Oral prophylaxis is a dental procedure that removes tartar and plaque build-up from the teeth through polishing and scaling. It is different from teeth bleaching procedures because its purpose is to stop tooth decay or other dental issues. Through the process, the dental hygienist normally cleans under the gums and the surface of the teeth. It is not considered to be an aesthetic procedure, and it is generally performed by an experienced dental hygienist or dentist.
Some people choose to undergo this process because they are trying to fight tooth decay, gum disease, or staining. The procedure may also be recommended for someone getting braces or other orthodontic work. Since braces make it hard to clean the teeth and gums, many people believe that starting out with very clean teeth will make it easier to maintain them during the time the braces are worn.