One excellent reason for visiting your dentist is to get your teeth cleaned and polished. But, why do dentists polish teeth? Teeth cleaning and polishing enable your dentist to keep on top of your oral hygiene. Every day, simply brushing and flossing is not enough. Even using a mouthwash won’t be sufficient to keep up a decent level of oral health in the long term.

Cleaning comes before polishing

Tooth polishing is not new to the dental check-up routine. Polishing is part of dental cleaning performed by your dentist or dental hygienist. The whole purpose of a dental cleaning is to eliminate the presence of plaque and tartar. Which over time accumulate on the surface of your teeth. If this is not removed it could lead to the later onset of cavities which can lead to painful gum disease.

If your dental hygienist has been given the job by your dentist, they follow a clear procedure. The first thing that will be done is the removal of plaque and tartar that has attached itself to your teeth.

An ultrasonic tool that emits fine vibrations is used to remove the tartar. This you then rinse out of your mouth. Followed by this is the use of a hand tool to get rid of any smaller spots of tartar and plaque.


Once the plaque and tartar have been removed from your teeth and they are clean, it’s time to polish.

Polishing is generally done using a wand like instrument. The instrument is attached to a small rubber cup that spins around at the end of the wand. Before the polishing begins your dentist or dental hygienist puts what is called “prophy paste” on top of the rubber cup.

This paste is basically a grittier form of toothpaste and comes in a variety of flavours. It is applied to your teeth and the cup spins the paste on your teeth. This both removes stains and polishes at the same time.  After you have rinsed out your mouth your teeth will be flossed. Usually a fluoride treatment is applied which helps your teeth to absorb certain minerals. he minerals serve to add extra strength to your teeth.

Stain removal is the main reason for polishing teeth

When it comes to efficient oral hygiene techniques the removing of plaque and tartar using the ultrasonic scaling method is the best. It is the most successful way of controlling the bacteria that forms on your teeth. Polishing is used to remove stains caused by products like tobacco, coffee, red wine, and tomato sauce. Even though it may make your teeth feel smoother it’s still not the most effective way to keep bacteria at bay. It is part of the complete process of dental cleaning performed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

You have to help yourself too by keeping up your twice daily brushing and flossing and visiting your dentist twice yearly.

This is so any necessary cleaning and polishing can take place on a regular basis. Neglecting this important dental hygiene programme could cost you your teeth in later life.