Teeth Scale and Polish – What You Should Look Out For

Teeth Scale and Polish
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What is teeth scale and polish?

This is a critical aspect of good dental hygiene that needs to be performed regularly to see that your teeth stay healthy. Brushing your teeth alone will not give the desired result. But when you get a scale and polish, both your mouth and teeth will be as clean as ever, which is why the procedure is more effective than just brushing.

What we know today as scale and polish is a process designed by dentists to reach those areas in the mouth that regular toothbrushes cannot get to – a dental hygienist carries out the procedure. You should schedule an appointment with a dental hygienist every 3 to 6 months to get the best possible teeth care.

Dentists use a variety of tools in fixing oral issues and taking care of the teeth. We know that one of the reasons people dread going to the dentist is the anxiety they have regarding dental tools. But at our practice, we do all that’s possible to calm patients and make them understand what the tools are for, including the ones we use for scaling and polishing.

Why do teeth scale and polish matter?

Most often, a scale and polish are essential as it keeps gum disease at bay. Do you know that regular teeth brushing may not be effective enough to eliminate accumulated bacteria that eventually progress into tartar?

Each day, a sticky bacteria-filled film of plaque forms on your teeth from morning till evening. Upon reaction with the acid contained in our food, this film changes to acid. It is true that you can remove plaque by brushing two times a day, but the issue lies in those parts of the mouth that cannot be reached.

Hardened plaque progresses into calculus or tartar, which is tougher than plaque. This makes it even more difficult to take out with a toothbrush. So, to remove this substance, you need a scale and polish.

How long does it take to get a scale and polish?

Around 20 to 45 minutes, your dentist should be done scaling and polishing your teeth. However, it comes down to how severe the deposits on your teeth are.

How is the scale and polish done?

The dentist will begin by using an electric or ultrasound scraper to scrape the deposits. This device which has a sharp tip, vibrates at maximum speed enough to crack up the tough substance on your teeth, gum, and between teeth in areas not easily reached. Any remaining tartar will be scraped off using manual instruments.

The next step involves using a jet of water to wash off any debris from your teeth. Bear in mind that your dentist may employ different instruments to access the many parts of your mouth. Some of these appliances will do only the job in particular areas of the mouth. When your dentist is satisfied with the scaling done so far, they will proceed to give your teeth “the polish”.

In the last stage of this procedure, the dentist will use a rotating brush and premium quality toothpaste to polish your teeth to make them smoother. Here, every stain will be removed, and your teeth will shine brighter and whiter. Polishing also involves smoothing rough patches on the teeth to avoid any buildup of plaque later on. Another alternative approach your dental hygienist may use is the Airflow technology. The machine releases a jet of air, water, and sodium bicarbonate to clean and polish your teeth, restoring them to their natural sheen. This method is very effective.

After the entire process has been done, you might be surprised to see that your teeth will not look so different from what they used to be, but they would feel more cleaner.

Will it hurt my teeth to have a scale and polish?

Not at all. The procedure is not painful, though you may experience some odd feelings inside your mouth. You may feel a tickling or scraping sensation in your gums. If necessary, the dentist may apply a numbing gel, especially if you feel anxious about an oral discomfort.

It is crucial you speak with your dental hygienist if you feel that the procedure may cause pain.

What happens after a scale and polish?

Find out from your dentist how often you need a scale and polish. Make sure to comply with good hygiene practices at home in between procedures. This is because the scale and polish is just a plus to your routine dental hygiene. Most of it should be performed at home.

At Dental Hygienist London, we recommend that you get a scale and polish every six months to stop plaque from forming on your teeth. This differs from person to person as certain people may require less frequent treatment. In general, visit your dentist every six months to know whether you need this procedure.

There are customers that need a scale and polish after orthodontic treatment. Some other persons may choose to have the procedure before getting dental implants to make their teeth and gum healthy.


A scale and polish are essential in maintaining healthy, hygienic teeth. This is an all essential step to preventing gum disease or impede it from becoming worse.

After scale and polish, your dentist will find out if you need advice or talk about any concerns you have. This is the time for you to discuss oral health tips for more good results. The procedure does not bring discomfort, but some persons often experience slight discomfort.

Would you like to have a scale and polish in London from our experienced dental hygienist? You can simply book an appointment with us. Just like our name implies, we are all about oral health and hygiene. Do contact us.

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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.