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A major concern of many people before getting tartar removal is probably: Does it hurt? Whether the answer is “yes” or “no” depends on many factors. However, don’t let the fear of pain scare you off!

Why is tartar removal necessary?

Even when you floss and brush your teeth 3 times daily, plaque still builds up and may harden into tartar over time.

Without timely management, tartar will take a toll on your oral health:

  • Bad breath.
  • Periodontitis.
  • Damaged enamel.
  • Bleeding from the roots.
  • Toothaches while eating too hot or too cold foods.
  • Receding gum.
  • Loose teeth.

Not to mention the fact that plaque and tartar also cause an unpleasant sight, making your smile rigid and contrived. Therefore, it’s crucial to have tartar removal periodically in reputable dental clinics.

Does tartar removal damage the enamel?

Tartar removal will not damage the enamel if you follow your dentist’s recommendation (as mentioned above). If you do it more often (some people get tartar removal every 2 months or less), enamel damage is bound to occur.

Many believe that tartar removal weakens the roots, making loose teeth more likely. This is a total myth! In fact, tartar removal helps get rid of harmful bacteria, protecting the roots. Moreover, once the plaque is gone, bacteria have nowhere to hide.

This is an effective way to prevent gum inflammation, periodontitis, bad breath, among others, all of which contribute to a bright and radiant smile.

Is tartar removal painful?

During the procedure, your dentist will use an ultrasonic device with a tiny nozzle to target spots that are hard to reach. This device uses ultrasonic waves and oscillates (without hurting the enamel) to break down tartar. Meanwhile, another nozzle blasts water into those spots to wash away the broken tartar pieces.

Many factors decide whether tartar removal is painful or not, including:

  • The patient’s oral condition: If you have sensitive teeth or any diseases like gum inflammation or periodontitis, you will definitely experience more pain/ache during the procedure, compared to those with great oral health.
  • The extent of tartar buildup: Tartar buildups on the surface of the teeth are easier to remove and don’t cause much pain.Whereas, tartar that has hardened over time, stuck under the gum causing inflammation will result in deep aches during the procedure. However, the discomfort will disappear after a few days.

is tartar removal painful

  • The dentist’s experience: Experienced dentists with considerable expertise can easily remove tartar without causing you any significant amount of pain.
  • Tartar removal devices: Recently, ultrasonic tartar removal devices are preferred as they not only don’t cause pains or aches for patients but also are completely safe. Besides, there are also manual devices. However, those don’t have the control function over the amount of force exerted, which may result in gum damage, bleeding, and toothaches.

How often should you have tartar removal?

Depending on your oral health, your doctor will recommend how often you should scrape your teeth:

  • Good oral health and regular flossing, brushing properly, tartar formed less: Once every 6 months - 1 year.

  • Lumpy enamel, easy accumulation of leftovers, regularly eating sweets, smoking: Once every 3-4 months.

Things to know after tartar removal

No matter how skillful the doctor is with modern tools, your teeth will not be able to avoid sensitivity, minor aches and pains after tartar removal. Therefore, you need to take better care of your teeth in the first few days:

  • Do not eat foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold to prevent tooth enamel damage, which may cause your teeth to become sore during meals.
  • No smoking, drinking alcohol, coffee or acidic beverages such as tea, soft drinks ...
  • Eat plenty of foods that help cleanse your teeth naturally like apples, strawberries, cauliflower, salads ...
  • Brush your teeth after eating 30 minutes and before going to bed, floss after eating anything to remove plaque.
  • Brush your teeth properly: vertically or in a circular motion, avoiding brushing horizontally lest tooth enamel is worn out.
  • Regular check-ups follow your doctor's instructions.

Learn more: Brush your teeth correctly

You can have a look at our dental treatment cost guide or contact us for further information.


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