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Professional Hygiene Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis: How professional cleaning at our office in Battle Creek, MI supports excellent oral hygiene at home

It may be a mouthful, but “prophylaxis” simply refers to efforts to prevent disease. It comes from the Greek term for “protection”: prophylaktikós. Dentists and hygienists like Earl E. Gaball, DDS of Battle Creek, MI, know “prophy” as professional cleaning. Cleaning by a registered dental hygienist is a cornerstone of oral health and a healthy, attractive smile. When prophy is combined with guidance on proper oral hygiene and consistent care at home, tooth loss doesn’t have to be in your future.

The basics

It’s generally recommended by the ADA (American Dental Association) to have a cleaning every six months. These cleanings occur during the same visit as your oral exam. Dr. Gaball has invested in various diagnostic technologies and tools to support the most gentle and pleasant experience possible.

Our hygienists are trained and skilled at removing tartar (or calculus) in a way that is precise and doesn’t cause discomfort. Tartar is hardened plaque and cannot be removed with toothbrushes. It must be removed with specialized instruments, such as ultrasonic scalers or curettes. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can erode at the teeth and release toxins, which inflame and break down periodontal (gum) tissues. Tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss.

Our patients also love how fresh their mouths feel after a good cleaning and polishing! You may be pleasantly surprised, too, by how much whiter your teeth look afterward. We remove plaque build-up, tartar, and surface stains. So, professional cleaning is a great way to preserve the natural tooth structure (for life) and to support periodontal health, as well as an easy, affordable, and conservative way to maintain a stain-free smile.

Schedule your appointment today

Dr. Gaball may need to get you on a schedule of more frequent exams and cleanings at our office, depending on your needs. More regular visits are necessary if you are at increased risk of developing periodontitis (advanced gum disease). Risk factors include smoking or the use of other tobacco products. If the active disease is present, we will recommend alternative procedures such as a deep clean to resolve existing inflammation.

The earlier we can detect these and other conditions, such as enamel erosion, the easier it is to restore the comfort, health, and function of your teeth and gums. Our expertise is also necessary to detect problems before they produce symptoms. For instance, early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) is often asymptomatic or associated with very subtle signs. We detect such underlying issues and help you to intervene promptly with recommendations for oral care products or hygiene techniques that work.

We look forward to embarking on this journey of health with you and your family! You can reach us at (269) 883-1674.