Is It Really Impossible To Remove Dental Tartar At Home?

2 February 2021
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Many people are able to take care of their teeth by taking steps to ensure that there's as little plaque developing on the teeth as possible. However, if this plaque sticks around for long enough, it morphs into tartar, which is a harder and stickier variant of the same thing. Once this substance forms tartar, it's said that only dentists can get rid of it. But is this really true? Read on to find out.


Toothbrushes are designed to do one thing really well: remove plaque and food debris while being gentle enough to not harm teeth. While you still need to use light pressure in order to avoid causing damage to your dental enamel, the average toothbrush isn't intended to remove tartar, nor is it capable of it, no matter how hard you press. The bristles are simply too soft and flexible to have any real impact on tartar. While regular tooth brushing can help to prevent tartar from forming in the first place, it won't have any real impact once the tartar is in place.


The same problem can be said of flossing. Floss is designed to be soft and flexible so that it can not only fit between the teeth but also slide under the gums without cutting or scratching them. Since floss is this soft and sometimes even slick, depending on the variety, it has almost zero impact on tartar whatsoever.

The same is also true of water flossers. While water flossers are favored for their ability to remove plaque and debris from between teeth and under the gum line, the blast of water isn't strong enough to have any real impact on tartar.

Dental Scalers

Now, perhaps at this point, you're wondering about dental scalers. Dental scalers are the scraping tools that dentists use on your teeth when you come in for a cleaning. These tools can, in fact, remove tartar. But there's a problem with using them at home.

For starters, you don't have the training that dentists and hygienists have. This means that you don't know how much pressure to use in order to remove tartar, and you may not even be able to find the tartar on your teeth without adequate magnification tools and knowledge.

To make matters worse, dental scalers are extremely capable of damaging dental enamel. They're not designed to be used by patients and should only be handled by a dentist. So while it's technically possible that you could strip away some of the tartar on your teeth, it's also highly likely that you'll end up harming yourself more than hurting yourself.

If you think you have a tartar problem, contact a place like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to learn more.