How Using Plaque Scraper At Home Can Harm Your Oral Cavity, Experts Explain

Using a plaque scraper at home can be less effective, causing gum, tongue, and cheek damage.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Dec 23, 2022 00:00 IST
How Using Plaque Scraper At Home Can Harm Your Oral Cavity, Experts Explain

Plaque can be very detrimental to your teeth and gums. This is because a plaque buildup, when not eliminated timely, can harden into tartar, which can lead to gum diseases and tooth decay. While daily brushing and flossing can avoid plaque buildup in the mouth, tartar needs a deep dental cleaning, which is possible at a dental clinic. In cases where tartar deposits are heavy, many visits to a dentist's clinic are needed. 

What Do Dentists Use To Remove Plaque?

During your dental checkup and cleaning, your dental hygienist will normally use specialised instruments to remove food particles and hardened material from your teeth (tartar). A scalar or curette, also known as a plaque scraper or ultrasonic teeth cleaner, is one of several dental appliances used to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Dangers Of Using Plaque Scraper At Home

These days, various plaque-removing scrapers are easily accessible. But how safe is it to use plaque scrapers at home? To know about the dangers posed by using a plaque scraper at home, the OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Dinesh Lakhera, M.D.S (Orthodontist), Principal Specialist, ESI Dausa, Rajasthan and Chetany Lakhera, Dental Hygienist, based in Bandikui, Dausa, Rajasthan.

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The significant difference between plaque removal at a clinic and at home is its effectiveness. The edges of plaque scrapers are razor-sharp. It takes substantial training to understand how to use this specialised medical equipment in a safe and effective manner. Dentists and dental hygienists have used this equipment for many years, which lets them remove plaque and tartar effectively. Whereas, when a person uses a plaque scraper at home, there are chances that the practice may yield no result and cause damage to the tongue, cheeks, and other soft tissues of the mouth.

Oral Cavity Not Properly Visible

A dental hygienist has a full view of your mouth when you sit on his chair. They can properly see the plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth, which is not the case when you try a plaque scraper at home looking in the mirror. Having a clear view of all your teeth helps the hygienist to eliminate plaque from hard-to-reach areas in the mouth.

Gum Damage

Since you do not have a clear view of your mouth while using a plaque scraper at home, there are chances that you may hurt your gums. Plaque scrapers have sharp tips, and when not used properly, they can make your delicate gums tender and inflamed. This trauma to your gums can aggravate, leading to gum recession.

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Infection Risk

Using a plaque scraper at home also increases the risk of infection in your mouth. While removing plaque at home, there are chances that you push the tartar under the gum line. Over time, this can lead to increased bacterial activity and gum abscesses.

What Other Option Is Available?

It is the prevention method that can save your teeth from plaque and tartar. Taking care of your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly is a must. But if your teeth have developed plaque deposits, now you know what not to do. Do not use a plaque scraper at home, and visit your dentist for proper and safe teeth cleaning.

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