If your teeth are looking a little dull or discoloured, you may be looking at ways to whiten them. Before you buy a home whitening kit or have a professional bleaching treatment, it may be worth visiting a dental clinic for a professional clean and scale. Apart from helping keep your teeth and gums healthy, this procedure may also improve the colour of your teeth.
Getting Rid of Plaque and Calculus
Plaque constantly builds up on your teeth and, if your dental hygiene routine doesn't remove it effectively, it becomes a home for bacteria that may damage your teeth and gums. Over time, residual plaque may also turn into a harder substance, known as calculus or tartar. If your teeth look a little yellow or dull in places, you may have a build-up of calculus on your teeth which makes them look less white than they should.
While regular brushing and flossing may keep plaque at bay, you can't really get rid of calculus deposits yourself once they become entrenched on your teeth. However, your dentist can help get rid of calculus during a professional clean and scale by scraping or abrading the deposits off your teeth and gum line. Once these yellow deposits are removed, you'll notice that your teeth feel and look cleaner and may even look a shade or two whiter.
Getting Rid of Staining
Over time, food, drink and habits such as smoking may discolour your teeth with stains. These stains can reduce the natural brightness of your teeth and make them lose their lustre. During a clean and scale, your dentist can remove external stains that you may not be able to fix with brushing and flossing, leaving your teeth looking cleaner and potentially a little whiter.
Warning: A clean and scale works on external stains but won't be able to fix stains inside the teeth. To eliminate those kinds of stains, you need a different treatment such as internal bleaching or veneers.
What Kind of Whitening Results Can You Expect?
You aren't likely to be dazzled by your own smile after a professional clean and scale. According to Dental Guide Australia, a deep clean may make a small difference to the whiteness of your teeth but is unlikely to whiten them up significantly. However, if your teeth were badly affected by calculus or staining, you may be surprised at how good they look after a clean and scale.
Bear in mind that a clean and scale also gives you a big benefit if you then go on to look at other whitening treatments. You aren't likely to see even shades of whitening if you treat teeth that are covered in calculus or stains. Whitening treatments don't clean up stuff that is on your teeth but typically bleach over them. If you have a clean and scale before a future whitening treatment, you may find that you get a better colour that is more evenly applied over your teeth.