Scale and Polish: Everything You Need to Know

What is a Scale and Polish?

What is a Scale and Polish, why would you need one, is a scale and polish actually good for your teeth?

In this post, we will discuss what is a scale and polish and everything you need to know about the procedure. Let’s dive in!

What is a Scale and Polish?

A scale and polish is a routine dental cleaning procedure that involves the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth, keeping your gums and teeth healthy.

Plaque or tartar will always build up on the surface of the teeth, despite having a good oral hygiene routine.

Whilst brushing and flossing helps to remove plaque from the tooth surface, sometimes it’s not enough and this is where a scale and polish comes in.

Why Would You Need a Scale and Polish?

Why Would You Need a Scale and Polish?

A scale and polish is important for two main reasons:

  1. To remove any harmful plaque or tartar from your teeth which, if left untreated, can lead to tooth decay, bleeding gums or gum disease.
  2. To help prevent these conditions by keeping your teeth as clean as possible.

Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend a scale and polish if they see signs of tartar build-up on your teeth during a regular check-up. Tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

It can also help to brighten your smile by removing stains from your teeth.

How is it Done? Scale and Polish Procedure

  1. The first step in the procedure is to remove any plaque or tartar on your teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will do this with a special instrument called a scaler.
  2. They will scrape the scaler along your teeth to loosen and remove the plaque and tartar.
  3. Next, they will use a rotating brush to clean your teeth more thoroughly. This will help to remove any remaining plaque or tartar as well as any surface stains on your teeth.
  4. The final step is to polish your teeth with a special toothpaste. This will help to make your teeth look shiny and new!

What Exactly is Plaque and Tartar?

What Exactly is Plaque and Tartar?

Plaque is a sticky film of hardened bacteria that forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar.

Tartar is a hard deposit that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. Plaque and tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease if they are not removed.

Who Can Perform a Scale and Polish?

The procedure can be performed by your dentist or dental hygienist. They are specially trained to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth without causing any damage.

Dentists/dental hygienists will use special instruments to gently scrape away any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth.

Once all of the plaque and tartar has been removed, they will then use a rotating brush with a gritty toothpaste to ‘polish’ your teeth.

This helps to remove any final traces of plaque or tartar as well as giving your teeth a lovely clean and shiny appearance.

How Painful is a Scale and Polish?

A scale and polish is not a painful procedure but some people may find it a little uncomfortable.

If you have sensitive teeth, dental hygienists may use a numbing gel before starting the procedure.

Some people also find they have bleeding gums during the process but this is normal and will stop once the procedure is finished.

How Often Should I Have a Scale and Polish?

How Often Should I Have a Scale and Polish?

The frequency will depend on how much plaque or tartar has built up on your teeth.

If you have good oral hygiene habits then you may only need it once every few years. However, if you have poor oral hygiene habits then you may need one every six months (or even more frequently).

You may however require so more often if you have gum disease or if you smoke tobacco products.

Can a Scale and Polish Whiten Teeth?

A scale and polish can help to remove surface stains from your teeth and make them look brighter, so it can certainly help.

However, it will not change the natural colour of your teeth.

If you are looking for a way to change the colour of your teeth then you may want to consider tooth whitening. This is a cosmetic procedure that can change the colour of your teeth by several shades.

How much does a scale and polish cost in the UK?

The cost can vary depending on the dental practice you visit. However, the average cost is around £40-£60.

You may be able to find cheaper prices at some private practices or NHS dentists.

Is a Scale and Polish Good for your Teeth?

Yes it is!

Not having a scale and polish procedure when necessary does come with some risks. can These can include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Yellow or stained teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Abscesses

Of course, there are ways you can keep your teeth and gums healthy beyond your usual brushing routine.

How To Significantly Improve Your Oral Health

Brushing alone isn’t enough. Flossing and diet also contribute to oral health and should be taken into consideration.

Oral probiotics UK

Have you thought about dental probiotics? Dental probiotics are relatively new but they have been shown to be effective in reducing bad breath, plaque and gingivitis.

They work by introducing good bacteria into your mouth which helps to fight off the bad bacteria that can cause problems like plaque and gingivitis.

Check out our articles here on dental probiotics, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Summary

So there you have it. Everything you need to know about scale and polish!

A scale and polish is a simple but effective way to:

  • Remove any plaque or tartar build-up from the teeth.
  • Help to give you whiter teeth.
  • Prevent gum disease which could result from plaque.

In addition to brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet, consider adding dental probiotics to your oral care routine as they can help reduce bad breath, plaque and gingivitis.

We hope this article has been helpful in answering any questions you had!

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