The hallmark of preventative dental care is periodic cleanings. A prophylaxis is the removal of all plaque and tartar deposits on surfaces. Polishing with a mild abrasive paste is used to remove stain and leaves a highly polished finish on the tooth surfaces. Fluoride is then placed on the freshly cleaned teeth to resist acid break down of enamel from naturally-occurring bacteria found in the mouth. The frequency of these appointments are based on the individual’s needs.