A scale and polish is recommended every six months to ensure your teeth receive a deep and thorough clean. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing will help to keep your teeth in good condition but there are hard to reach areas which cannot always be cleaned properly. Throughout the day, plaque builds up all over your teeth. It is a sticky film, full of bacteria, that turns into acid when it reacts with the sugar in the foods you eat. Normally plaque is removed fairly easily by brushing our teeth with a good toothpaste. However, in those hard to reach spots that our brush cannot get to, the plaque continues to build up until it hardens into calculus or tartar. This is much, much harder to remove and can lead to several dental problems which include tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Regular hygiene treatments will help prevent the build up of tartar.
Your dentist will probably use an ultrasonic scaler to remove the toughest calculus. This has a very fine tip which vibrates at high speeds. It also emits a jet of water. Together, the scaler and jet of water scrape away the calculus and clean away the debris lodged between the teeth.
Secondly, your dentist will also have a set of hand instruments which can be used to reach the more awkward spots around the teeth. The hand scalers are all different shapes and sizes, so they allow the dentist to clean the plaque/calculus from your teeth in fine detail.
The final aspect of the treatment is the polish to remove stains, if required. Your dentist will use a rotating cup and paste to give your teeth a thorough polish.