Tooth polishing is the smoothing of all exposed tooth surfaces with a rubber cup, a brush, or by an air polisher driven by a slow-speed hand piece or water unit.
An oral prophylaxis is the removal of plaque, calculus, and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth by scaling and polishing as a means to prevent periodontal disease. A cleaning involves removing debris and extraneous matter from the teeth. Polishing makes the surfaces of teeth smooth. As a result of these procedures, the teeth are smooth and clean at the end of treatment.
Once a full cleaning with a polishing is complete, the patient is given a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a chemical solution or gel which hardens teeth and prevents tooth decay. Anticavity rinses with fluoride are given to patients because they have been clinically proven to fight up to 50 percent more of the bacteria that cause cavities.
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