Does Scaling and Polishing Whiten Your Teeth?

Dentist Doing Scaling and Polishing for Patient

Scaling and polishing are the go-to teeth cleaning procedures for healthy and beautiful teeth. A trip to the dentist once or twice a year for a session would typically be sufficient in keeping plaque and tartar at bay. But with advanced teeth whitening treatments available today, are scaling and polishing services still relevant? Are they as effective at whitening your teeth? Read on to find out more. 

What is Scaling and Polishing?

Dental scaling refers to the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from the surface of your teeth. It is performed using specialised dental instruments, typically ultrasonic scalers, to gently scrape away these deposits, especially in areas that are difficult to reach with regular oral hygiene practices. 

Polishing is the step that follows. After scaling, the dentist will use a tool and a mildly abrasive paste to smooth and polish your teeth. It removes any residual stains, plaque, or soft deposits that may still be present, giving the teeth a smoother and cleaner surface that plaque will find challenging to adhere to. While this contributes to enhancing teeth appearance, it is not a teeth whitening treatment. 

What Will Scaling and Polishing Help With?

If scaling and polishing doesn’t whiten teeth then what do they do? Well, these procedures do help to remove extrinsic stains, which are discolourations caused by external factors, such as food consumption or your lifestyle habits. Things like coffee, berries, sauces, and smoking, can all affect the natural lustre of your teeth. Scaling and polishing work to eliminate these stains that happen on the surface, giving you smoother, shinier, and slightly brighter teeth. 

However, the main goal of both dental services is to prevent and treat gum disease. By keeping your teeth clean and free of harmful substances like plaque and tartar, you are less likely to suffer from inflammation or develop gum problems. 

Is Scaling and Polishing Important?

Yes! Dental scaling and polishing are two procedures crucial to oral health.

Bacteria in Mouth

The mouth provides bacteria with the ideal conditions to proliferate as they thrive in dark, warm and moist environments. When plaque bacteria accumulates, they harden into tough, yellow or brown deposits we know as tartar. These stick to the teeth and, unfortunately, are almost impossible to remove via normal brushing and flossing. Your only solution is to have them professionally cleaned through scaling and polishing services. 

If left untreated, plaque and tartar can cause dental health issues such as cavities, gingivitis, and even tooth loss. And that’s not all, these problems will develop alongside bad breath and discoloured teeth, all of which can be very unpleasant. 

Achieve Your Desired Teeth Brightness with Teeth Whitening Treatments

Clean and Healthy Set of Teeth

Now, if dental scaling and polishing are only effective at keeping your teeth clean and removing extrinsic stains, what should you do to get rid of the discolouration that occurs deep within your teeth? 

Enter teeth whitening treatments—advanced procedures designed to make your teeth whiter through the use of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide (two natural bleaching agents). The oxygen molecules present in the whitening agents react with discoloured molecules in your teeth to break the bonds that hold them together, whitening your teeth. 

Learn More: The A to Z of Teeth Whitening Treatments

While the price of teeth whitening is relatively higher as compared to scaling and polishing, the benefits it offers make it worth it. Not only can you see results in a relatively short amount of time, this procedure is also painless and especially convenient. Some dental clinics even offer take-home kits for you to whiten your teeth within the comforts of your home. 

If you’re looking for a teeth whitening solution, Brightside Dental is a dental clinic in Singapore that specialises in whitening teeth. Grab our teeth whitening kit today or schedule your first in-office appointment with us