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What is an air polish?


When it comes to maintaining optimal oral health, regular dental hygiene visits play a crucial role. Apart from routine brushing and flossing, professional hygiene procedures (scaling and polishing) are essential. By understanding this common dental procedure, you’ll gain insight into how it contributes to your oral health and helps you achieve a radiant smile.

Tooth polishing, also known as dental prophylaxis, is a procedure performed by the hygienists and therapists at Hermitage Dental Practice to clean and polish the surfaces of your teeth. It is done following scaling during a hygiene visit and is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. Tooth polishing aims to remove plaque, tartar, and surface stains from your teeth, leaving them smooth, clean, and refreshed.


Types of Tooth Polishing

There are two primary methods used for tooth polishing:

  • Rubber Cup Polishing: In this technique, a dental professional attaches a small, soft rubber cup to a handpiece. The cup is then coated with a special polishing paste containing abrasives. The dental hygienist/therapist applies the cup to the surfaces of your teeth, moving it gently in a circular motion to remove plaque and stains, this service is included within our maintenance plans and part of the normal hygiene price if you attend the practice as a guest.


  • Air Polishing: Air polishing involves the use of a specialised device that combines compressed air, water, and an abrasive powder, usually made of sodium bicarbonate. The mixture is sprayed onto the tooth surfaces using a handheld nozzle, effectively blasting away plaque, tartar, and stains as seen in the video above. After an air polish you will have a visibly whiter smile, there is no discomfort, just a refreshing clean. It removes surface stains, helping to prevent future discoloration and eliminates bacteria reducing the risk of gum disease. As this is a cosmetic procedure there is an additional charge for this service, just let the receptionists know when booking your regular hygiene appointment and we can accommodate this for you, you will leave smiling with newfound confidence :)


Which Types of Stains Can Air Polishing Remove?

Air polishing is particularly effective in removing certain types of stains, including:

  • External Stains: These are surface stains caused by external factors such as coffee, tea, tobacco, or certain foods. Air polishing can significantly reduce the appearance of these stains, enhancing the brightness of your teeth.

  • Supragingival Stains: These stains appear above the gum line and can result from various sources, including certain medications, chromogenic bacteria, or poor oral hygiene. Air polishing effectively eliminates supragingival stains, improving the overall aesthetics of your smile.

What are the Benefits of Air Polishing?

Undergoing air polishing offers several benefits for your oral health and overall well-being:

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal: The primary objective of air polishing is to remove plaque and tartar, which are major contributors to gum disease and tooth decay. By eliminating these harmful substances, polishing helps maintain the health of your gums and teeth.

  • Enhanced Oral Hygiene: Polished teeth have a smooth surface, making it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. As a result, your regular brushing and flossing routine become more effective, leading to better oral hygiene and reduced risk of dental issues.

  • Fresher Breath: Plaque build-up can contribute to bad breath. By removing plaque and tartar through tooth polishing, you can enjoy fresher breath and improved overall oral freshness.

  • Aesthetically Pleasing Smile: Air polishing eliminates surface stains, giving your teeth a brighter, more vibrant appearance. This can significantly enhance the aesthetics of your smile, boosting your confidence and self-esteem.

Can You Polish Your Teeth at Home?

While there are various home-based dental care products claiming to offer tooth polishing benefits, it’s important to note that professional tooth polishing by a hygienist or therapist is the most effective and safest method. The tools and expertise of a dental professional ensure proper removal of plaque, tartar, and stains without causing damage to your teeth or gums. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule regular dental cleanings for optimal oral health and professional tooth polishing.


Teeth Polishing Precautions

While tooth polishing is a safe and common dental procedure, it’s essential to be aware of certain precautions:

  • Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after tooth polishing, especially if they have thin enamel or existing tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity typically subsides within a few days. If you have concerns about sensitivity, discuss them with your dental professional before the procedure.

  • Existing Dental Conditions: If you have active gum disease, tooth decay, or any other oral health issues, it’s important to address those concerns before undergoing tooth polishing. Your dental professional can assess your oral health and provide the necessary treatments or recommendations.

  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Tooth polishing is a preventive procedure that should be performed as well your routine dental check-up. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health, address any developing issues, and ensure that your teeth and gums are in their best condition.

In conclusion, tooth polishing is an essential dental procedure that plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health and achieving a radiant smile. It effectively removes plaque, tartar, and surface stains, contributing to healthier gums, fresher breath, and enhanced aesthetics. While professional tooth polishing is recommended for optimal results, it’s important to continue practising good oral hygiene at home by brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet. By incorporating air polishing into your routine dental care, you can enjoy a clean, polished smile that reflects your commitment to oral health and overall well-being.

If you feel as though air polishing could be for you, please contact the Hermitage Dental Practice on 01530 510533 to arrange an appointment.

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