By oral hygiene is meant the cleansing of the oral cavity and by extension all those measures aimed at obtaining cleanliness, whether at home or through professional intervention.
- Home oral hygiene: see prevention
- Professional oral hygiene: This term includes all those measures undertaken by medical professionals (physician, dentist or dental hygienist) aimed at eliminating all residues that have built up over time. Clearly, when home-based oral hygiene is insufficient in both qualitative and quantitative terms, oral hygiene will inevitably be unsuited for the maintenance of a suitable level of oral health. The various professional oral hygiene measures include:
- tartar ablation: the removal of super-gingival tartar;
- polishing: polishing of the tooth surface using prophylactic pastes;
- root planing: removal of sub-gingival tartar in the periodontal pockets, under local anaesthetic;
- motivating to oral hygiene at home