The dangers of DIY plaque scraping?

Article written byElite Dental Group

Plaque is a common problem that needs to be addressed as it causes teeth to discolor and develop tartar that causes decay. Often patients will have their plaque removed when they visit a dentist for their annual check-up or after a dental procedure. However, removing plaque using over-the-counter plaque scrapers is known to cause lasting damage as removing plaque requires experience and care.

Regular plaque cleaners are made of metal and ultrasonic instruments that have sharp points allowing the dentist to remove every bit of plaque. Since experienced dentists know how to scale and what to look for, they can safely remove plaque and tartar. Although removing plaque seems easy, using these tools at home can be harmful.

Incorrectly using plaque scrapers/dental scalers can damage delicate gums, which can cause trauma and recession, exposing sensitive roots. Additionally, patients can scratch their enamel, while injuring their cheeks, tongue, and soft tissue. Patients have known to cause severe infections by pushing tartar under the gumline leading to gum abscesses.

To remove plaque safely at home concentrate on good oral habits which will involve brushing twice daily following a circular motion for a minimum of 2 minutes. Flossing is also a great way to loosen plaque and should be done at least once a day before bed. Water flossers are also a good alternative as they are gentle yet effective in removing plaque at home. Additionally, antibacterial plaque-reducing mouthwashes are known to reduce the recurrence of plaque.

Dr. Andre Eliasian is one of the leading dentists in oral surgery in Glendale CA. His clinic offers several services which include fillings, tooth extractions, and complex oral surgeries. If you are looking for wisdom tooth extraction in Glendale or dental implants in Glendale call for an appointment.