When you go to the dentist, you get to see firsthand all the tools it takes to remove built-up plaque, food particles and bacteria between teeth; clean the surface of your teeth; and even polish and protect them from future decay or disease. It makes sense that after your dental checkup you want to adopt as many of these techniques as possible at home to help keep teeth healthy and clean in between your six-month checkups and cleanings. While we love the enthusiasm many of our patients have for self-care, there are some things best left to the professionals!
A plaque scraper, also known as a dental scaler in the dental industry, is a metal tool with sharp edges used to remove plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Many stores have begun selling them to the general public without realizing that it could actually cause harm to the teeth when not used by a trained dental professional such as a dental hygienist or dentist. These dental professionals spend years in school learning techniques and safe ways to remove plaque without harming healthy gum tissue.
When someone without training uses a dental scaler or plaque scraper, it’s incredibly easy to damage the gums and even cause gum recession. This happens when the gum begins to pull away and sensitive parts of the root of the tooth are exposed. Many people have also damaged their cheeks, tongue and mouth tissue using a plaque scraper or dental scaler without proper training and technique.
We absolutely want you to take great care of your teeth between dental checkups and professional cleanings. But leave the plaque scraping to us! If it has been more than six months since your last professional cleaning or you are simply concerned about tartar or plaque buildup, please call us today and we would be happy to talk to you about how we can help. Give us a call at 970-221-5115.