When you visit the dentist for a routine checkup, you may have noticed the array of tools and equipment they use to clean your teeth. But have you ever wondered what those tools are called and what they do? What tools do dentists use to clean teeth? This blog post explores dentists’ different tools to clean teeth, from the familiar scaler to the mysterious saliva ejector. Whether you’re a seasoned dental patient or a curious newcomer, read on to learn about the fascinating world of dental hygiene tools!
What Is A Dental Cleaning?
A dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is a dental professional’s procedure to remove plaque, tartar, and other buildup from the teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems such as cavities and gum disease is important. Sometimes, you might need deep cleaning at the dentist for an even more thorough cleaning.
During a dental cleaning, the dental professional will use a variety of instruments to remove buildup from the teeth and gums. This may include a scaler, which is used to scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth, and a curette, which is used to remove buildup from below the gum line.
Once the buildup has been removed, the teeth will be polished using a special paste and a polishing handpiece. This helps to remove surface stains and leave the teeth feeling smooth and clean.
In addition to cleaning the teeth, the dental professional may perform a periodontal exam to check the health of the gums. This may involve measuring the depth of the pockets around the teeth, which can indicate the presence of gum disease.
Why is it Necessary to Have Dental Cleaning?
Regular teeth cleaning by a dentist is important for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems. Here are some reasons why we need to clean our teeth at the dentist:
- Plaque and tartar buildup: Over time, plaque and tartar can build up on teeth, even with regular brushing and flossing. This buildup can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. Professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and tartar, helping to prevent these issues.
- Early detection of dental problems: During a dental exam, the dentist can detect early signs of dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer. By catching these issues early, they can be treated before they become more serious.
- Fresher breath: Professional teeth cleaning can remove stubborn stains and buildup that cause bad breath, leaving you with fresher breath and a cleaner-feeling mouth.
- Overall health: Poor oral hygiene has been linked to various health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Regular teeth cleaning can help maintain good oral health, which can, in turn, contribute to overall health and well-being.
What Tools Do Dentists Use to Clean Teeth?
Dentists use various tools and equipment to clean teeth and remove plaque and tartar. What tools are used for deep cleaning teeth? Here are some more details on the different professional dental cleaning tools dentists use:
Dental Cleaning Tools
- Dental mirror: A small, handheld mirror is used to help dentists get a better view of the teeth and gums. The mirror allows them to see hard-to-reach areas and check for any signs of dental problems.
- Scaler: A scaler is a small metal tool with a hook-like end used to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the surface of the teeth. The scaler is carefully and gently scraped along the tooth’s surface to remove buildup.
- Polisher: After removing plaque and tartar, dentists use a polisher to smooth and polish the surface of the teeth. The polisher uses a rotating brush or rubber cup and a special polishing paste to remove any remaining stains and leave the teeth looking clean and shiny.
- Dental floss: Dental floss is used to clean the teeth and remove any plaque or food particles that may be stuck there. Dentists may use regular dental floss or a specialized tool called a flosser, with a small handle and a piece of floss attached.
- Saliva ejector: Dentists use a saliva ejector to remove excess saliva and water from the mouth during teeth cleaning. The ejector is a small tube placed in the mouth and connected to a suction device.
- Dental drill: In some cases, dentists may need a dental drill to remove decay or shape the teeth. The drill uses a high-speed rotating tip to remove small amounts of enamel or dentin from the tooth.
These tools and equipment are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems. By removing plaque and tartar buildup, polishing the teeth, and using floss and other tools to clean between the teeth, dentists who specialize in extractions can help keep your smile healthy and beautiful. For more information about oral health, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization websites.
Oral Hygiene Instrument Used to Clean Teeth and Gums
What machine do dentists use to clean teeth? Several oral hygiene instruments are used to clean teeth and gums. Here are a few:
- Scaler: A scaler is a tool used to remove tartar and plaque from teeth. It has a hooked end that can be used to scrape away build-up along the gumline.
- Curette: A curette is a tool with a rounded, spoon-like end to remove tartar and plaque from teeth, especially below the gumline.
- Ultrasonic scaler: An ultrasonic scaler uses high-frequency vibrations to break up and remove tartar and plaque from teeth. It is often used with a water spray to flush away debris.
- Prophy brush: A prophy brush is a small, rotating brush used to polish teeth after cleaning. It can help remove surface stains and leave teeth feeling smooth and clean.
- Interdental brush: An interdental brush is a small brush used to clean between teeth and around orthodontic appliances, implants, and bridges.
- Air polishing machine: An air polishing machine is a tool that uses a stream of air and water combined with a fine abrasive powder to clean teeth. It often removes surface stains and discoloration, leaving teeth smooth and clean.
- Intraoral camera: An intraoral camera is a small, handheld camera that allows the dentist or dental hygienist to take pictures of the inside of the mouth. It can help identify areas of buildup or damage that may need to be addressed during teeth cleaning.
These machines are typically used with manual instruments, such as scalers and curettes, to provide thorough and effective teeth cleaning.
It’s important to note that while dental professionals can use these instruments to clean teeth and gums, they should not be used at home without proper training and supervision. Using these tools incorrectly can cause damage to teeth and gums.
Teeth Cleaning Tools: What is the Best Tool to Clean My Teeth?
The best tool to clean your teeth depends on your needs and preferences. What are the teeth cleaning tools at home you can use? While professional teeth cleaning by a dentist is recommended twice a year, you can also use many different tools at home to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Here are some popular teeth-cleaning tools that you can use at home:
- Toothbrush: A toothbrush is one of the most important tools for maintaining good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes each time, is recommended. You can use a manual or electric toothbrush, depending on your preference.
- Dental floss: Dental floss is used to clean the teeth and remove any plaque or food particles that may be stuck there. It is recommended to floss at least once a day.
- Water flosser: A water flosser is a device that uses a stream of water to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth and along the gumline. It can be especially helpful for people with braces or other orthodontic appliances.
- Tongue scraper: A tongue scraper is a tool to remove bacteria and debris from the tongue’s surface. It can help improve bad breath and improve overall oral hygiene.
- Mouthwash: Mouthwash can help kill bacteria in the mouth and freshen your breath. It can be used with brushing and flossing but is not a substitute.
It’s important to note that while these tools can help maintain good oral hygiene, they should not be used as a substitute for professional dental cleanings. Regular visits to the dentist are still the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
We hope you enjoyed today’s discussion of What Tools Dentists Use to Clean Teeth. Have a great day ahead!
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