3 Things To Know About Scaling Your Teeth

Of all the different dental tools that you see used on you during a cleaning, you likely have noticed the dental scaler. This is a tool that the dentist uses to essentially scrape the surface of your teeth. Since it is such a common tool that is used by dentists, it will be good to know a few more things about it.

Will A Dental Scaler Damage Your Teeth?

One of your concerns about the dental scaler is that there is a lot of scratching going on and you may worry that it is actually harming the surface layer of enamel that is on your teeth. The truth is that this hand scaling is not going to harm your teeth, because the dentist is actually removing that hard layer of tartar, which is calcified plaque. That tartar is going to cause a lot of damage to the enamel by eating away at it over time, and leaving it on your teeth is actually the bigger concern. The hand scaler that is used should not be a concern, and you should be more concerned that your brushing habits are missing all that plaque that turns into tartar.

Why Does A Dental Scaler Not Damage The Enamel?

Be aware that dental scalers are actually made in a specific way so that the tools are less hard than the enamel on your teeth. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that the enamel on your teeth will dull the sharpness of the dental scaler and that the scalar actually needs to be sharpened periodically. Think back to when you were in school and learning about the Mohs' hardness scale, and that some rocks are harder than other rocks and cannot scratch the other. The same logic applies to why the dental scaler will not damage the enamel on your teeth.

Why Not Use An Ultrasonic Scaler?

While an ultrasonic scaler can be a more effective way to scale your teeth with vibrations and water, many dentists are not using them at the time due to COVID-19. The device produces a lot of water droplets that end up in the air, and dentists are trying to avoid using them to limit any potential spread of the virus. In addition, some patients have very sensitive teeth and find the ultrasonic scaler uncomfortable. Thankfully, a hand scaler is always a viable backup option for when they notice their patients can't handle the ultrasonic scaler.

To learn more about dental cleanings, reach out to a local dentist.