The Best Tools for Dental Cleaning

Professional Teeth Cleaning Tools To Use at Home

Oral hygiene is essential for the prevention of bad breath, tooth decay, and even gum disease or the loss of teeth. While a professional cleaning session is helpful when necessary, it’s cheaper and more convenient to take oral health into your own hands as much as possible. 

To keep your mouth healthy, you need the right products. In this article, we will look at the best tools for dental cleaning in detail. 


Our Top Picks: Teeth Cleaning Tools at Home

Here are our favorite dental cleaning products for a well-rounded approach to oral hygiene, both in terms of appearance and your health:

  • Best Toothbrush – Smile Sciences Eco Brush Toothbrush
  • Best Dental Floss – Snow The Charcoal Floss
  • Best Oral Irrigator – Cheeky Deeper Cleaning Water Flosser
  • Best Dental Picks – Gum Fresh Mint Tooth Floss Picks
  • Best Tongue Scraper – Impressive Smile Tongue Cleaner Surgical Grade Stainless Steel
  • Best Toothpaste – Crest Pro Health Pro 
  • Best Mouthwash – Colgate Total Pro Shield
  • Best Whitening Toothpaste – Snow Whitening Toothpaste
  • Best Whitening Strips – Sakura Teeth Whitening Strips by Meyarn


What Are Dental Cleanings?

The purpose of teeth cleaning is to remove plaque and other substances that stain teeth and put you at risk of tooth decay or periodontal disease. From brushing and flossing to professional cleaning, the goal is to prevent plaque from becoming tartar, or remove tatar before it leads to decay. 

If you have tartar buildup already, you must see a dental hygienist for a professional clean. After an examination to rule out issues that may require more treatment, your hygienist will first use a dental mirror and ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tatar from difficult-to-reach places. 

Next, dental hygienists generally use abrasive toothpaste with an electric toothbrush to finish cleaning your teeth. Flossing, rinsing, and a fluoride treatment then follow to provide extra protection. 

To learn more, visit how much is teeth cleaning?, and our article on deep teeth cleaning. 


What Are Dental Cleaning Tools?

The dental cleaning tools professionals use either act to remove plaque and tartar, or assist in examining your mouth for these and more serious issues:


Types of teeth cleaning tools


  • Dental mirrors, often with magnification, allow your dental hygienist to find plaque buildup and other problems in difficult-to-see places.
  • Explorer tools, or perio probes, examine your gum health.
  • X-rays, sometimes taken by your dental hygienist, allow for the diagnosis and treatment of many deeper issues. 
  • Intraoral cameras give a clear, real-time picture of your mouth. 
  • Scalers, sometimes as ultrasonic scalers, scrape off plaque from your teeth, including to the gum line. 
  • Curettes clear plaque from the parts of your tooth underneath the gum line, and are rounded to protect your gum tissue.  
  • Polishers buff your teeth for a smooth, healthy appearance.
  • Saliva ejectors vacuum plaque debris and other substances during the cleaning.


Can I Clean My Own Teeth With Dental Tools?

If you are able to source professional-quality dental instruments, it is not recommended to try them at home. Only a dentist or hygienist should use products such as an ultrasonic scaler to give you a healthy smile instead of potential risks, such as cracked enamel or damaged restorations. 

While you are unlikely to find products such as ultrasonic scalers on the market for home use, there are many safe dental cleaning tools you can use at home. You can consider manual or electric toothbrushes as a dental tool, like your toothpaste and floss. 


Is It Safe To Use Dental Tools at Home?

In short, no. There are risks to using professional dental tools, including hearing damage, the spread of bacterial infections, pacemaker interruption, cell damage, and platelet damage [1]

Incorrect use of ultrasonic scalers can lead to cracks in tooth enamel and resin used in restorations, particularly when there is early cavity formation. Professional dental care is essential to avoid these risks [2]


What Are the Best Teeth Cleaning Tools for Home Use?

Prevention is always better than cure, including for oral health. The best home dental tools for keeping your mouth healthy, and dentist appointments to a minimum, include:


The Best Teeth Cleaning Tools for Home Use


  • Toothbrush.
  • Dental floss.
  • Oral irrigator.
  • Dental pick.
  • Tongue scraper.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Mouthwash.
  • Whitening products.



A quality toothbrush is firm enough for removing plaque before it becomes tartar but soft enough that it won’t be abrasive on the tooth enamel. Our top pick is the Smile Sciences Eco Black, a charcoal brush that may draw away bacteria and unwanted substances. Even better, it is made from wood instead of plastic, helping to reduce the amount of plastic landfill.  


Dental Floss

Dental floss allows you to prevent hardened plaque buildup in the difficult-to-reach spaces between your teeth. Regular flossing prevents gum disease compared to brushing alone [3]. Snow’s expanding fiber charcoal floss is better able to latch onto materials such as plaque and bacteria, maximizing the efficiency of your oral hygiene routine. 


Oral Irrigator

Oral irrigators can allow for a gentler flossing experience, making them ideal teeth cleaning instruments for sensitive gums. They also ensure that unwanted substances are flushed away from your teeth so they won’t end up caught in your mouth again, making them similar to a saliva ejector. Our pick is the Cheeky deeper clean water flosser, with five pressure modes. 


Dental Picks 

Picks are handy home dental tools that are easy to maneuver without the worry of long strings of floss and cutting them to length. Gum Fresh Mint tooth floss picks feature waxed floss to prevent shredding and a wide grip handle for better control than regular floss. 


Tongue Scraper 

A tongue scraper can remove bacteria “hiding” on your tongue, which may migrate to your teeth or leave us with bad breath in the short term. 

Our pick for teeth cleaning is the Impressive Smile Tongue Cleaner, with surgical-grade stainless steel. Stainless steel ensures that it won’t degrade over time, and it is gentle enough to use regularly. 



Toothpaste is an essential accompaniment to brushing, as it contains ingredients intended to protect enamel, freshen your breath, and more effectively remove plaque [4]. Our top pick is Crest Pro-Health, which includes therapeutic stannous fluoride instead of regular sodium fluoride. Other active ingredients aim to protect against acid erosion and tooth sensitivity. 



Mouthwash is another important oral care tool to prevent bad breath and bacterial infections. Colgate Total Pro Shield Mouthwash can kill up to 99% of harmful microbes, and provide you protection for up to 12 hours even after meals. 


Whitening Products

Products to whiten teeth work by removing stains or by stripping them of their color so your teeth appear white again. Home whiteners are often included as toothpaste or strips, which are intended to have a stronger effect by being held to your teeth for longer periods. Our favorites are Snow’s Whitening Toothpaste, and Sakura Teeth Whitening Strips by Meyarn. 

For more, click here to read about the best whitening toothpaste and Zimba teeth whitening strips.



Here are the most important things to know about dental cleaning tools.


What Are Dentist Teeth Cleaning Tools?

What Tools Are Used for Deep Cleaning Teeth?

What Is the Best Tool To Clean Teeth?

What Tool Is Used for Scaling Teeth?

How Can I Remove Plaque From My Teeth at Home?



Teeth cleaning is the first and best step to maintaining or improving your oral health and preventing gum disease. Professional dental products are the most effective, but home care should be the top priority. Besides brushing and flossing, effective tools for home use include mouth wash, stainless steel tongue scrapers, and teeth whitening products.



  1. Trenter, S C, and A D Walmsley. “Ultrasonic dental scaler: associated hazards.” Journal of clinical periodontology vol. 30,2 (2003): 95-101. doi:10.1034/j.1600-051x.2003.00276.x
  2. Kim, S-Y et al. “Effects of ultrasonic instrumentation on enamel surfaces with various defects.” International journal of dental hygiene vol. 16,2 (2018): 219-224. doi:10.1111/idh.12339
  3. Sambunjak, D., Nickerson, J. W., Poklepovic Pericic, T., Johnson, T. M., Imai, P., Tugwell, P., & Worthington, H. V. (2019). WITHDRAWN: Flossing for the management of periodontal diseases and dental caries in adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4(4), CD008829.
  4. Lippert, Frank. “An introduction to toothpaste - its purpose, history and ingredients.” Monographs in oral science vol. 23 (2013): 1-14. doi:10.1159/000350456


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