Healthy Gums Will Keep Your Teeth
What is scaling and polishing?
A 'scale and polish' cleans your teeth very thoroughly.
Scaling removes the hard tartar (calculus) which forms on your teeth like scale inside a kettle. You can't remove it just by brushing your teeth. Scaling also removes trapped food and plaque containing millions of germs which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Stains from coffee, tea, cigarettes or red wine are also cleaned away when your hygienist polishes your teeth.
It is important to see the hygienist regularly - as often as every three months for some patients who rapidly build up tartar deposits. This is because
tartar in contact with the gum tissue causes it to get inflamed and inflamed gum is diseased so regular removal helps to keep the gums healthy. The hygienists are very valued and important members of
my team at Newnham Dental Practice
There are two ways to scale teeth.
- Hand scalers - these come in different sizes and shapes, to reach different parts of your teeth. This is why you will see the hygienist changing instruments quite often.
- Ultrasonic scalers - these use very fast vibration with water. The water is sucked out of your mouth. A hand scaler is used to check whether the teeth are completely clean.
For polishing, your hygienist will use a rotating brush or rubber polisher with polishing paste.
Scaling cleans above and below the gums. If you have gum disease, scaling needs to be deeper, around the roots of the teeth.
This is called 'root planing'. Your hygienist may give you a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable.
Your hygienist will tell you about the best way to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly at home.
What are the benefits?
- Regular scaling and polishing by a hygienist helps keep your teeth and gums healthy by making it easier for you to keep your teeth clean at home. You should see and feel the difference.
- If your gums bleed when you brush, you may have early gum disease. Regular scaling helps to stop the disease getting worse.
- Gum disease can cause bad breath, which you can prevent by regular scaling and cleaning your teeth thoroughly at home.