With the rise of online marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay, many previously hard-to-find products are now readily available to purchase. Dentistry is no exception, with many options to buy professional cleaning instruments like scalers. Often listed as scrapers, tartar removers and hygiene tools, these items look identical to the ones used in the dental office. Are they safe to use at home? That's another story entirely. Read on for the complete answer!

In short, the only people that should be using hand scalers, polishing cups or other tooth cleaning instruments are licensed dental professionals. Many of these devices are technique sensitive and their misuse can lead to extensive damage to the gums and teeth. It is surprisingly easy to cut off gum tissue (that won't grow back), or chip away healthy enamel (leading to sensitivity). Furthermore, there is no way of knowing if the instruments you are using were made with quality materials. Porous metals can harbor bacteria or even break during use. Imagine the horror of having the tip of your scaler break off below your gumline!

Your best bet in keeping tartar off of your teeth is by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily. This regimen causes you to break up plaque deposits before they can harden into stubborn calculus. Regular dental cleanings will help ensure that you are keeping on top of your dental hygiene and allow us to clean your teeth in a hygenic and professional environment. Call us today to schedule your yearly exam and dental cleaning!