Let’s pay attention to an important aesthetic procedure, traditionally underestimated by many people. Let’s see what tooth grinding and polishing is: what it is, when, how often, and in what order it is carried out, why it is needed, what effect it gives, and so on. We will analyze all the important points, up to recommendations for carrying out and contraindications, so that you understand why it is worth paying regular visits to the doctor.
We note right away that any more or less serious clinic can provide this service today, for this it must by default have all the necessary equipment, and its doctors have practical experience. And, of course, such an impact should only be professional – in order to get the maximum and most complex effect from it without any risk to health.
What are teeth polishing
It is a dental procedure that consists of processing the jaw rows with the help of special tools and is designed to level the surface of “ones”, “twos”, incisors, and molars. It should be completely painless, and some people even note that during its implementation they experience pleasant sensations.
Can be performed:
- As the last stage of treatment, for example, after the removal of caries or filling.
- In the form of an independent, preventive measure – during regular (once every six months or every 3-4 months) visits to the therapist’s office.
- After the removal of braces or similar systems.
Not only a dentist but also a hygienist has the right to carry out this impact. The main thing is that it is a fairly experienced specialist.
Why are teeth polishing needed?
It is necessary for the timely removal of soft plaque, otherwise, it will harden and turn into mineral deposits. This will change the microflora of the oral cavity, which will become a very favorable environment for the appearance and reproduction of bacteria. And harmful microorganisms will quickly provoke the development of a variety of diseases.
In addition, it is very useful and recommended for:
- Correcting the shape of the jaw units, that is, to remove irregularities and roughness from the edges;
- Elimination of pigmentation spots (yellowing) and restoration of the whiteness of the smile;
- More accurate selection of a suitable shade of the filling;
- Smoothing before orthodontic treatment.
We can say that this procedure has a complex effect – protection and restoration. And if earlier it was treated lightly, ignoring regular visits to the doctor, today more and more people visit the dentist’s office (hygienist) every six months for examination and prevention. And they do exactly the right thing because caries or another similar problem is easier to prevent than to win.
Indications for tooth polishing
They largely come from the goals that this impact helps to achieve. So, the processing is recommended in the following situations:
- Removal of the bracket system – to remove the remaining glue;
- Preparation for pulling out or surgery – to prevent bacteria from entering the wound;
- The final stage of caries treatment – is to choose the most natural color of the filling;
- Installation of the implant – again, to find the shade due to which the micro-prosthesis will not differ from natural jaw units.
The doctor determines the need for the procedure on an individual basis, although in some cases it is, in fact, a mandatory measure. On the other hand, sometimes it just can’t be done.
Contraindications for polishing
On their list:
- Enamel hypersensitivity;
- Profuse and frequent bleeding of the gums;
- Periodontitis or other soft tissue diseases in the acute phase;
- Inflammatory processes in the oral cavity;
- Significant carious lesions;
- Injuries and wounds on the tongue, palate, bottom, and inside of the cheeks;
- Salt-free diet, prescribed and observed against the background of renal failure;
- Individual intolerance to the components of the paste or other drugs used in the course of exposure.
In addition, experts do not recommend signing up for these manipulations for children and adolescents whose jaws are not yet fully formed, as well as people with certain chronic diseases.
Types of teeth cleaning and polishing
The classification is quite extensive – all the methods used can be divided according to a number of indicators. Let’s consider the main ones.
According to the technology, the procedure can be:
- Mechanical – the problem area is covered with an abrasive compound, which is then, together with a plaque, removed with a brush with a special cup nozzle.
- Airflow – in this case, the desired area is affected by a jet under pressure containing air, as well as water with the addition of a powder that is safe for health.
It is the second option that is considered more modern since it involves less intensity, which means it is as gentle as possible for enamel.
According to the time (stage) of the implementation, there are:
- Finishing polishing of the teeth is carried out after the main intervention, for example, after the treatment of caries.
- Starting treatment – performed before the main operation, for example, before turning – in order to remove bacteria so that harmful microorganisms do not end up in the wound and cause infection.
- Preventive – taken regularly, once every six months or 3-4 months, in the absence of problems, in order to prevent them.
With the right approach, all variants of the procedure should be completely painless and take up to 30-40 minutes (including the time for rinsing the mouth and drying the fluorine varnish).
And here it should be noted that although the concepts of “polishing” and “grinding” of teeth are often used as identical to each other, as synonyms, these are still slightly different types of influence, at least for the purposes that they pursue:
- The first smooth the boundaries between the dentin (gingiva) and the filling (implant) and thus strengthens the jaw unit, provides protection against caries and destruction and fixes the results of sanitation.
- The second eliminates roughness and helps to achieve wholeness and smoothness so that food particles do not stick, do not settle with a soft coating, and do not crystallize in the form of hard deposits.
But they are still carried out together, which is why it is not customary to divide them into two separate types of assistance, which is why they are recorded as one service. Moreover, it is interesting that tooth grinding in dentistry is an effect that precedes polishing, but not vice versa.
There are several of them at once – in the general case 5, and at each step, there are certain manipulations. So the steps are:
- Selection – based on the examination, the doctor decides which method, tools, and abrasive to use.
- Elimination of contaminants from the planes and tubercles of the jaw units (if the method is mechanical, then use blue or green paste).
- Polishing – using a finely dispersed composition to smooth out unnecessary bulges.
- Rinsing the mouth – slowly, several times.
- Application of fluoride varnish on the treated surfaces – carefully, without haste, in an even layer.
In total, all stages will take 30-40 minutes, that is, the issue is resolved in one visit to the doctor. Anesthesia is not required, because there are no pain sensations – you can calm down, sit in a comfortable chair, and relax.
The doctor adheres to a similar sequence when he acts not on the entire frontal or lateral group, but on a separate jaw unit (including a filling, implant, or crown). He carries out the same manipulations, in the same order, only pointwise and selectively.
What is tooth grinding done: what tools are used for polishing
A dentist or hygienist has a whole range of tools and devices at hand. When it comes to machining, these are:
- A set of brushes and rubber bands;
- A line of discs of varying degrees of abrasiveness – for seals;
- A number of cups and heads – special nozzles;
- Strips – tapes that a person bites so that the doctor sees how the edges of opposite incisors and molars are in contact with each other.
Consistently applying them and focusing on the patient’s feelings, the specialist removes even the smallest roughness. Well, then it simply maintains the achieved result, returning the desired shade to the jaw units during regular preventive sessions.
If it comes to Air Flow technology, special dental “guns” are used to polish teeth – devices with a nozzle that “shoots” with a stream of water (with additives of powder) and air. They allow you to provide a point effect without any discomfort.
These are balanced compositions containing a certain proportion of abrasive particles, according to the size of which they are divided into:
- Blue (250) – needed to quickly remove already hardened plaque and excess filling material;
- Green (170) – suitable for removing noticeable roughness;
- Red (120) – finely dispersed, help to remove minor, “cosmetic” flaws;
- Yellow (40) – micro-grained, designed to treat areas of hypersensitivity.
Carrying out the procedure, the hygienist moves from a larger number to a smaller one, selecting the optimal nozzles, brushes, and cups.
Any polishing, especially grinding of the front teeth (the so-called smile zone) should not be carried out too often, because some layer of enamel is still removed, and it takes time for it to recover. Therefore, you need to visit the doctor regularly, but with breaks of 3, 4, and 6 months between visits.
If the examination of the oral cavity revealed caries, destruction of the jaw units, inflammation, or infection, the doctor must first perform sanitation (or offer to do this and act at the patient’s own risk in case of refusal) and only then proceed to plaque removal.
When there is a pronounced recession of the gums or a serious exposure of the roots, only yellow paste can be applied to problem areas for their treatment (the other will not work).
And remember, reasonable precaution is one thing, but not wanting to visit the dentist because of fear of pain is quite another. Do not forget how useful grinding teeth are, and what polishing gives, and be sure to consider that they do not cause any discomfort. Go to the doctor regularly, and do not give caries a single chance.
Recommendations after the procedure
To fix the result in the form of a sparkling and, most importantly, healthy smile and prolong the positive effect, you need to follow only 3 simple rules:
- Do not drink bright fruit juices, coffee, strong tea, and other drinks that can have a coloring effect, at least during the first 3-4 days from the day of the visit to the doctor.
- Give up cigarettes, because tobacco smoke will adversely affect the enamel, which is especially vulnerable after an abrasive composition – for at least a week, or even better, give up such a bad habit altogether, it also contributes to the accumulation of plaque, and in general, badly affects the body.
- Do not use whitening pastes at home – such an effect on the natural protective shell of the jaw units will already be excessive.
In addition, it is important to follow the general rules of hygiene, that is, use a brush with soft hairs in the morning and evening, rinse your mouth after eating, and use a floss or irrigator to remove food particles as efficiently as possible.
To make sure that regular visits to the dentist are necessary, we suggest simply looking at the results of grinding and polishing the enamel: the teeth before and after exposure are clear evidence that this procedure is worth doing. Moreover, behind the external beauty lies a healthy pulp and roots, which will be much more difficult for caries, bacteria, and infections to get close to.
1. How long will the effect of the procedure last?
From 3 to 6 months, depending on the condition of the oral cavity and the presence/absence of associated problems. That is why it is recommended to visit a doctor at least twice a year and with gingivitis three times. This is enough to constantly maintain high protection against plaque buildup and staining.
2. It’s the same whitening, just called differently, right?
No. It is very important not to confuse these concepts. Grinding and polishing only brightens teeth by a few shades, but they are not designed for this. Their main task is to prevent the appearance of a stone.
3. Is it sure it doesn’t hurt?
Absolutely. Many even like the invigorating touch of the brushes and attachments. Moreover, anesthesia is not required, so there is no risk to the body. Even with an abrasive disc, it is almost impossible to somehow damage the incisor or molar.
4. And how to restore the enamel? After all, it is erased, and sensitivity increases … Will I be able to drink and eat hot and cold later?
Doctors will take care of this – you don’t have to do anything. Any self-respecting clinic conducts fluoridation – to strengthen and preserve so that the natural coating grows faster without contact with bacteria or dyes. And for maximum delicacy, there is Airflow technology.
5. Do you need to polish your teeth after brushing? How are these procedures different?
Of course, it is necessary. Because the simple mechanical removal of food particles from the surface of incisors and molars is not enough. It is also necessary to eliminate stains and, most importantly, smooth out the roughness and boundaries between the dentin and the filling material. Well, it is necessary to provide all the conditions for the restoration of enamel. And all this is done in one procedure.
6. Can implants be treated this way too?
Need to. After all, plaque also accumulates on them, and a stone forms, which means that over time they can become a threat to the health of their “neighbors”. It’s good that point exposure is not required. The hygienist will grind them immediately together with natural jaw units without changing nozzles or brushes.
7. Will I be able to remove the stone at home?
Unfortunately no. And it’s not recommended to try. Those who use dubious Internet hacks run the risk of experiencing pain or even seriously injuring their gums, hard tissues, and oral cavity. And in dental clinics, a professional approach, skilled doctors, and guarantees of safe exposure.
We urge you to see how your teeth look after polishing and take into account the complex benefits it brings. The conclusion is simple – this is a procedure that needs to be done regularly. And for its professional implementation, you can always contact the Dentika clinic.