Keep your teeth clean and cavity free with a regular scale and clean. Plus, if you have private health insurance, it may not even cost you a thing. Make an appointment today!
A scale and clean, also known as a scale and polish or polish and clean, is one of the most routine procedures at the dentist – and if you plan on keeping all your teeth (and avoiding unnecessary dental bills), it’s also one of the most important.
Essentially, a scale and clean is a professional teeth clean. It is vital to prevent the buildup of plaque and calculus, which is the cause of tooth decay. After your treatment, not only will your teeth be healthier, but they will feel fantastically clean and smooth, and even look a little whiter.
Plenty of studies now show that by regularly maintaining your oral health care you will also help to maintain your overall body health. It can help prevent the exacerbation of conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and pregnancy complications. So it pays to look after your teeth!
Health rebates available!
Many health funds offer a free scale & clean once a year, so it may not cost you a thing. Contact your health fund to check for further details
Why do I need a scale and clean?
Every time you eat, your teeth come under constant attack from the sugars and starches released in the food we are chewing. When sugars come in contact with bacteria that live in our mouth, they bind together to create plaque, which then causes cavities and tooth decay.
Let’s take a look at what’s removed in a scale and clean.
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that is creamy white in colour. It is made up of various bacteria, their byproducts and substances they require to survive in your mouth. (Doesn’t sound so great, does it?) It pays to keep plaque under control, which can be done by regular brushing and flossing to remove the plaque. However, it’s almost impossible to do a completely thorough job every time.
If remaining plaque is left undisturbed, it will irritate your gums by releasing toxins from the bacteria, causing acid which is the cause of tooth decay.
This is why professional scale and polish is advisable to make sure we get to every nook and cranny and remove all the plaque we can.
Unlike plaque, calculus is a hard substance that has calcified and built up. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing or flossing your teeth. This substance must be professionally removed. This is where the “scale” in “scale and clean” comes into the equation.
After a period of drinking tea, coffee, red wine or smoking cigarettes, your teeth become stained with a sticky substance that cannot be removed. Tooth staining is more of an aesthetic issue and not a threat to your health. After your professional clean, this staining will be removed and your teeth will look shinier and brighter again.
How often should I have my teeth professionally cleaned?
Generally speaking, we recommend that all individuals have their teeth cleaned every six months. Some individuals may need this performed more often, so discuss what’s right for you with your dentist.
- The dentist or dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic device which emits vibrations that will loosen large areas of tartar. At the same time, a cooling mist will be sprayed over the area to wash away any debris.
- Sometimes, if your teeth are heavily stained, you may be given an ‘air abrasion’. This is also helpful for whitening the teeth.
- After the mechanical clean, your dental professional will use a series of hand tools to clean away any remaining deposits, as well as scraping away and smoothing the surface of your teeth.
- Your dentist or hygienist will then give your teeth a good polish.
Finally, your dentist may apply fluoride which is a wonderful chemical for protecting and re-mineralising the teeth and helping them fight decay.