Tartar build-up on teeth can lead to various dental problems, and people have been turning to dental irrigators as a potential solution. But does it actually work? Read on to learn about the myth and reality of dental irrigators in removing tartar.
Taking care of our teeth is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are necessary to keep our teeth and gums healthy. But even with proper dental care, tartar can still build up on our teeth, leading to dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
To combat tartar, many people have turned to dental irrigators, which are devices that use a stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gumline. But the question remains: Can dental irrigators really remove tartar, or is it just a myth? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the myth and reality of dental irrigators in removing tartar.
The Dental Irrigator: How Does It Work?
Before we dive into whether dental irrigators can remove tartar, let’s first understand how they work. A dental irrigator, also known as a water flosser or oral irrigator, is a device that uses a high-pressure stream of water to clean teeth and gums.
The device typically consists of a water reservoir, a motor, and a hose with a tip. To use a dental irrigator, you fill the reservoir with water, turn on the device, and place the tip of the hose in your mouth. You then aim the stream of water at your teeth and gums, moving the tip along the gumline and between teeth to remove plaque and debris.
Dental irrigators come in various types, such as countertop models that plug into an electrical outlet and cordless models that run on batteries. They can also come with different types of tips, such as standard tips for general use, orthodontic tips for people with braces, and periodontal tips for people with gum disease.
The Myth: Can Dental Irrigators Remove Tartar?
Now that we understand how dental irrigators work, let’s address the myth: Can they really remove tartar? Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a hard, yellowish substance that forms on teeth when plaque hardens. It cannot be removed by brushing or flossing alone and typically requires a professional dental cleaning to remove.
Many dental irrigator manufacturers claim that their devices can remove tartar, but this claim is not entirely accurate. While dental irrigators can help remove plaque and debris from teeth and gums, they cannot remove tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a dental professional using specialized tools.
The Reality: Can Dental Irrigators Help Prevent Tartar Build-Up?
While dental irrigators cannot remove tartar, they can still be a useful tool in preventing tartar build-up. Dental irrigators can help remove plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, such as between teeth and along the gumline, which can help prevent tartar formation.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that using a dental irrigator in combination with brushing and flossing can significantly reduce plaque and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). The study also found that using a dental irrigator can help reduce the need for professional dental cleanings.
The Benefits of Using a Dental Irrigator
- Improves gum health: Dental irrigators can help improve gum health by removing bacteria and debris from the gumline, which can prevent inflammation and gum disease.
- Reduces bad breath: By removing bacteria and debris from the mouth, dental irrigators can help reduce bad breath and improve overall oral hygiene.
- Safe for dental work: Dental irrigators are safe to use for people with dental work such as braces, implants, and bridges, making them a great option for people with complex dental needs.
- Easy to use: Dental irrigators are easy to use and can be a great alternative to traditional flossing for people who find it difficult or uncomfortable.
FAQs About Dental Irrigators
- Are dental irrigators better than traditional flossing?
Dental irrigators can be a great alternative to traditional flossing, especially for people with sensitive gums or complex dental work. However, traditional flossing is still a highly effective way to remove plaque and debris from between teeth.
- Can dental irrigators replace regular dental check-ups?
No, dental irrigators cannot replace regular dental check-ups. While they can help improve oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups are necessary to identify and treat dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer.
- Can dental irrigators be harmful to teeth or gums?
If used improperly, dental irrigators can cause harm to teeth and gums. It’s important to use the device as directed and to start with the lowest pressure setting to avoid causing damage.
So, what’s the verdict on dental irrigators and tartar removal? While dental irrigators cannot remove tartar, they can still be a valuable tool in preventing tartar build-up and improving overall oral hygiene. By using a dental irrigator in combination with brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups, you can maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come. So go ahead and give it a try, but remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with your dentist if you have any concerns.