Is Tooth Polishing a Good Thing for Your Oral Health?
Posted on 12/7/2020 by Ashley Miller
We regularly polish the teeth when a patient comes in to have their teeth cleaned. It is done to support scaling the teeth and applying a fluoride treatment afterwards.
How Beneficial is Tooth Polishing?
A lot of research as gone into tooth polishing and as such, tooth polishing is debated in the dental field with respect to its usefulness. One 2018 review noted that tooth polishing, in and of itself, will not prevent gum disease. However, the same report showed that tooth polishing, along with scaling, led to significantly less plaque buildup on the teeth. By having less plaque buildup, a patient can preserve the enamel on the teeth, which, when eroded or damaged, cannot be restored. It was also found that tooth polishing removes bacteria on a tooth's surface. Therefore, from these results, tooth polishing can significantly improve the appearance of the teeth, as it removes both biofilm and plaque, which results in healthier gums and a more attractive smile.
When Is Polishing Used?
During a dental cleaning and exam, the teeth are first inspected to check for weak spots or decay. Afterwards, the tartar and plaque are scraped from the teeth's surface, which is called scaling. When the plaque and tartar have been removed, the teeth are buffed and polished to remove stains before they are flossed, and a fluoride is applied. Polishing uses two types of devices - one device features a rubber cup and slow-moving drill. The cup contains a low-abrasive paste that polishes the teeth. Another type of device blasts baking soda into cracks and crevices and between teeth to polish them. Polishing can remove any micro debris, and therefore gives the teeth a smoother feel after a dental cleaning.
Have you had your teeth cleaned in the last 6 months? If not, now is a time to schedule an appointment. Contact us by phone to schedule a cleaning and exam today.