In an age in which you can buy virtually anything with a few clicks of your mouse, you might be tempted to order some dental tools and tackle cleaning your teeth yourself. Professional-grade dental tools are widely available on popular websites such as Amazon, and you may think that purchasing these tools and cleaning your own teeth will save you the cost and time of visiting the family dentist.
While your do-it-yourself mindset might be admirable to some degree, it's important to realize that attempting to clean your own teeth — or clean your family members' teeth — is not an appropriate alternative to regular dental appointments. Beyond your lack of expertise, here are some reasons that you shouldn't take on this task.
1. Gum Injuries
It's highly possible that you could injure your gums while attempting to clean your own teeth with dental tools. A scaling tool, for example, has a point that is extremely sharp, and if you were attempting to pick away some plaque at the base of a tooth, you could easily slide the tip of the scaling tool into your gums. A dental hygienist not only has formal training and experience when it comes to working on your teeth with this tool but also a perfect vantage point while seated next to you. Trying to see inside your own mouth, even if you're using a mirror, could be dangerous.
2. Introduction Of Bacteria
When you visit the dentist for a cleaning, the tools that your dental hygienist uses have been professionally sterilized. This is critical, because they're going in your mouth. If you were to buy your own tools and attempt to clean your own teeth, you likely wouldn't have the means to properly sterilize them — nor might you even think of doing so. This can mean that the tools carry a significant amount of bacteria from past use or even from your hands, and you'd be introducing this bacteria to your mouth.
3. Damage To Your Teeth
It's also possible that you could do serious damage to your teeth while attempting to clean them yourself. For example, if you were using a scaling tool to remove some of the plaque, you could press too hard or at a bad angle and cause damage to some of your tooth enamel. Damaged enamel leaves you at a heightened risk of cavities and other dental problems, and you'd be frustrated to know that you directly caused such an issue. You should always leave a task such as cleaning your teeth to a professional.