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The question often comes up as to why just a "normal cleaning" cannot be done now and why does a "deep" cleaning even need to be done. The difference between the two types of cleanings is the state of periodontal health, which is the health of the bone and gums that support the teeth. The health of the bone and gums is directly linked to the amount of plaque (soft) and calculus/tartar (hard) that is depositing on your teeth. It is fairly common for most people to develop some calculus (same thing as tartar) between their recall cleaning visits.
A common question I hear when discussing decay on a child's teeth is, "Why do a filling when they are just going to loose the tooth anyway?" While this may seem like a good point, the fact of the matter is that primary teeth, otherwise known as 'baby teeth' serve a VERY important purpose. Primary teeth not only serve the purpose of helping with mastication (chewing), but they serve the very important function of space maintance. When primary teeth are lost too early there is no longer anything keeping the teeth behind it from moving forward.