Regardless of whether you like the feeling you have after a good tooth buffing, many people wonder, “What’s the benefit?”
The simple answer is, “Not much”. Polishing is used to remove stain from natural teeth and tarnish on metal fillings. Years ago before hygienists had tools like the ultrasonic, they depended more on polish to remove stain that the hand scalers left behind.
Some sources recommend that we “selectively polish” which means only polishing stubborn visible stain. By doing so, we reduce the “scratching” of enamel and root surfaces that occurs from the gritty paste over the years that could lead to sensitivity.
Hygienist Charlotte says, “Most patients don’t appreciate NOT being offered polish and even with an explanation of selective polishing, they opt for it anyway. I just try to stay clear of porcelain and sensitive or delicate surfaces.”
A smoother surface generally makes it more difficult for plaque to stick, but even a few minutes your visit, those germs start attacking again. Keep in mind though, if you don’t want your teeth polished, the choice is essentially yours!