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What Is Teeth Polishing?

Dental Patient Having Their Teeth Polished

What Is Teeth Polishing?

29 June 2023

When it comes to maintaining optimal oral health, regular dental cleanings play a crucial role. Apart from routine brushing and flossing, professional dental procedures such as scaling and polishing are essential. In this article, we will delve into the world of teeth polishing, exploring its purpose, types, benefits, and precautions. By understanding this common dental procedure, you’ll gain insight into how it contributes to your oral health and helps you achieve a radiant smile.

Tooth polishing, also known as dental prophylaxis, is a procedure performed by dental professionals to clean and polish the surfaces of your teeth. It is usually done during a routine dental cleaning and is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. Tooth polishing aims to remove plaque, tartar, and surface stains from your teeth, leaving them smooth, clean, and refreshed.

Types of Tooth Polishing

There are two primary methods used for tooth polishing:

  • Rubber Cup Polishing: In this technique, a dental professional attaches a small, soft rubber cup to a handpiece. The cup is then coated with a special polishing paste containing abrasives. The dentist or dental hygienist applies the cup to the surfaces of your teeth, moving it gently in a circular motion to remove plaque and stains.
  • Air Polishing: Air polishing involves the use of a specialized device that combines compressed air, water, and an abrasive powder, usually made of sodium bicarbonate. The mixture is sprayed onto the tooth surfaces using a handheld nozzle, effectively blasting away plaque, tartar, and stains.

Which Types of Stains Can Tooth Polishing Remove?

Tooth polishing is particularly effective in removing certain types of stains, including:

  • External Stains: These are surface stains caused by external factors such as coffee, tea, tobacco, or certain foods. Tooth polishing can significantly reduce the appearance of these stains, enhancing the whiteness and brightness of your teeth.
  • Supragingival Stains: These stains appear above the gum line and can result from various sources, including certain medications, chromogenic bacteria, or poor oral hygiene. Tooth polishing effectively eliminates supragingival stains, improving the overall aesthetics of your smile.

What are the Benefits of Tooth Polishing?

Undergoing tooth polishing offers several benefits for your oral health and overall well-being:

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal: The primary objective of tooth polishing is to remove plaque and tartar, which are major contributors to gum disease and tooth decay. By eliminating these harmful substances, tooth polishing helps maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
  • Enhanced Oral Hygiene: Polished teeth have a smooth surface, making it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. As a result, your regular brushing and flossing routine become more effective, leading to better oral hygiene and reduced risk of dental issues.
  • Fresher Breath: Plaque build-up can contribute to bad breath. By removing plaque and tartar through tooth polishing, you can enjoy fresher breath and improved overall oral freshness.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Smile: Tooth polishing eliminates surface stains, giving your teeth a brighter, more vibrant appearance. This can significantly enhance the aesthetics of your smile, boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Can You Polish Your Teeth at Home?

While there are various home-based dental care products claiming to offer tooth polishing benefits, it’s important to note that professional tooth polishing by a dental professional is the most effective and safest method. The tools and expertise of a dental professional ensure proper removal of plaque, tartar, and stains without causing damage to your teeth or gums. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule regular dental cleanings for optimal oral health and professional tooth polishing.

Teeth Polishing Precautions

While tooth polishing is a safe and common dental procedure, it’s essential to be aware of certain precautions:

  • Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after tooth polishing, especially if they have thin enamel or existing tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity typically subsides within a few days. If you have concerns about sensitivity, discuss them with your dental professional before the procedure.
  • Existing Dental Conditions: If you have active gum disease, tooth decay, or any other oral health issues, it’s important to address those concerns before undergoing tooth polishing. Your dental professional can assess your oral health and provide the necessary treatments or recommendations.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Tooth polishing is a preventive procedure that should be performed as part of your routine dental check-up. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health, address any developing issues, and ensure that your teeth and gums are in their best condition.

In conclusion, tooth polishing is an essential dental procedure that plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and achieving a radiant smile. It effectively removes plaque, tartar, and surface stains, contributing to healthier gums, fresher breath, and enhanced aesthetics. While professional tooth polishing is recommended for optimal results, it’s important to continue practising good oral hygiene at home by brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. By incorporating tooth polishing into your routine dental care, you can enjoy a clean, polished smile that reflects your commitment to oral health and overall well-being.

If you feel as though tooth polishing could be for you, get in touch with our team and we will schedule a consultation.

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