Plaque Removal Tools For Healthy Teeth and Gums
One of the first things that the inventor of the microscope, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, observed with his new invention was scrapings of dental plaque from his teeth! Using a microscope that could magnify up to 250x, he described the creatures that he saw as follows:
“ … there were many very little living animalcules, very prettily a-moving. The biggest sort … had a very strong and swift motion, and shot through the water (or spittle) like a pike does through the water. The second sort … oft-times spun round like a top … and these were far more in number.”
With modern technology, scientists estimate that there are around 700 different types of bacteria in your mouth! If you don’t remove them by brushing, they feed off sugars and starches in your diet and excrete acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. And bacterial plaques along the gum line will cause inflammation of the gums. So, it’s definitely in your best interest to remove plaque buildup regularly.
There are a number of tools on the market that help you remove plaque. Besides toothbrushes and dental floss, there are also water flossers, plaque-removing toothpicks, ultrasonic devices, and even the very same tools that dental hygienists use to scrape off hardened plaque deposits, or tartar. We’ll have a look at some of the best products in the Best Reviews Guide list of plaque remover tools. You’re sure to find something that can remove plaque safely and effectively!
Are plaque removal tools safe?
There are plaque removal tools that usually won’t cause trauma to the gums or teeth. However, there are stainless steel scalers and picks that are used by dental hygienists for removing hardened plaque, or calculus. A hygienist is required to study for at least two years to properly remove plaque without causing damage. If you attempt to remove tartar without the proper training, you may actually cause more harm than good. So, in short, it’s not advisable to try to use these scalers yourself. Rely on the other plaque removal tools.
What is the difference between plaque, tartar, and calculus?
Plaque is the name for the layer of bacteria that forms on the surface of your teeth. If you don’t remove plaque by brushing or some other mechanical means, it tends to build up to the point where you can feel a rough film of plaque developing on your teeth, by running your tongue over the surface of your teeth. The bacteria in plaque feed off sugars in your diet, and produce acids that eat into the enamel on your teeth, causing decay and cavities. If you let plaque remain undisturbed, it hardens into hard calcified deposits called tartar or calculus. This can’t be removed only by brushing.
Types of Plaque Remover Tools
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best plaque remover tools, we see a number of options available:
Tartar remover picks: You can find kits of professional dental hygiene tools, including a mirror, a fine dental pick, a crochet end pick, a tartar scraper and gum stimulator, and even dental tweezers. An example is the G. Catacc Dental Tools kit. The tools are all made from stainless steel.
G. Catacc Dental Tools Kit
Ultrasound tartar remover: These vibrate at a very high frequency, as high as 30,000 beats/minute. They’re capable of removing hardened plaque (calculus or tartar), as well as stains on your teeth. An example is the Polamd Electric Plaque Remover. It can be recharged using a USB power cable.
Polamd Electric Plaque Remover
Water flossers: These pump jets of water that are capable of removing plaque and stimulating your gums as well. A water flosser allows you to adjust the intensity of the jet, and they come with various flossing attachments and brushes as well. An example is the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser.
Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser
Toothpicks: There are also specialized toothpicks for removing plaque. They are triangular-shaped, to fit perfectly between teeth. An example is the Stim-U-Dent Plaque Removers. They also stimulate your gums as well.
Stim-U-Dent Plaque Removers
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of plaque remover tool:
Exercise care with the ultrasonic tool: People who bought the Kofoposo Electric Rechargeable Plaque Remover noticed that it has three settings: soft, medium, and high. It starts to vibrate when it comes in contact with a hard object, such as your tooth. The plaque remover’s probe doesn’t vibrate when it touches a soft surface, such as your gums. However, experts recommend not keeping the probe in one place on your teeth, because it may damage the enamel coating on your teeth. Also, the soft and medium settings should be sufficient for your needs. The high setting may risk damaging your teeth as well.
Water flosser excellent for deep cleaning: Some people suffer from “pockets”, where a space forms between the gums and your teeth. This leads to a situation where plaque can develop in that pocket, and flossing or brushing will not help remove them. However, a water flosser can get inside those pockets, even if they are as deep as 6 mm. And a water flosser can massage the gums to the point that the pocket will no longer be as deep.
Here are some tips and essential features to look for when selecting a plaque remover tool:
Helps remove stains as well: Many of these plaque remover tools are effective at removing stains from your teeth as well, whether the stains are from drinks such as coffee, tea, or wine, or from smoking.
Water flossers can’t remove tartar: Water flossers are good at removing food residue and plaque along the gum line and from the crevices in and between teeth. However, once plaque has hardened, such as along the front bottom teeth, you’ll need a more abrasive method to remove the tartar, such as stainless steel scrapers or ultrasonic plaque removers.
Not substitute for dental hygienist: With all of these plaque remover tools, it’s still advisable to consult a dental hygienist twice a year. There may be plaque buildup in areas of your mouth that only a trained professional can see and remove. Also, the tartar remover picks may cause severe gum damage in the hands of an untrained person.
We reviewed some of the best plaque removal tools on the market. They’re meant to supplement brushing regularly by reaching into places that your brush may not reach. Others can remove tartar buildup that brushing and flossing can’t remove. These tools will make your dental hygienist not have to work so hard. And hopefully, with these tools, you won’t need your dentist for anything more than an occasional checkup!