dentists in Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Paula, and Port Hueneme will guide you to the best treatment to give you back your best smile.

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