The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least once a year to get a routine examination and teeth cleaning. However, how many of us can honestly say that we practice perfect oral hygiene every day all year around? It’s never a bad idea to pop into the dentist’s for a quick examination and teeth cleaning just to make sure things are looking good! Teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, helps remove the tartar and plaque that develops in everyone’s mouth over time, even with “perfect” oral hygiene. Routine teeth cleanings mean bacteria don’t get to run around unchecked in your mouth and early signs of gum disease will be noticed and treated. If left untreated gum disease will slowly but surely wreak havoc on your mouth and when you do finally find yourself back in the dentist’s office much more serious procedures may be required to repair the damage.