A scale and polish is a clean carried out by a dentist, which is far more effective at removing hardened plaque than your normal brushing routine.
As teeth are not always perfectly shaped we all have areas in our mouth that are much harder to keep clean with brushing and flossing alone. Your brush may not quite reach into points where your teeth overlap, or into awkward areas at the back of your mouth.
Plaque, a sticky film full of bacteria, builds up on your teeth throughout the day. On easy to reach surfaces it can largely be removed through normal brushing. But in those awkward places it may be missed and will harden into tartar. This is much harder to remove. If left, it will eventually lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
This is why it is important to have regular scale and polish treatments with your dentist, so that any tartar that has accumulated can be removed.
Your dentist will use a special ultrasonic cleaner to remove the most stubborn tartar and debris. The cleaner has a fine metal tip that vibrates at high speeds while emitting a jet of water. Hand tools may also be used to scrape away further tartar and debris.
Finally, the teeth are polished with a small rotating brush and paste.
When the scale and polish is complete, your teeth will look and feel cleaner.