Prophylaxis in general describes measures to prevent diseases. In dentistry, prophylaxis refers to certain measures to prevent diseases of the teeth and the periodontium.

Prophylaxis includes daily tooth brushing, a low-sugar diet, teeth fluoridation, regular check-ups and professional tooth cleaning. The most important cleaning agents in our daily lives are toothbrushes and toothpaste. The first know use of toothpaste dates back to 2000 B.C. The Egyptians used a mixture of wine vinegar and pumice on wooden chewing sticks.