Some staining can be removed by polishing the teeth. In many ways, the stain is not on the tooth, but rather on the calculus. After a thorough scaling, your teeth may be polished to remove any remaining surface stains or plaque. This is particularly effective on brown tobacco and coffee/tea stains. Polishing does not “whiten teeth” but will however address the yellow plaque that has a discoloring effect on the surface of the tooth.