Have you ever had your teeth polished? One of the last steps of a general cleaning involves polishing your teeth with a prophy cup. The cup is a small, soft rubber cup that sits on the end of an electric tool. Your pediatric dentist will scoop up some prophy paste in the cup and then use it to polish your teeth. Sometimes, the paste will come in different flavors. If it does, your dentist might let you pick your favorite.
The motor in the handle moves the prophy cup in tiny circles. The motions of the cup rub the gritty paste across your teeth. It feels like your teeth are getting a massage. Not only does it give your teeth a bright, shiny, smooth appearance, it actually removes nooks and crannies that bacteria can hide in.
“Prophy” is shorthand for “prophylaxis.” That’s a Greek word meaning “to prevent a problem before it starts.” A good polishing does just that. It removes the last traces of plaque and tarter. It keeps gingivitis from even starting.
It also removes stains and marks on your teeth. It can give them a bright, clean, white appearance.
The only place you can get your teeth properly polished is at a dentist’s office. It’s another reason why it’s so important to see your dentist at least twice a year.
Want teeth as white as snow? Ask for a polishing, please!