Thursday, May 23, 2024

Tools To Remove Dental Plaque At Home

Lately, I'm seeing portable electric dental plaque removers on sale to use at home. They catch my attention since taking care of my teeth is a priority. I'd sell all my worldly possessions to save my teeth!

As it turns out, using an electric dental plaque remover at home is a bad idea for several reasons that cause harm. If plaque removers claim to be safe, they likely are doing a poor job of removing plaque. A buildup of plaque can harden into dental tartar. If left untreated, this can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Here's how it happens: Plaque produces acids that feed on sugar and break down tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay. Enzymes in bacteria also damage connective gum tissue and bone leading to periodontal disease.

For good oral health, it's vital to remove plaque between teeth. The tools used to remove the buildup of plaque are metal and ultrasonic scrapers that have dangerously sharp points. Dentists and dental hygienists have been trained in dental scraping to remove every bit of plaque and tartar from your tooth surface and under your gums safely. Without proper training in using these dental tools, we could damage our delicate gum tissue. (In the image above, the black electric plaque remover doesn't have a point, it uses thread, but how does the electric device help? In fact, the greater power in moving the thread might hurt your gums.) Gum tissue trauma can cause gum recession, pain from exposing a tooth's root, and scratching tooth enamel to cause tooth sensitivity. Without dental training, you might also "push tartar under your gumline causing gum abscesses."

I don't know about you, but I'm not going near those electric $39.99+ at-home dental plaque removers! They're either inadequate or unsafe as we're not trained to use them.

While we'll still need to visit our dentist twice a year for professional teeth cleanings, we can use 4 tools at home to help remove plaque safely before it hardens into tartar:

1) A soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride. Brush twice a day to clean teeth and remove plaque.
2) Interdental Cleaners such as dental floss, dental tape, or interdental brushes. Floss once a day.

3) An electric water flosser (uses water not a sharp point). Again floss once a day.

4) Antibacterial Plaque-Reducing Mouthwash. Rinse daily.

Flossing with thread dental floss (the string type you place between your fingers) is the most thorough method of removing plaque, but many of us hate doing it, so instead I use the 2nd best method, a water flosser every morning. It's better to floss every day with a water flosser than not to floss every day because you hate the most effective method. Nobody's perfect! :)

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