A Teeth cleaning (also known as prophylaxis) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing, flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine tooth brushing. A professional cleaning includes both scaling and polishing. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. The general recommendation for a frequency of routine cleaning is 6 months. Routine examination of the teeth is recommended at least every year. This may include yearly, select dental x- ray. Between professional cleanings good oral hygiene helps to prevent cavities, tartar build up and gum disease.