Is tooth polishing necessary?

Food, drinks, cigarette smoking and many other things can impact the condition of our teeth and cause breakage and discolouration, which can sometimes be painful; and a bit embarrassing.

Sometimes our pearly whites aren’t that white, so many people opt for dental procedures to improve the look of their chompers, some of which are considered purely cosmetic.

One such procedure is ‘teeth polishing’.

Teeth polishing is the last thing a dental hygienist does during a teeth cleaning procedure. If you have ever had your teeth professionally cleaned, you will remember the mildly gritty paste and a rotating polisher. Some describe the feeling to be similar to sandpapering with an electric sander; a milder version of course, as the procedure isn’t painful for the patient.

After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned and all the plaque and tartar removed, then it’s time for polishing, but does the polishing in itself help your oral health in any way?

Julie Frantsve-Hawley, the editor of The International Journal of Evidence-Based Practice for the Dental Hygienist told the New York Times, “There is no health benefit to polishing. It’s not going to impact tooth decay, gum disease or oral cancer.”

Polishing with a gritty paste can remove stains on a tooth’s surface. But to get rid of stains, hygienists should also be scaling, said Marcia Lorentzen, the dean of the Fones School of Dental Hygiene at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

Experts did clarify that even though the procedure is quite rigorous, it will not wear done the tooth’s enamel, as many fear. As long as patients who opt in to the procedure only do so twice a year at maximum, it should be 100% safe.

So essentially, if you want a whiter smile, having a polish wouldn’t do you any harm; as long as you understand that it doesn’t replace a regular oral hygiene routine.

If you would like to leave a comment