Dental scalers are metal instruments shaped in such a way to make it easy to pick at your teeth from above the gum line. Whether the scaler is being used by yourself or by a dentist, it's the best tool for mitigating tartar buildup. If you decide to purchase a dental scaler to use between scheduled dentist appointments, follow these three tips to ensure that you use it as effectively as possible.

Don't Forget The Back Sides Of Your Teeth!

When most people go the extra mile when it comes to dental hygiene, the desired goal is usually a good looking smile. This attitude often leads people to cut corners. After all, why bother cleaning the backs of your teeth if no one will ever see them anyway?

But any amount of tartar on the backs of your teeth will provide a safe haven for harmful bacteria. Lingering bacteria makes it more likely that your front teeth will be infiltrated quickly after you've suffered a small amount of plaque buildup. Therefore, don't skimp on either a good dental mirror or the time you allot to clean the back of your teeth.

Always Wash Your Scaler With Hot Water After Using It

If you don't properly wash your scaler after your cleaning session, bacteria will remain on it and threaten to infiltrate your teeth again. But since the surface of a scaler is very small, it can be awkward to use soap on it.

In most cases, hot water will kill any lingering harmful bacteria the same as soap will. This doesn't mean, of course, that it's bad to use soap if you're willing to spend the time creating a puddle of soapy water in your sink. It just means that either not washing your scaler at all or only using cold water is a bad idea.

Don't Press On Your Gums Too Hard

A dental scaler is not the appropriate tool to ameliorate a problem with your gums. If you've had issues with gum irritation in the past, the best tool to use is a gum stimulator.

Pressing hard on your gums with a dental scaler will only lead to unnecessary bleeding. Instead, carefully set your scaler as close to your gum line as you can without actually touching it before starting to scrape a particular tooth.

If you use a dental scaler correctly, there's no risk of causing damage to your teeth. In fact, regular effective use of a scaler will do a ton to promote both good dental health and the attractiveness of your smile. For more tips on taking care of your own teeth, contact a clinic like Canyon Dental.