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Teeth cleaning

"Scale and polish" procedure

Professional dental cleaning procedure is also known as scale and polish. It is a very common dental treatment designed to form part of a dental hygiene plan with the aim of keeping your teeth clean and healthy. It is recommended to perform this procedure at least twice a year.

So, why do you need a "scale and polish"?

Your teeth come under constant attack from the starches and sugars present in our food which are released as we eat. When this combines with plaque – the sticky bacterial film that forms on the teeth over time, it produces an acid which is harmful to our teeth.

This plaque forms on the surface of and between our teeth and can also affect the gum line. If is not removed then it will harden and form calculus or "tartar" – a yellow or brown mineral deposit which causes the teeth to have a rough or "crusty" appearance. This makes them vulnerable to further plaque attacks.

Plaque can corrode the teeth over time which causes cavities and tooth decay as well as bad breath. If it leads to tartar formation, especially around the gums then gingivitis can occur. The danger with this is that it can lead to the more serious periodontal gum disease.

A scale and polish can remove plaque and leave your teeth feeling nice and smooth. And, it will help to prevent gum disease.

What does a scale and polish involve?

The "scale" part of the procedure involves the dentist using an ultrasound device which emits vibrations to loosen large areas of tartar. It will spray a cooling mist at the same time which washes away the debris.

This tends to be relatively painless although you may experience some pain if these particles hit the gums as well as your teeth. However, our dentist will be aware of this and will try and minimise the risk of this happening.

Once your teeth are beautifully smooth our dentist will then give them a polish with fluoride. Fluoride is good at strengthening the teeth as well as providing essential minerals to any teeth that have been eroded by acid.