Scale and Polish


Scale and Polish Birmingham

We believe in preventive dentistry and a scale and polish is very important in helping you to keep your teeth clean and prevent gum disease (gingivitis). It makes your mouth feel fresh and brightens your smile.

Every day a white, sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, forms on the surface of the teeth. It is these bacteria that cause gum disease. After 24 hours, the plaque hardens into calculus (tartar) which can only be removed by the dentist.

If you have gum disease, your gums will look red and swollen and will tend to bleed very easily. You may notice this when brushing your teeth. If the disease is allowed to progress, the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost and the teeth loosen. If not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out. However, gum disease is reversible in the early stages.

In order to treat or prevent gum disease, it is important to see your dentist regularly for a scale and polish (usually every 6 months, but for some patients we recommend every 3 months) as well as taking care to brush and floss carefully every day at home.


At your scale and polish appointment, the dentist will make a careful assessment of the condition of your gums. Your teeth will then be scaled, using ultrasonic and hand scalers. This removes any calculus (tartar) and staining, leaving your teeth and gums very clean. The teeth are then polished to make them smooth – this makes it easier for you to keep them clean at home. Sometimes after a scale and polish teeth can be sensitive, this is normal and reversible.