Regular tooth cleaning by a dental professional is recommended to remove tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas of the mouth that are difficult to clean. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing, as well as debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments and/or devices to loosen and remove tartar from the teeth. Most dental hygienists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months.
More frequent cleaning and examination may be necessary during the treatment of many different dental/oral disorders or due to recent surgical procedures such as dental implants. Routine examination of the teeth by a dental professional is recommended at least every year. This may include yearly, select dental X-rays. See also dental plaque identification procedure and removal.