By Dr. James C.H. Ko Contributing author, Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, as well as a Master of Science, from the University of Toronto.
A flawless smile is the real confidence booster. Everyone wants to have white, clean, shiny and plaque-free teeth. Sometimes brushing and flossing teeth doesn’t give the desired result. In such cases, teeth polishing can be an excellent option. Teeth polishing comes under Cosmetic Dentistry.
Any kind of dental work that aims at improving the appearance of gums and teeth is covered under cosmetic dentistry. The dentist uses various techniques to improve the overall appearance of teeth and smile. This is achieved by improving the color, shape, alignment, and position of our teeth. Among all the techniques, teeth whitening is the most commonly used dental procedures.
Teeth Polishing – Introduction
Dental/ tooth or coronal polishing involves smoothing of the outermost or exposed surface of the tooth. It comes under teeth whitening dental procedure. The main aim of this procedure is to get shiny, smooth and cleaner teeth. A special set of tools are used for dental polishing. Teeth polishing is a painless dental procedure. Teeth polishing can be done in the beginning as well as at the end of the dental appointment.
Why there is a need for teeth polishing
Teeth polishing is used to remove external stains and soft plaque deposits from both the front and back side of the teeth and makes teeth surface look smoother and shinier.
Teeth polishing Process:
Most of the dentist and dental hygienists perform teeth polishing at the end of the dental session. Before going for teeth polishing dentist clean the teeth thoroughly by removing plaque and food particles. This process is known as scaling. Once scaling is done, its time to get the polishing done. It is done by using a special tool which has a rubber cup attached to it. For this cosmetic dentistry process polishing agent is used. The pastes which are used for teeth polishing are known as prophy paste. This paste is filled into the rubber cup through which it is rubbed on the surface of the tooth. Prophy pastes are available in three forms
• Coarse Paste
Medium and coarse pastes are very effective as far as cleaning is concerned. However, sometimes they may roughen the outer surface of the tooth which makes them prone to getting more stains later. On the other hand, fine pastes are less damaging and give a
smooth and shiny surface, but in some cases, they turn out to be less effective.
Oral hygiene is very important irrespective of age. It is said that oral hygiene has a great effect on the overall health of an individual. Hence, regular visits (at least twice a year) to a dental care center is highly recommended. Moreover, getting regular dental check-ups would also help in detecting oral issues like a cavity, oral cancer or gum issues at an early stage. No matter how effectively you take care of your oral hygiene, visiting a dentist regularly would help you keep your teeth healthy, shiny and strong for a very long time.
Some of the major benefits of teeth polishing are discussed below:
1. Prevent cavities and tooth decay: Cavities are the small holes on the tooth surface. Cavities are very harmful to teeth. Plaque turns out to be one of the major reason for the formation of cavities. It is a bacterial deposit which is quite sticky and white in color. Too much accumulation of plaque on the tooth surface starts eating away the outermost layer of the tooth. Proper brushing and teeth flossing do help in preventing plaque formation. However, a regular dental visit is still recommended to get a proper check-up.
The dentist has tools to check each and every corner of your teeth. In case there is a plaque deposit on the tooth surface, it can easily be removed by the painless process of teeth polishing.
2. Avoid gum disease: Oral hygiene is not only about keeping your teeth clean. Having healthy gums is also very important. While brushing, if your teeth bleed it shows that there is some problem with gums. Plaque can be one of the reasons behind the gum problems. Yes, plaque does affect our gums especially, if it starts building up below the gum line. If not taken care on time in extreme cases it may even result in tooth loss. Hence, proper and thorough cleaning of teeth and gums is very important. Furthermore, a regular visit to the dentist will ensure that your teeth are healthy and there is no sign of plaque deposition. In case there is any sign of plaque build up on your tooth or below the gum line it is better to get it cleaned at an early stage.
3. Remove stains: A very common dental problem faced by many people is the presence of stains. These yellow marks spoil not only that beautiful smile but also affects an individual’s self-confidence. Numerous reasons may result in stains. Use of tobacco products, drinking tea/ coffee or wine are some of the very common habits that result in stains on the tooth surface. Regular brushing may remove or lighten these stains but to get that whiter and shinier smile visiting the dentist is the best option. Teeth polishing would help you in getting that desired beautiful smile.
4. Boost your overall health: You may not be aware of the fact that your oral hygiene has a direct effect on your body. As discussed earlier, plaque deposits on the teeth surface is basically a bacterial deposit. Studies have proved that poor oral hygiene increases the chances of getting strokes, heart-related ailments, and other diseases. Advanced stages of gum disease can result in hardening of the arteries which may further result in a heart attack or even stroke. Hence, by visiting the dentist and getting this simple process of cosmetic dentistry twice in a year would give help you in leading a healthier life.
5. Freshens your breath: one of the major turn-offs in an individual’s personality is ‘bad breath.’ Keeping your mouth clean is the easiest and best way to avoid bad breath or halitosis. However, in some cases, brushing and flossing fail to resolve the issue of bad breath. Reason being the presence of dental issue-tartar formation. Advanced stage of plaque deposits results in tartar, which is hard and crusty. The dentist uses the process of scaling to remove it. Scaling followed by teeth polishing would help you in getting freshen breath and shiny teeth.
6. Helps you save money: Many people avoid oral hygiene related issues as they considered it waste of money. However, what they don’t understand that to save some pennies they end up spending a lot more in the end. Cost of getting teeth cleaned and polished is far less as compared to the expenditure of getting a cavity filled or treating other periodontal diseases. Hence, it is advisable to give your dentist those regular visits as it helps in the early detection of oral-related issues.
Next time you think about skipping your regular dental appointment, just think Twice. Just remember, your overall oral hygiene is very important to live a healthy life. Moreover, it ensures that you always have that beautiful smile on your face.
Dr. James C.H. Ko earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, as well as a Master of Science, from the University of Toronto. Dr. Ko is fluent in English and Mandarin and is learning to speak Cantonese