Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time.

The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.

Also it leaves your teeth feeling lovely and smooth and clean, which is nice when you run your tongue around them. The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis, it helps prevent gum disease.