A beautiful smile with white aligned teeth can work wonders for your personality. You feel confident at work and in social circles. Cosmetic dentistry offers a way to help you get that beautiful smile with polished white teeth. Know all about teeth polishing and why and how it can be of immense benefit to you and your oral health.
What is dental polishing?
Some people can confuse teeth cleaning with teeth polishing and consider the two to be one and the same. There is a fine line of difference and, if you ask a professional dentist what is dental polishing you are likely to receive a more precise answer. The simple answer is that it is a finishing procedure, usually applied after teeth cleaning and whitening procedures. Polishing is also used to remove surface stains and sometimes after dental surgery in order to remove bacteria. A standard procedure makes use of a small rubber cup and polishing paste in fine, medium or coarse grade. An alternative is to use air and water jet along with a fine abrasive to polish teeth.
The benefits of polishing teeth
The obvious benefit to getting teeth polished is that you have a bright smile. However, the benefits of polishing teeth go beyond just good looks.
Periodic polishing of teeth ensures that there is no build up of plaque and tartar. The enamel of your tooth is preserved. Plaque and tartar breed bacteria that can cause bad breath and even cardiovascular issues.
There are fewer chances of dental caries and you retain use of your teeth throughout your life. Neglect can lead to infection of the tooth.
Undergo teeth polishing twice a year and you need not worry about swollen gums, receding gums and tooth loss or toothache.
Teeth polishing procedure
There are two prevalent teeth polishing procedures.
One method is to use a soft rubber cup into which the dentist fills fine, coarse or medium grade paste. The rotary tool rotates the cup and when it is pressed against the tooth it helps in the removal of plaque and stains.
The second method uses air and water jet in conjunction with glycine or sodium bicarbonate to address stains that are deeper or where teeth are more sensitive.
Polishing teeth after scaling
Plaque, tartar, and calculus can and do build up on teeth over time. Plaque is a sticky film that breeds bacteria and, in a day, it transforms into harder calculus or tarter. Brushing cannot remove calculus and the scaling procedure is the only way to remove the hard deposit. Polishing is a finishing process in which stains may be removed and teeth become smooth and shiny. Though not absolutely necessary, polishing teeth after scaling does help to remove stains and remove bacteria from tooth roots that the normal scaling procedure could not reach and remove. Everyone should undergo the polishing procedure because even regular brushing cannot prevent tartar build up. It is best to undergo this procedure at least once every three months. Polishing does help teeth look better and whiter but if your teeth are fine after the scaling procedure you may opt for polishing just twice a year.
Difference between teeth polishing and whitening
Some people are confused as to the difference between teeth polishing and whitening. Teeth whitening procedure usually is carried out by a cosmetic dentist using gels that contain peroxide applied to the teeth after placing protective shields over the gums. Some dentists may use a laser to intensify the bleaching action of teeth whitening pastes or gels. The duration and frequency of teeth whitening depend on how deeply stained your teeth are and the extent of discoloration. On the other hand, teeth polishing is a mechanical procedure using a rubber cup filled with a polishing paste or water-air jet with glycerin or sodium carbonate to smoothen the surface of the teeth. It does not whiten teeth but teeth look cleaner and brighter.
Is polishing teeth good or bad?
Tooth scaling is essential in order to remove deposits and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Opinions are divided and one of the most frequently asked questions is: Is polishing teeth good or bad? Some dentists are of the opinion that teeth polishing procedure offers no tangible health benefits and it is not absolutely necessary. If not done properly, polishing can remove the thin protective enamel and cause dental sensitivity. Undergoing a scaling procedure every two or three months is good for gums and teeth. It may not be mandatory for you to follow this up with teeth polishing every time. What teeth polishing procedure can do for you is that it imparts a smooth and finished look to your teeth. You look and feel good. As in any other dental procedure, let your dentist check your teeth and advise whether polishing is advisable or not in your case.
Teeth polishing side effects
If not done properly any dental procedure has side effects. Scaling, for instance, can be overdone and damage the tooth enamel and also the gums. Some of the teeth polishing side effects you may encounter depend on the way it is done and the state of your gums and teeth. If you opt for scaling it does not follow that you must necessarily undergo teeth polishing. Keep in mind that polishing can affect the fine enamel layer that contains fluoride. Enamel does regrow in time but still, if you have sensitive teeth or gum conditions then you should think twice before getting your teeth polished. If a tooth has an infection within or if gums are inflamed then you should get these conditions treated. Another thing to keep in mind is that the polishing compounds may cause allergic symptoms, especially in those with respiratory problems and in cases where the individual has hypertension. Your dentist will certainly ascertain pre-existing conditions before recommending the polishing procedure.
Teeth polishing is a cosmetic finishing procedure that does offer benefits when properly done by expert dentists especially after a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure. Your teeth positively will sparkle and shine!
FAQs related to teeth polishing
Let’s have a look at some of the frequently asked questions related to teeth polishing.
1. How can I polish my teeth at home?
There are several DIY recipes and over-the-counter (OTC) tooth polishing kits available that people use to polish their teeth at home. Some commonly used ingredients used in
DIY recipes for stained teeth include activated charcoal and baking soda.
2. How much does tooth polishing cost?
Depending on the condition of your teeth and the professional you choose, the price of teeth polishing may vary. HOn average, the cost may come to around $125. However, a routine professional polishing process generally varies between $75-200.
3. How long does the teeth polishing process take?
A teeth polishing process can take about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the condition of your teeth. A professional dental hygienist performs the process in a dentist’s office. Before starting the process, teeth are examined properly. Also, the excess buildup of dental plaque and tartar is removed by the professional before polishing the enamel.
4. Can you eat after tooth polishing?
If your tooth polishing process includes a fluoride treatment or air polishing, you must wait at least 30 minutes to eat. If it doesn’t include a fluoride treatment or air polishing, there is no need to wait. It is advisable to avoid foods that could stain or discolor your teeth for at least 6 to 8 hours after the tooth polishing process.
5. What do dentists use to polish teeth?
It is important to know that tooth polishing is a painless process. A dental hygienist generally uses a soft rubber cup and polishing paste to perform the procedure. In case of severe stains, the professional may use an air-polishing method. In this method, a jet of pressurized air and water mixed with an abrasive agent is used to remove the stains.
Teeth polishing is a cosmetic finishing procedure that does offer benefits when properly done by expert dentists, especially after a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure. Your teeth positively will sparkle and shine!