Tooth Polishing

Tooth polishing is the final step in a dental cleaning session and is usually performed by hygienists. It’s a painless procedure that makes your teeth feel smooth and shiny.


The polishing paste used for the procedure is typically composed of calcium carbonate, perlite or aluminum silicate. These materials are less abrasive than pumice and produce minimum scratches and a highly reflective surface.

It removes stains

Tooth polishing is a type of dental cleaning that removes superficial tooth stains and makes your teeth shiny and lustrous. It also helps to reduce the likelihood of plaque accretion and other oral accretions, such as tartar deposits or calculus. In addition, it helps to make your breath fresher. It is an important part of dental hygiene and should be done regularly.

Dental stains are generally divided into two categories: endogenous and extrinsic. The latter are due to harmful habits or food and can be seen as green, orange, or brown stains, while the former are due to chromogens that accumulate in the outermost enamel layer. The etiology of these stains is diverse and can be developmental, drug induced, or environmental.

Most dentists use a special polishing tool that resembles a soft rubber brush. They may put a polishing paste of fine, coarse, or medium abrasion on the brush and then rub it against the tooth. They also might use a rotating tool that uses air and water with glycine or sodium bicarbonate to clean the tooth. They might also use a wand that sprays out a jet of water and powder. This method is more effective for removing stubborn stains like those caused by tobacco products and other harsh foods and drinks.

Tooth polishing is usually a cosmetic procedure, but it can also be used for therapeutic reasons in certain circumstances. For example, it can help to treat gum disease when the cementum covering the root is exposed. In such cases, the hygienist will polish with a fine-powder prophy paste, and the process is often accompanied by an antiseptic rinse.

It removes plaque

Tooth polishing is an important part of the dental cleaning process and helps remove some of the built-up bacterial gunk that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Tooth stains can also be removed during the polishing procedure and it leaves your teeth looking shiny and healthy.

After the scaling portion of your hygiene visit is completed, your hygienist will polish your teeth with an abrasive paste that’s usually flavored (like bubble gum, berry, or mint). This step removes any light surface stains from the food and drink you consume, including coffee, tea, red wine, tobacco, etc. It’s not as effective for whitening as bleaching, but it does help lift any extrinsic stains that are still hanging around after the scaling and brushing have taken place.

The abrasive nature of the polishing paste also makes it difficult for bacteria to stick back to your teeth, as it can’t adhere to the soft biofilm layer that’s left behind after the scaling and brushing portions of the appointment. This can significantly reduce your risk of periodontitis and other oral health issues caused by bacteria buildup.

There are several different types of teeth polishing procedures, ranging from the use of a rubber cup with prophylaxis paste to a water jet that mixes air with sodium bicarbonate or glycine to remove stubborn stains from hard-to-reach places in the mouth. Your dentist will recommend the best option for your needs.

It makes your teeth look better

Aside from removing built-up plaque and tartar, tooth polishing can also make your teeth look brighter. During this procedure, the hygienist scoops some prophy paste (a mildly abrasive toothpaste like extra-gritty, whitening toothpaste) onto a small rubber cup that spins on the end of a wand. The hygienist then uses this tool to scrub your teeth, removing surface stains that can’t be removed by regular tooth brushing alone.

A flavored prophy paste can make the process even more pleasant. Many dentists have a variety of different flavors, from mint to berry, orange, and even bubble gum.

Tooth polishing makes your teeth look whiter by removing extrinsic stains that are caused by coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco. It also removes supragingival stains that form above the gum line, which can be due to medications, chromogenic bacteria, or poor oral hygiene.

Plaque buildup can cause gum disease, so removing it by polishing your teeth reduces your risk of gingivitis. Plus, it can help reduce bad breath. Tooth polishing can help get rid of the plaque that leads to halitosis, and it makes your teeth feel cleaner. It also enhances the effectiveness of your regular brushing and flossing, helping to prevent future dental issues. This is why it’s important to keep up with your routine dental visits. They allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and address any problems as they arise.

It’s a painless procedure

Tooth polishing is a quick, painless procedure that removes light stains from the surface of your teeth and makes them look brighter. It also helps keep your mouth healthy by removing small crevices that hold bacteria and plaque, which can lead to gum disease. It is recommended to perform tooth polishing as part of a regular dental cleaning appointment. During this procedure, a dental hygienist will use a soft rubber cup and polishing paste to scrub away dirt and discoloration. The abrasive action of the polishing paste creates small scratches on the surface of your teeth, which can help to remove stains and prevent decay.

Teeth polishing is one of the last steps in a routine cleaning, after your dentist or hygienist scales off loose and calcified tartar buildup. The final polishing at the end of your checkup removes any remaining soft biofilm that didn’t get removed by a cleaning instrument, leaving a smoother tooth surface. This reduces the chance of plaque sticking to the tooth and accumulating, which can lead to gum disease, bad breath, and cavities.

Unlike bleaching, which changes the color of your teeth, polishing only removes exogenous stains caused by food, drink, and smoking. While it isn’t as effective at whitening, it can still make your smile appear whiter and brighter. It is also a good idea to visit your dentist regularly for brushing and flossing, which can help prevent stains from developing.