Dentistry A - Z

One of the many benefits of keeping your regularly schedule dental appointments is the undeniable freshness you feel after a professional dental cleaning. Try as you may, you won’t be able to replicate at home the deep cleaning you get at the dentist, even with the very best oral hygiene habits. Dentists use tools like the Prophy Jet dental cleaning tool.

What is Prophy Jet?

The Prophy Jet is an air polishing system that combines water and baking soda to remove stains and debris from your teeth. When you get your teeth cleaned, your dentist or dental hygienist will polish your teeth using either a conventional handpiece or a Prophy Jet. Traditional tooth polishers use a rotating rubber cup containing abrasive paste to clean the teeth. The Prophy Jet sprays pressurized water on your teeth to break and remove soft deposits such as dental plaque. Baking soda is an abrasive, but it’s gentle on the teeth and great for scouring off extrinsic tooth stains caused by foods, drinks or smoking.

Prophy Jet is convenient, but more important it’s safe and effective, which is why so many dental offices are replacing their traditional tooth polishing equipment with Prophy Jet dental cleaners. And patients prefer Prophy Jet to the rotating handpiece for several reasons. First, there are no unnerving sounds buzzing sounds or vibrations with the Prophy Jet. When it comes to their teeth, most patients prefer to stay away from anything that makes a buzzing or grinding sound.

Patients also like the fact that the Prophy Jet doesn’t leave a weird aftertaste in the mouth like the ones associated with prophylaxis. Your mouth may not even need to be rinsed following your dental cleaning.

Is Prophy Jet Only for Cleaning Appointments?

Dentists may recommend Prophy Jet polishing prior to dental bonding or attaching dental braces to remove plaque and debris form the teeth. Doing this minimizes the chances of irritants being under the composite resin or brackets during these procedures.

Before teeth whitening, a cosmetic dentist may use Prophy Jet polishing to remove surface stains. Doing so helps your dentist deliver better results because he/she can accurately determine the natural color of your teeth, and produce a more uniform, more beautiful smile.

Despite your best efforts, stains can also form on your dental appliances over time. In such cases, the Prophy Jet can be used to remove deposits from your dentures, orthodontic appliance, mouth guard or night guard. It's important to take care of your dental appliances at home, but if they start to lose their luster, you can take them to your dentist for a thorough cleaning.

A Prophy Jet dental cleaning will remove soft deposits and some extrinsic stains from your teeth. Removing hard deposits like dental calculus from the surface of the teeth and from beneath the gum line requires scaling and root planing. Prophy Jet also doesn’t remove intrinsic stains (tooth discoloration that comes from inside the tooth) like those caused by some antibiotics. In cases where tooth discoloration is caused by genetics and antibiotics, dental fluorosis, or trauma to the tooth, the best way to remove the stain would be through cosmetic dentistry methods, such as veneers and dental crowns.

Incorporating in-office dental cleanings into your oral hygiene routine is essential to maintaining good dental health. Whether your dentist uses the Prophy Jet or traditional hand piece for your professional dental cleaning, the important thing is that your cleanings are performed every six months during your regular dental visits.