How Much Do You Know About Prophies?


When you were a child did you think a dental cleaning was simply an elaborate teeth whitening? It certainly has an elaborate name. A dental cleaning is called a prohylaxis. Many children probably believe that their dentist is simply brushing their teeth in a fancy way. They like the “tickle toothbrush” which is more fun than their manual one. Do you know what a dental cleaning is for? A dental cleaning can remove some teeth staining but it is not about teeth whitening. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about prophies.  

True or False?

True or False: The main reason for a dental prophylaxis, or dental cleaning, is to keep your teeth white.
True or False: Your twice-a-year dental cleanings are to prevent tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other dental problems from developing.
True or False: Professional dental cleanings are the only way to remove built up and calcified plaque.
True or False: Although the primary reason for dental cleanings is not to whiten your teeth, the dentist does polish them.


False: Although dental cleanings can help remove some minor tooth staining, they are not about teeth whitening.  
True: Dental cleanings are an important preventive measure against the development of more serious dental problems such as periodontal disease or jawbone atrophy, both of which can lead to tooth loss.
True: When your dentist is scraping your teeth, he or she is using a dental scaler to scrape off tartar (calcified plaque) above and below your gum line. Today, some dentists use an ultrasonic scaler which loosens tartar via vibration, especially when there is excessive buildup.
True: Your dentist uses a prophy cup and a lightly abrasive paste to polish your teeth. The smoother the surface the more difficult it is for plaque to adhere.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.