What to Expect from a Scale and Polish

It doesn’t matter how well you brush your teeth, there are some areas that your toothbrush simply cannot reach. Thankfully, dentists have developed a way to complete the cleaning using a process called a scale and polish. This will be carried out by a dental hygienist and you should usually make an appointment to see your hygienist every three to six months.

What is a scale and polish?

The scale and polish is designed to give your teeth a thorough cleaning which is much more effective than brushing alone. Not only will your teeth look cleaner, but your whole mouth will feel cleaner, too. Your dental hygienist will use something known as an electric scaler to remove the hardest tartar. This vibrates at a very high speed to break up the hard substance on your teeth, your gumline, and between your teeth in those hard to reach places. A jet of water will wash away any debris from this stage in the cleaning process. Your dental hygienist may use a variety of instruments to reach different parts of your mouth.

scale and polish treatmentNext up, the polish stage will restore your teeth to their natural sheen using a rotating brush and toothpaste. Alternatively, your dental hygienist may use a device like the Airflow teeth cleaning machine. This emits a stream of water, air and sodium bicarbonate and is very effective at cleaning and polishing your teeth.

Why is a scale and polish necessary?

Throughout the day, a sticky film of plaque builds up on your teeth. This sticky substance is full of bacteria and it is turned into an acid when it reacts with the sugar in our food. Plaque can be removed by brushing your teeth twice a day, but the problems lie in those hard to reach areas. When plaque builds up over time, it hardens into a substance known as calculus or tartar. As this is a harder substance, it’s harder to remove with brushing alone, which is where the scale and polish procedure comes in.

Does the scale and polish procedure hurt?

No, the scale and polish procedure shouldn’t hurt, but you may feel some unusual sensations in your mouth. This might include a scraping sensation or a tickling feeling in your gums. A numbing gel can be used if you are very nervous about any dental pain. If you are nervous about the scale and polish being painful, then speak to the receptionist when you book your appointment and they will be able to let your dental hygienist know.

How often should I have a hygienist treatment?

We would recommend a scale and polish treatment every six months in order to prevent the build up of plaque on your teeth. Some people will require the treatment less frequently, so provided you are visiting your dentist every six months they will be able to tell you if you need a scale and polish. Some people like to have a scale and polish after an orthodontic treatment, while others will have a scale and polish to get their teeth and gums in top shape before a dental implant procedure.

If you’d like to book a scale and polish with one of our friendly dental hygienists, give us a call on 01925 756565


Practice Hours

Monday: 9.00am – 8.00pm
Tuesday: 8.00am – 8.00pm
Wednesday: 9.00am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 8.00am – 5.30pm
Friday: 9.00am – 4.00pm
Saturdays by appointment only.

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Dental Solutions
9 Henry St,
WA13 0LS

01925 756565


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