What Tools do Dentists Use to Remove Plaque?
When you visit the dentist for your regular cleaning, your hygienist will use specialized tools to clean your teeth. The plaque scraper, or dental scaler, is one of these tools and can be found in for sale to the public. However, these metal tools can be very dangerous to use on your own and should be left to the professionals. Read on to learn more.
What Is a Plaque Scraper and Why Do We Use It?
Plaque scrapers are the best tool available to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. During what’s known as dental scaling, your hygienist removes plaque from the surface of your teeth, roots, and gumlines.
When plaque builds up on your teeth, it can cause some serious dental concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease. It’s important to remove plaque in order to keep your teeth healthy, making it an essential part of your dental cleaning. You should never attempt to remove plaque at home, especially with a plaque scraper. It should be done by your dentist or dental hygienist.
The Dangers of Using a Plaque Scraper at Home
While plaque scrapers are widely available outside of your dentist’s office, it’s not a good idea to use one at home by yourself. These scrapers are medical tools, and it takes training in order to use them safely without risking injury. Dental hygienists have to participate in a two-year program and gain their degree in order to use scrapers on the public, according to the ADA.
Plaque scrapers are sharp, and improper use can puncture and damage your gums, as well as cause excessive bleeding. This trauma to your gums isn’t just painful, it can also prompt gum recession, exposing the roots of your teeth and increased sensitivity to foods, beverages, and pressure.
You can also injure your tongue, cheeks, and other areas of soft tissue, or bring on an infection. Tartar can accidentally become stuck under your gum line and can cause the need for immediate dental attention.
Removing Plaque Safely
The best way to remove plaque is to visit your dentist. They will inspect your teeth and gums, and remove plaque safely. If you’re concerned about keeping your teeth clean in between dental appointments, there are other measures you can take at home. Be sure to brush your teeth after every meal, floss regularly, and use mouthwash to help fight germs.