During your regular dental cleanings, your hygienist uses various special tools to clean your smile effectively. A plaque scraper, also known as a dental scaler, is used to remove your teeth’ plaque buildup. After leaving the dentist, you probably love how clean your teeth look and consider buying a plaque scraper so you can clean your teeth on your own. However, using a dental scaler at home can damage your oral health if done incorrectly and should be left for the professionals.
What Is a Plaque Scraper?
Along with flossing and polishing your pearly whites, your dental hygienist uses a plaque scraper to perform dental scaling. During this process, they remove any plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and gumlines.
Removal of this buildup is essential to your teeth’ overall health — if left unremoved, it can lead to tooth decay or gum disease problems. Although removing plaque and tartar needs to be performed regularly, it isn’t a process that you should be undertaking on your own. Although the tools are available to you, dental scaling at home can cause more harm than good.
The Dangers of DIY Dental Scaling
Without the proper knowledge and training on operating the metal dental tools correctly, using a plaque scraper on your puts you at risk of injury or damage to your teeth. There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet offering instructions on using a plaque scraper on yourself. By utilizing a plaque scraper on yourself, you are putting yourself at risk of:
- Gum damage or injury – A dental scaler is a sharp, metal tool used to pinpoint and scrape away excess plaque. Because of the sharp tip, it can puncture and damage your gums if misused. While gum damage might seem minimal at first, the repeated trauma can result in gum recession, increased sensitivity, and exposure of the roots of your teeth.
- Mouth injuries – Along with injuries to your gums, a dental scaler can also damage the soft tissues of your mouth — including your tongue, inner cheeks, the roof of your mouth, and other areas of soft tissue.
- Infection – If you accidentally cause trauma to your gums or mouth, you expose yourself to a potential infection. The excess plaque in your mouth can get lodged under your gumline, cause injury, and lead to an infection.
- Gum recession – Your gum tissue is exceptionally delicate and needs to be handled with the utmost care. The sharp tip of the plaque scraper can cause damage to your gums and cause a recession of the tissue.
- Tooth sensitivity – When your gums become damaged from too much scraping, the roots of your teeth might become exposed. As a result, you might find yourself struggling to eat hot meals or drink cold beverages due to increased tooth sensitivity.
If you suspect you need a thorough teeth cleaning, schedule an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist before trying to use a plaque scraper at home.
How to Remove Plaque Safely
You should never attempt to use a dental scaler at home. The safest way to remove plaque and tartar buildup is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Regular professional dental cleanings with Taylor Dental help ensure you’re doing everything to maintain your oral hygiene. During your cleaning, our team will inspect your teeth and gums, as well as remove the plaque safely so you can continue showing off those beautiful pearly whites.
To remove plaque buildup or to schedule your regular dental cleaning, schedule an appointment with the leading dentist in Billings, MT.