A preventative cleaning or prophylaxis/prophy is a cleaning done typically every six months. A prophy is appropriate for you if your gums are healthy. Healthy gums are achieved by working with your dental provider, by regularly brushing and flossing at home and coming in to see the dentist or dental hygienist for regular cleanings.
Your dental provider will measure your gums pockets at your first visit and annually thereafter to determine the health of your gums. You will often hear your hygienist or dentist read out numbers like “1,2,3”. Gum pockets 1-3 mm deep are considered healthy and are recommended a prophy every 6 months.