Teeth Whitening and Polishing: Know The Difference

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Teeth whitening & teeth polishing the two very different concepts which are often misunderstood as one and the same. You might have come across people saying that they want their teeth to be whiter and therefore are going to visit their dentist and get their teeth polished.

Duh-ah white teeth have nothing to do with polishing but then because they sound similar it is believed that they mean the same.

The very basic difference between the two is that polishing means teeth cleaning. This involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and making it free from decay and diseases. On the other hand teeth whitening is the procedure to make your teeth whiter and brighter.

Teeth Whitening and Polishing

Let us now understand the basic difference between the two:

Teeth whitening

As the name indicates, teeth whitening makes the color of the teeth whiter and brighter. This process is adopted when one decides to have a lighter shade of their teeth. This process involves bleaching which is used to remove the stains from the teeth making it whiter. The stains can be due to over-consumption of red wine, black tea, and coffee or smoking. It is also done on the patients having yellow teeth.

There are two ways to get the teeth whitening done i.e. professional whitening and over-the-counter whitening prescriptions.

Professional whitening is the whitening procedure which is done in the dental clinic. These are only cosmetic dentistry procedures and do not have any health solutions attached. Under teeth whitening procedure your dentist applies bleach on your teeth to make it look whiter. Anyone can get their teeth whitened but if you are experiencing sensitivity or have weak enamel then this is not for you. Before going ahead with the whitening procedure your dentist will first examine your oral health and if they find your teeth healthy only then will they start the procedure.

In the professional procedure, your dentist will first apply the bleaching agent to your teeth and will then have a special laser which is applied to activate the bleaching agent. One should go for professional bleaching options if they have heavy stains on their teeth. This procedure does not take a long time and can be done in one sitting.

Another way of getting whiter teeth is over-the-counter prescription. There are many such strips or trays available nowadays wherein you just have to put the strips on your teeth and leave it for some time. People can apply it on their own at their home. If your teeth do not have severe stains on it and you just need to have a shade lighter then you should go for this type of whitening treatment.

Teeth Polishing

Teeth Polishing

Teeth polishing, on the other hand, refers to the cleaning of the teeth. Cleaning generally involves removal of plaque or tartar from your teeth and prevent it from decay or damage. The very first step is the removal of plaque from the enamel. This is done to ensure that your teeth are free from debris and any unwanted particle. This process, however, can make your teeth rough. In order to clear the roughness of your teeth, the dentist will polish the teeth to make it smoother.

Teeth scaling and polishing are done together and many times it happens that a person needs to undergo this procedure twice if they have higher plaque accumulation. These are usually seen on the patients who smoke or chew tobacco or supari.

In patients who show signs of gum diseases and are in very initial stage then the dentist goes with the advanced or deep cleaning procedure which is also called ‘Root Scaling & Planning’. The dentist will get to know if you require deep scaling or not due to the following reasons:

The technique used in this process is more advanced. In this, your dentist will give local anesthesia to scrape the gumline. Usually, this process takes place in a day but if it goes beyond then your dentist will fix an appointment to get back again for further cleaning. Once the procedure is completed you might feel sensitivity and pain for a few hours as local anesthesia wears off.

One needs to undergo the process of teeth cleaning frequently due to the following reasons:

Getting your teeth polished is a viable option and one needs to get it done after every six months. So, if you are looking for getting your teeth whiter then go for whitening option and if you want your teeth to be clean then chose the teeth scaling & polishing options.
Look out for the nearest dental clinic and consult your dentist for the same.