A regular cleaning is a prophylaxis in dental terms. The American Dental Association describes a prophylaxis as the removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures.
Dental Instruments are used to scrape away deposits from the teeth. An electric device, called an ultrasonic scaler may also be used. This deposit removal performed on tooth structures that have not been affected by bone loss; typically the crowns of teeth.
Calculus or tartar is a hard, mineralized deposit that is formed from the plaque in the mouth and the minerals in a person’s saliva.
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that forms on teeth and is composed of bacteria and bacterial by-products.
A regular cleaning is recommended for persons who do not have any bone loss, periodontal disease, or infection around their teeth. There should be no bleeding, mobility of teeth, or receded areas where the gums have pulled away from the teeth. In other words, the mouth should be healthy, with no gum and bone problems.

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