Your dentist or hygienist will use a ‘scale and polish’ when your teeth require a thorough clean to remove all traces of plaque and tartar. Scaling is used to remove the hard tartar on your teeth, which cannot be removed by simply brushing your teeth. The polishing stage helps to clean away stains from your teeth, which may have been caused by coffee, tea or red wine. If you have gum disease, you will require a deeper scaling which is called ‘root planning or curettage’. As this treatment cleans all around the roots of the teeth, your dentist or hygienist may discuss the option of giving you a local anesthetic, so that it does not feel too sensitive and uncomfortable.
Having a regular ‘scale and polish’ will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and it will make it easier for you to keep them clean at home. As this procedure will thoroughly clean your teeth, they will look and feel different too. If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, this may be the early signs of gum disease and you should tell your dentist. By visiting your dentist or hygienist for regular scaling, this can help prevent gum disease from getting worse. This will also prevent bad breath, which may be caused by gum disease.