What Tools Does A Dental Hygienist Use To Clean Teeth?

2 December 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


A yearly or bi-yearly dental cleaning can help to keep common tooth issues like tooth decay at bay. Dental cleanings are painless and non-invasive. But some patients are wary of dental cleanings because they fear the dental tools used in the process.    

If you want to remove stains or tartar from your teeth, a dental cleaning can do that for you in one sitting. Here are some of the most common tools used to clean teeth by a dental hygienist.

Digital x-ray

Sometimes, dental hygienists use a digital x-ray to locate dental problems before they begin to clean your teeth. A digital x-ray helps hygienists to take extra care of teeth that may have issues such as cavities or tooth decay. The dental hygienist can also inform your dentist of any tooth issues.

Intraoral camera

Intraoral cameras are another piece of technology that a hygienist can use to identify oral problems. Intraoral cameras provide a real-time look at what's happening in your mouth.

A mirror

Dental mirrors are usually concave, which allows dental hygienists to get a clear view of each area of your mouth.

A saliva ejector

A saliva ejector is a handheld tool that sucks away saliva and food debris from your mouth. Hygienists also use saliva ejectors to remove the debris that results from dental cleanings, such as plaque and loosened tartar.

A hand scaler or ultrasonic scaler

Hand scalers and ultrasonic scalers are the main tools that dental hygienists use to remove tartar and other buildup from the surface of teeth. Ultrasonic scalers vibrate at a high speed. This high speed of vibration allows dental hygienists to remove large buildups of tartar from teeth.

Hand scalers are metal instruments with a sharp edge that dentists use to clean tartar from hard-to-reach places. If you have buildups of tartar between your teeth, your hygienist will use a hand scaler.

A polisher

Once a dental hygienist has removed the plaque and tartar from your teeth, they will use an electric polisher to remove stains and any residual tartar or plaque from your teeth. Polishers use air and an abrasive paste to apply the final changes to your teeth and leave them smooth and bright.

Tooth floss 

The final step of a dental cleaning is often a cleaning of the spaces between teeth with tooth floss. Your dental hygienist will also teach you how to floss properly as they floss your teeth.

Speak to your dentist to learn more about dental cleaning.