Rubber cups, also called prophy cups, are used in the hand-piece. Polishing paste, prophylactic paste, usually containing fluoride, is used with the rubber cups for polishing. Rubber cups should not be used over the cementum area as it may remove a layer of cementum at the cervical area. There are two popular types of prophy cups: 4 webs and 6 webs.
Bristle brushes are used in the prophylaxis angle with a polishing paste.The use of the brush should be confined to the crown to avoid injury to the gingiva and cementum.
Currently, the most commonly used tool for tooth polishing is prophy angle. It integrates a rubber cup into a high torque gear, which can be plugged into a low speed handpiece and drive rubber cup to polish teeth.
Dental tape is used for polishing the proximal surfaces of teeth that are inaccessible to other polishing instruments. It is also used with polishing paste. Particular care should be taken to avoid injury to the gingiva.The area should be cleaned with warm water to remove all remnants of the paste.
Air-powder polishing is used with a specially designed handpiece. This device is called Prophy-jet. It delivers an air-powder slurry of warm water and sodium bicarbonate for polishing. It is very effective for the removal of extrinsic stains and soft deposits. It is contraindicated in patients with respiratory illness, hemodialysis and hypertension.