Dental health is important to your overall health, so it’s no wonder people take it very seriously. There are many things you can do at home to stay on top of your dental health. Using a plaque scraper, however, can prove to be very dangerous if you are not a trained professional.
Today, your family dentist at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen, TX, will provide all the facts you need before you consider purchasing a plaque scraper to use at home.
What Is a Plaque Scraper?
A plaque scraper does just as its name suggests – scrapes plaque off of your teeth. This tool is used on the soft deposits on the surface of the teeth; it is not intended for hard mineral deposits or calculus.
Although plaque scrapers are sold to the public, they should be operated by a licensed professional who has proper training. Here are the dangers you could face by using one at home on yourself or others:
1. Gum Recession
Our gum tissue is quite sensitive. When the harsh tip of the scraper hits the gums incorrectly it can cause “trauma” to the gums, causing them to recede. Once your gums start to recede, it could lead to increased sensitivity, the look of long teeth, and even gum disease.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
Once your gums recede, they expose the root of the teeth, making your teeth feel more sensitive. This can make it very painful to drink hot and cold liquids, as well as eating hot and cold food items.
When using the plaque scraper, the soft deposits could get pushed under the gum line, resulting in an infection called Periodontitis. If left untreated, this can lead to the decay of the bones that support your teeth.
4. Harm to Yourself and Your Mouth
If you have not been properly trained in handling a plaque scraper, you could inflict harm to your mouth and yourself. You risk cutting the inside of your cheek, your tongue, or your hand in the process.
Although most people who use plaque scrapers at home have the best intentions, some things should be left to a trained professional.
How to Safely Manage Plaque at Home
1. Floss or Use a Water Flosser
To properly floss your teeth:
- Start with a long piece of floss and wind it around each middle finger
- Use an inch or two and go up and down between the teeth
- Gently curve the floss around each tooth and under the gum line
- Use a clean piece of floss on every tooth
If flossing is too painful or difficult you can always invest in a water flosser. To use the water flosser:
- Turn the water on at the lowest pressure setting
- Aim the water at your gum line and go in between your teeth
- To prevent mess, you can close your mouth around the pik while rinsing
- Remove the tip and drain any extra water
- Clean the waterpik after every use
2. Brush your Teeth
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes is one of the easiest ways to prevent plaque buildup. You can do this with a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, which has proven to be more effective than the manual.
It is also recommended that you use a toothpaste with fluoride in it to restore any damage to your tooth enamel.
3. Keep Up With Regular Dental Visits
Adults who keep up with their regular dental visits are less likely to suffer from plaque-related issues. Your dentist has the tools necessary to remove all visible plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
Stay on top of your plaque buildup and visit your McAllen dentist at Whitewing Dental to give your teeth the cleaning they deserve!
It can be easy to push aside your dental visits because you stay on top of brushing and flossing, but plaque can still build up on your teeth without a proper cleaning from your dentist.