The Benefits of Tooth Polishing

After your hygienist is done with the manual instrumentation, she will polish your teeth with an abrasive paste. It feels like sand and it can be uncomfortable but it is worth the smooth feeling that comes afterward.


Tooth polishing removes superficial dental stains and helps prevent plaque buildup. It also reduces bacterial colonization which can cause bad breath.

It removes stains

Tooth polishing removes stains and discolorations on your teeth. It is usually done at the end of a dental cleaning appointment, and it makes your teeth look cleaner and feel smoother. It also helps to remove soft biofilm that is difficult to remove with a toothbrush. This process is often performed by a dental hygienist using specialized equipment.

Tootin polishing is an important part of routine prophylaxis for most patients. Regular polishing removes surface stains and prevents these stains from ingraining. It is a painless and well-tolerated procedure, and it is highly recommended. However, you should note that tooth polishing is not a substitute for professional teeth whitening.

Most dentists and hygienists use rubber cups, called prophy cups, and a polishing paste that is typically flavored to reduce patient discomfort. Some of these products are available in a variety of flavors, including mint, berry, orange, and bubble gum. Xylitol-containing polishing pastes have been shown to reduce plaque, acid, and dry mouth symptoms.

A more modern alternative to polishing with rubber cups and prophy paste is air-polishing. This is a procedure that uses an air jet, water, and an abrasive agent to clean the teeth. It is a fast and effective method of removing stains, but it can cause damage to the outer layers of the teeth. Dental professionals should carefully control the amount of pressure, speed, and contact time.

It makes your teeth look whiter

Tooth polishing is done as a final step of regular dental cleanings, after the hygienist scales away loose plaque and calcified tartar. The hygienist then uses a tooth-polishing paste to remove any remaining surface stains and give your teeth that fresh, clean feel. Tooth polishing has long been a part of dental hygiene, with evidence dating back to Roman and Greek times. Early polishing pastes were made of finely ground coral, egg shells, ginger, or salt. Today’s polishing pastes contain less abrasive substances such as pumice, calcium carbonate, or zirconium silicate.

While tooth polishing is generally considered a cosmetic procedure with minimal therapeutic value, it does help make your teeth look whiter and smoother. It also helps reduce corrosion of metallic restorations.

A dentist may recommend tooth polishing when you’ve had a recent deep cleaning or when new restorations like crowns and composite fillings have been placed in your mouth. It’s important to note that dental polishing erodes the outer, fluoride-rich layers of your tooth enamel. This can leave your teeth slightly more vulnerable to sensitivity until the enamel has grown back naturally, typically within three months.

While whitening toothpastes are great for removing extrinsic stains from your teeth, polishing is necessary to keep them in good condition. As always, a dental examination is essential to determine whether or not the tooth polishing procedure is appropriate for you.

It makes your teeth smoother

One of the most important benefits of teeth polishing is that it makes your teeth feel smoother. This is because the abrasiveness of tooth polishing instruments reduces the roughness of the teeth’s surface and makes them less susceptible to plaque and stains. This is especially helpful for those with thin enamel or who have existing tooth sensitivity. However, polishing does not remove intrinsic stains that have penetrated deeper into the enamel.

Regular tooth polishing also helps prevent gum disease by reducing the amount of dental plaque that builds up on the teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria, and if it is left on the teeth for too long, it can calcify and turn into tartar. Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning, such as a scaling and root planing appointment at Lovett Dental Meyerland Plaza.

Tooth polishing is typically done at the end of a dental cleaning appointment, after the hygienist has scraped away loose and calcified plaque and tartar from the teeth. During the polishing procedure, we apply a prophy paste to the teeth and use an abrasive instrument to scrub them. This process is called “selective polishing.” The abrasiveness of the prophy paste can vary from fine to coarse, depending on the extent of staining on the teeth.

It reduces sensitivity

Tooth polishing is a preventive dental procedure that can be performed during your regular checkups. It is a mildly abrasive procedure that removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. It also reduces gum inflammation and helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. It can also help to improve bad breath by eliminating bacteria buildup in the mouth.

Typically, tooth polishing is done using a prophy paste or powder that has an abrasive texture. The abrasiveness of the paste changes from coarse to fine, which helps to scrub away stains and leave the tooth surface smooth. Usually, the abrasiveness of the paste is matched to the type of stain you have on your teeth.

The abrasion of tooth polishing does not damage the enamel, although some people can experience temporary sensitivity after it is done. This sensitivity is most common in individuals with thin enamel or existing tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity usually disappears after a few days.

In addition to removing plaque and stains, tooth polishing can help to eliminate bacterial biofilm from the teeth. This is a major cause of gum disease and can lead to tooth, bone, and even heart damage. Regular removal of this biofilm is critical for oral health.

Tooth polishing can remove both extrinsic stains and some intrinsic stains, but not all stains. The former are stains that appear above the gum line and are caused by a variety of dietary and environmental factors, including tobacco use, betel quid chewing, and certain medications. The latter are stains that occur during the development of the tooth and can be brown, green, orange, or black.