Nowadays, it’s a lot safer to do most stuff at home. After all, you can never be too careful when it comes to your health. This is probably why you’ve been wondering whether to use a dental scaler at home yourself instead of risking your immune system going to the dentist. It’s a good thing you’re here reading this article, then! This should answer that very same question that’s been going around your mind for a while.

First, let’s talk about what a dental scaler is, for those who don’t know. A dental scaler, aka plaque scraper, is equipment that dentists usually use to scrape off the plaque and stains that even your obsessive brushing and flossing missed. These are considered the best tool available to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface. 

If you must know, your dentist removes the plaque from the surface of your teeth, roots, and gum lines during a procedure called dental scaling. If you’ve been to a dentist recently for this, you’ve seen the device we’re referring to. To be sure, you’ve probably thought it was a torture device or something else to make you want to visit your dentist less and less—aside from the bill, that is. Especially since its metallic end looks like a curved blade or a sinister hook.

Before you ask, yes, you can buy it yourself. Some people like to use it themselves at home, in between dentist visits, too. But is it something you can do yourself that’s recommended by professionals? Let’s find out!

Should or shouldn’t?

The truth is, it’s up to you. If you think you’re up to doing things that your dentist normally does for you—for a living, at that—then you should go for it. You can grab one yourself, but make sure it’s not too cheap it feels like it’s going to drill a hole through your cheeks with the slightest mistake. Oops!

Then again, if the plaque builds up on your teeth, it could cause you some serious dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. It is extremely necessary to remove plaque to keep your teeth healthy. This is why some people have made at-home dental scaling a thing—making it a crucial part of their dental care routine

Prudence is essential, however, so make sure to ask your dentist what he thinks about you getting one and using it on yourself. After all, you’d have to scrape the plaque off of your teeth using a long, flat-edged weapon. You also need to scrape the end of the scaler above or below the gum line towards the end of your teeth, to make for a thorough cleaning. Some things are easier said than done. This isn’t one of those things, as it already sounds terrifying enough it should have one of those, “don’t try this at home” warnings.

If you insist though, you need to get used to the cleaning motion. You also need to exercise extreme caution and patience because if you scare too roughly, you could do some serious damage to the enamel of your teeth. You could even cut your gums, gee! On the bright side, people who do use it swear that it gets easier once you get used to it. Luckily, it’s not something that you need to do every day. Of course, you still need to be careful if you don’t want to do any damage to your pearly whites!

Why not?

It is the belief of a lot of people, and a lot of dental professionals as well, that while plaque needs to be removed, it should never be done at home. These people believe that plaque scraping should always be performed by a dentist, a dental hygienist, or a dental professional. Why not? Simple. It is dangerous. Here are the following scenarios that could occur if you carry on without the approval of your dentist:

  • Infection. You could accidentally push your tartar under your gum line since you have no idea at all that you’re doing with the scaler. This could lead to severe gum issues and infection. 
  • Tooth Sensitivity. I insist on exposing the mouth to this kind of reckless damage, your affected gum tissue could lower, thereby exposing the roots of your teeth. This is when you’ll begin to experience tooth sensitivity that borders on torture.
  • Gum Recession. Dental scalers are quite sharp. Without proper education and experience on how to handle it, it could cause you some expensive treatments. Your ill use of a plaque scraper could damage delicate gum tissue. This kind of trauma to the gum tissue is extremely painful. It could also escalate and lead to gum recession.
  • Other Injuries. Since dental scalers are extremely sharp, you could also just plain cut yourself. After all, this is a specialized tool for dental professionals. You’d need extensive training before you can handle something like this responsibly, without risk. Otherwise, you’d be exposing yourself to tongue, cheek, or gum injuries. 

How to remove plaque safely

If you’re that concerned about your plaque build-up, visit your dentist. He/she can check out your mouth to determine if you have tartar, plaque, or other dental or oral problems that need to be taken care of. You can even go to a licensed and trained dental hygienist if you’re that worried. They can also remove plaque.

Safer than scaling at home

If you don’t want to go to the dentist, grab your threads, and floss to your heart’s content after brushing your teeth and before calling it a night. The dental floss should be able to clean between your teeth 

Of course, before you can floss you need to regularly brush your teeth u. Twice a day should do it. For your brushing routine, make sure that you’re using a steady and calm motion. Do these thirty (30) minutes after your breakfast and dinner. This should reduce the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.

You can also try plaque-reducing toothpaste. These types of toothpaste use fluoride to protect your enamel against acid, plaque, and decay. Also, try eating green leafy vegetables- they’re extremely good teeth cleaners. Finally, use mouthwash. This should do nicely to top off your dental care routine.