Do Scaling And Polishing Whiten Teeth?

April 15, 2024

Having a bright, beautiful smile is certainly an invaluable asset, but it requires diligent care and maintenance. Apart from regular brushing and flossing, you need to visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. Professional dental cleanings involve scaling and polishing that can remove plaque and tartar deposits. But can these procedures whiten teeth? Read ahead to find out.

What Does Scaling and Polishing Involve?

The oral cavity harbors a variety of bacteria, some of which are beneficial for your oral health, while others can be harmful. When these bacteria combine with saliva, debris, and food particles, they deposit as a thin, sticky layer on the tooth surfaces called plaque.

Plaque is one of the primary causes of dental cavities and gum disease. You can get rid of plaque with routine brushing. However, if it hardens into tartar, it is more difficult to remove and requires professional help.

This is why it is important to schedule dental exams and cleanings with your dentist. During these visits, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth using an ultrasonic scaler. It gently removes the layer of hardened plaque around your teeth. After this step, they will polish your teeth with a special paste, leaving them smooth and brighter.

Can Scaling and Polishing Whiten Your Teeth?

Yes, scaling and polishing can whiten your teeth to a certain extent. The main purpose of these procedures is to remove the layer of plaque and debris around your teeth. By doing so, they also improve the overall appearance of your teeth, making them appear brighter and whiter.

However, you have to keep in mind that scaling and polishing are not designed to whiten the teeth. They can remove some types of external stains on your teeth and enhance their look, but they cannot alter the natural shade of your teeth.

If you have severe tooth discoloration or stains, you should consider professional teeth whitening. This treatment uses a high-grade whitening agent to lighten your teeth by several shades.

How To Choose Between Dental Cleaning and Teeth Whitening?

Dental cleaning is a common procedure that is done as a preventive measure to avoid cavities and gum disease. Most dentists recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. With routine cleaning and oral care, you can maintain a healthy, bright smile for many years.

While professional cleaning can enhance the appearance of your teeth, it may not be enough to get rid of tooth stains and discoloration. For that purpose, you can consider teeth whitening. Discuss your concerns with your dentist and let them decide the best option for you based on your aesthetic needs.


If you want to keep your smile bright and healthy, routine scaling and polishing can prove significantly beneficial for you. At Smile 360 Family Dentistry, we offer regular dental exams and cleanings to help you maintain a radiant smile. Call us today at (909) 980-4878 for an appointment.


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