Plaque is a white film of saliva and bacteria made up on the surface of teeth. If not removed, it becomes the cause of gingivitis and other tooth aches after some days. So it is important to remove plaque from teeth. A dental pick is a simple metal tool with a pointed and very sharp end on one side; it removes plaque to a large extent. It is small enough to be held by hand. It is usually used by dentists and hygienists to remove the food particles stuck in between the teeth and to clean the plaque in the mouth. It is generally advised to use these picks on a daily basis as they significantly reduce the amount of decay-producing bacteria.
Types of Dental Picks
There are a variety of dental picks available. Some may have a C-curve at the tip, some may have a Y-tip, and some may be straight. Some may also be made up of plastic instead of metal. The handles in some of them may have attractive designs. Even the models are different based on types of teeth. You will find a different kind of a pick if you have tightly arranged teeth and a different one if you have sensitive gums.
However, they can be broadly classified into two categories:
Dental floss pick: Dental floss picks come with short strings of dental floss attached at one end. They are usually made up of plastic. These are generally the ones used at home: they are safe enough without much sharp ends. Another lucrative feature it has is that it comes with different flavors like fresh mint.
Industrial dental pick: As the name goes, it is the one used by professionals like dentists and orthodontics. They are made up of metal or stainless steel.
Other uses of dental picks
Besides dentistry, dental picks are widely used in archaeology. Archaeologists use them to clean and prepare fossils. Dental picks are often considered an alternative to dental floss, as they can easily access the places that are not accessible by floss. Dental picks are also used by the home remodelers to scrape away paint, dust and rust from many home appliances. It is also used in military for cleaning up weapons.
Use at home
It can be used at home but only with proper orientation from the dentist. Your dentist will teach you the dos and don’ts of using a dental pick at home. Generally, when using a dental pick, we start from the bottom of the teeth and then gently take it upwards along the gap between two teeth. But you need to be careful not to force the pick too much as it may cause the bleeding of gums or may destroy the enamel. One advantage of using the pick is that it can easily be taken to back part of the teeth. However, you should talk to your dentist before you start using the dental pick at home.
Dental picks are undoubtedly great to maintain a good oral hygiene. Along with it, picks also prevent gingivitis and they also stimulate healthy gums. Dentists usually advise people to use the pick after brushing the teeth nicely. Brushing the teeth nicely will remove almost all the debris and food particles, hence reducing the role of the dental pick, and eventually reducing the chances of infection and injuries by the pick. Normal dental picks may be available in any of the drug store, i.e., the one with the plastic handle. But if you need the all-metal one, you need to contact a dental tool supplier.