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Do Tartar Removal Tools Work

The short answer is yes. Tartar removal tools are designed to help break down hardened deposits of plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth over time. When used correctly, these tools can effectively reduce the amount of plaque and tartar present on your teeth and improve their overall oral health.

Why you should prevent tartar privately

A private tartar prevention is well worth it for you. The occurring financial costs of a professional cleaning are only covered by health insurance once a year.

tartar treatment

Your dentist will remove hard tartar with ease – at home, it’s not so easy without special equipment.

If you are interested in further treatments against tartar or teeth whitening by your dentist, you will have to cover the costs then incurred yourself.

  • 80% of the population is affected by tartar. Therefore, more and more people are interested in private tartar removal.
  • They would like to prevent the negative effects of tartar in the oral cavity in time, even outside the dental offices.

Where the toothbrush in the mouth can no longer approach and thoroughly clean, tartar forms above and below the gum line. Also in the interdental spaces.

So inflammations of the gums and consequently periodontitis are favored. And of course unsightly stains on the teeth look anything but good.

diamond smile picture

Tartar – called calculus dentis in professional dental vocabulary – is more than merely an aesthetic stain on your dental surface, however.

Untreated, calculus can cause some subsequent problems for you:

  • Long-term development of tooth decay
  • Your oral flora will be permanently damaged
  • Tooth gums become inflamed
  • Painful follow-up treatments
  • High costs that your health insurance may not cover

To avoid all these negative consequences, the private use of dental scaler is recommended. Here there are different types, treatment options and models.

How do dental scalers work?

First, it is important to say that there is no such thing as THE perfect dental scaler. But rather different models for different types of users.

prevent tartar

Previously, it was only dentists who were able to remove the deposits & discoloration on their patients’ teeth. However, for several years now, you have been able to actively combat tartar yourself thanks to household dental cleaning tools.

There are several methods of tartar removal for home use:

  • Mechanical tartar removal kits
  • Electric dental scaler
  • Ultrasonic
  • Tooth eraser

Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages, which I would like to explain briefly. But before that, an important note:

Attention: If used incorrectly or with incorrect technique, you can damage parts of the tooth surface irretrievably. This makes expensive treatments such as veneers & fillings necessary in the long term.

In case of doubt, I advise against such products and recommend asking your dentist beforehand.

You should generally do better with the combination of electric toothbrush + regular visits to the dentist.

Mechanical scaling kits

These sets are commonly available in well-stocked pharmacies and drugstores at an affordable price. They usually include the following items:

  • Mechanical tartar remover
  • Curette
  • Scaler
  • Other accessories

Mechanical scaler

As the name expresses, you take the tool in your own hand and act with pressure on the area to be removed. Basically, the tartar scraper serves rather than for easily visible tartar, which is easy to reach.

dental scraper

You are probably already familiar with the classic dental scraper from visits to the dentist.

The dental scraper is rather a somewhat clumsy instrument. For a superficial and quick removal of tartar, it is well suited. However, you can not reach the fine interdental spaces with this dental tool.


The dental curette is also a mechanical instrument for scraping out and removing tartar.

  • The edges are sharp, smooth or serrated. This can be used to effectively remove hard plaque below the gum line in a targeted manner.
  • However, caution is advised when using with the sharp side below the gumline.

Applying too deeply in the lower part of the tooth pocket can cause injury.

Another disadvantage is the maintenance intensity of the instrument, because it needs to be sharpened regularly.


Optically similar to curettes, scalers, however, are used to remove tartar located above the gum line. They complement curettes, but do not replace them in their method of use.

In addition, the ends are equipped with a sharp tip designed to clean a targeted spot rather than a larger area of tartar. Two types of scalers differ in their scope of application:

  • Scalers for anterior teeth à Shaped similarly to a chisel. They can be used universally for all anterior teeth.
  • Scaler for posterior teeth à Shaped similar to a sickle. Depending on the product, they can be shaped specifically for the left, or right, or upper, or lower half of the jaw.

Further accessories

Depending on the price and scope of the set, a set will be equipped by the manufacturer with additional items beyond the basic items listed above.

These sets may include a round-shaped mouth mirror, tweezers, a cloth for cleaning or polishing, etc.

But look for the main use products rather than the ancillary items. These additional items are ‘nice to have’, but do not make the set complete in their usefulness.

The Test Winner

If you are willing to spend a bit of money on a mechanical scaling kit, I would like to recommend this Dental Kit*, which is best equipped with many different stainless steel dental tools.

All of these tools are stored in an elegant case. This is padded on the inside for optimal storage of the removers.

A comprehensive set of various instruments to reliably remove tartar.

All tartar and plaque removal instruments are produced from stainless steel and are high quality, sturdy and durable. Due to the smooth scraping action, the tartar can be removed gently.

Neither your tooth enamel is thus damaged, nor can be cut into the gums.

This set is trusted by both dentists and dental students. It is designed for home use, so that you are equipped at home exactly like your dentist and can remove tartar professionally and effectively.

It is also a great tool to have on hand.

Although the set admittedly has a hefty price tag, you should use it exclusively for yourself.

The manufacturer explicitly recommends not sharing it with other people from your household for hygienic reasons. In addition, you should clean the instruments before each use and sterilize them with anti-bacterial wipes.

Price-performance tip

There are sometimes inexplicable price ranges between sets from different suppliers.

Although they featured mostly the same amount of tools and the same high-quality stainless steel workmanship, some sets were up to nine times more expensive than the basic versions.

  • For this reason, it’s hard to pick a winner in the price-performance category, as the sets are not all equally equipped.
  • But if it is really only about the plain equipment with basic tools, I can recommend this dental set for tartar removal.

A set with the most important tools to remove tartar.

Both tartar scraper and scaler are molded from stainless steel. The stainless steel and real glass mouth mirror helps detect tartar in the farthest corners of your mouth.

  • After use, the manufacturer recommends boiling for three minutes to disinfect.
  • The instruments should then be carefully dried for storage so that no water stains are left on the instrument.

The Bugdet Dental Set* is the cost-effective alternative to scaling. Suitable for entry level and for all those users who do not want to spend too much on scaling.

Electric dental scaler

For those who don’t want to put some pressure on their own tooth for scaling, they can also rely on electric scaler.

electric dental scaler

Electric dental scaler should only be used in trained hands.

This is used to remove tartar deposits by machine.

  • The instruments are designed to simplify tartar removal by vibrating the tips.
  • On the Internet, you can find many electric dental scaler. The cost range for electric dental scaler vary from about 15 – 100 €.

Also, there are attachments for some models of electric toothbrushes to buy. These should be replaced every three months at most for daily use.

Too much friction, however, can damage tooth enamel. Most electric tartar removers are not considered medical devices per se, and dentists also advise against their use.

Therefore, I would not seriously recommend any of these devices to you. They can do you more harm than good.


Ultrasonic removal of tartar must also be done electrically, as electricity is also needed to operate the device, as in the previously described method.

So where is the difference between the two methods?

  • You can read about the exact difference between ordinary sound and those very ultrasonic devices here.
  • Many dental cleaning devices are communicated and touted as ‘ultrasonic devices’, although they do not even meet the minimum requirements.

The sound of an ordinary toothbrush vibrates around 30,000 times per minute. The professional ultrasonic device at the dentist oscillates much more frequently with up to 1.6 million pulses per minute.

However, devices with this high frequency for the pure removal of tartar are predominantly used by dentists or dental cleaners.

Professional tartar removal using ultrasound is also covered by health insurance once a year.

No recommendation possible

However, for private use, there is no ultrasonic dental scaler of the same quality as the one used by the dentist during treatment.

Dental ultrasonic devices as found in the dentist’s office cost between 300 and 1,000€.

An ultrasonic toothbrush performs this task incidentally, but its main benefit is its traditional functions and not the removal of tartar.

electric toothbrush with ultrasound

Ultrasonic toothbrushes clean excellently, but are not suitable for removing hardened tartar.

Unfortunately, ultrasonic toothbrushes for home use cannot compete with professional ultrasonic devices at the dentist in terms of effectiveness. For this reason, I would not recommend an ultrasonic toothbrush for tartar removal only.

So don’t buy an ultrasonic toothbrush if you are interested exclusively in tartar removal.

If you are still interested in regular and painless tartar removal using ultrasound, please consult your dentist.

If, however, you are basically interested in the solution using an ultrasonic toothbrush for cleaning and dental care, I can recommend the following article to you

Here you will find detailed information on the subject. And also the perfect ultrasonic toothbrush for home use.

The all-rounder set

I do not want to deprive you of one option for electric tartar removal.

Professional device at a comparatively low price.

Summarizing some technical advantages of the device:

They control partly sharp-edged tips in the mouth. So please be careful with the first applications for electric scaling, if you want to purchase this product.

They get into the interdental spaces well thanks to the pointed designs and do – no damage to your teeth or enamel when used correctly –. The user recommends daily use of his product to supplement dental care.

Other additional benefits of the electric dental scaler are described by the manufacturer as follows:

  • Use evokes fresh breath
  • Massages sensitive gums
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Strengthens teeth and gums

Also included is a round mouth mirror that allows you to check the corners of your mouth. Also, you can use four different attachments. These are molded from stainless steel.

Three different intensities provide gradual removal of your tartar.

Tooth Eraser

The dental eraser is also one of the mechanical tools used to remove tartar. Unlike the other approaches mentioned, you rub the tooth surface instead of scraping or scratching.

white teeth natural

A tooth eraser not only helps against tartar, but also other stains.

It’s not for nothing that the product is called a dental eraser. Just like in the old days at school, you can simply erase optical flaws.

At the tip there is a rubber-like membrane. This is equipped with microscopic silicon crystals, with which the tartar on the tooth surface can be gently rubbed off and removed.

A great advantage of tartar erasers is that they are gentle to use.

To hurt yourself with a tartar eraser on the tooth or gum is almost an impossibility.

The surface of the tartar eraser is soft and rounded. At the same time, also too large to cause damage or injury in the interdental spaces.

  • The size of the tartar eraser, however, can also be considered a disadvantage. In the interdental spaces can not get the eraser.
  • So you would have to use another product if you want to remove tartar in the interdental spaces.

So, as a small side effect, you do not only remove tartar when using the abrasion.

Also you balance tooth discoloration and thus lighten a little your teeth. However, this cosmetic side effect should not be the real motivation for buying a dental eraser.

The test winner

The best choice of a dental eraser for tartar removal is SNOWW WHITE Premium Teeth Whitening.

The tip of this tartar remover is made of corundum and is gentle on gums.

Gently cleans discoloration and tartar.

The manufacturer also argues the advertised quality for this tartar eraser with the additional effect of tooth polishing. You lighten on the one hand with the gentle bleaching your teeth.

On the other hand, you prevent with the polish according to the statements of the manufacturer new discolorations and thus keep a clean surface. According to the manufacturer, peroxides and other harmful active ingredients are dispensed with 100%.

The product is feather-light and ergonomic in the hand with just under 15g weight. Purely from the dimensions, this tartar eraser is even smaller than an ordinary toothbrush. Therefore, it can be easily carried in your luggage.

In addition to the use of the dental eraser, the manufacturer recommends the use of coconut activated carbon. Thus, faster results can be evoked.

Price-performance tip

A balanced price-performance ratio offers you the COCOBAE tartar remover. For this price, the package includes two tartar erasers from COCOBAE.

The tip consists of a grindstone made of volcanic ash. The handle with its rubber coating ensures an optimal and secure grip during use.

  • There is no risk of slipping inside the oral cavity and possible injury.
  • By means of light and even pressure on the tooth, the contaminated areas are rubbed off.

The manufacturer recommends weekly application after the usual brushing. To get rid of the previously described microcrystals after use, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly.

To get the maximum cleaning effect, you can also apply a polishing paste on the eraser.

However, this is only a recommendation from the manufacturer and is optional in nature. So you do not need to obtain and use an additional paste after the actual brushing.

You can use the COCOBAE tartar remover 3 – 5 times.

After that, you should dispose of it. In this package, you will be provided with two copies of the tartar eraser. So depending on your frequency of use, you can get by with this product for 6 to 10 weeks with recommended use.

General tips for choosing an appropriate dental scraper

As with many other dental care products, the quality of a particular dental scaler can be measured by its workmanship and texture

The more plastic has been processed, the cheaper the prices and at the same time the shorter the shelf life of the product.


Tip: Depending on the condition of your teeth, you should first discuss a purchase with your doctor.

In other words, if you want to pay attention to quality rather than price when buying a dental scaler, it’s better to opt for hand tools made of solid stainless steel.

The lifespan of stainless steel dental scalers can be considered much longer. Alternative products made of plastic do not last as long.

However, the processing of stainless steel or plastic does not affect the quality of tartar removal.

So, the processed materials are only about durability and design of the dental scaler. But not about the effectiveness of the individual methods or tools.

Urban Legends: remove tartar like in grandmother’s time

In part, the most exciting and absurd stories about oral hygiene can be found on the Internet

Especially when grandmother’s home remedies are sworn by to treat, alleviate, or remove medical ailments.

These thoughts are often based on distrust of modern dental technologies and the cheap alternatives from the grocery store around the corner.

Natural foods to fight tartar

So, if some foods are touted from other sources for removing tartar, at least be skeptical.

baking soda citric acid

Here, it is irrelevant whether this information comes on- or offline.

There is no de facto natural means of removing tartar that has been scientifically proven.

While researching this article, I was privileged to read the most off-the-wall advice for the following foods for tartar removal:

  • Cooking oils
  • Vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ground black tea
  • Cheese with a high fat content
  • Lemon, or lemon juice

Please don’t get me wrong: these natural products are not generally harmful to your body or teeth.

Provided that you would not overuse and consume them. But they thus fail to achieve the desired effect of removing tartar. So, the application of the above-mentioned means remains ineffective for this purpose.

Maximally, some of the ingredients of the listed foods do prevent the formation of tartar. But do not remove the tartar.

The application of the cause to the medical problem treatment therefore seems a little absurd.

Tartar is formed by eating food, among other things. Therefore, food will not be able to remove tartar if it also causes it naturally.

The use of food to treat tartar seems a bit absurd.

In the case of lemon, you would be applying even a small amount of citric acid to your teeth. And too much acid is proven to never be helpful to your tooth enamel. By doing so, you would not be solving a problem, but further creating one elsewhere.

What else can help

In addition, there are still some possibilities with which you can passively remove tartar. You may be familiar with these from other articles on tartar:

    by the strong water jet tartar is washed away removes tartar in the hard-to-reach interdental spaces – some even act preventively

The effects are passive in nature, since none of these agents was produced specifically to remove tartar. So they fulfill this purpose rather incidentally and serve mainly as a preventive measure?

Does baking soda help against tartar?

In addition, many blogs also recommend the active use of baking soda. However, this can cause long-term damage, read more here: Baking soda for white teeth.

What else you should consider when personally removing tartar

As with many other products, the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use are valuable in nature.

white teeth

If you have nothing to do with dental treatment and care for professional reasons, you are just a layman like me. And a layman doesn’t know any better and can do a lot wrong.

Very important: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions

This advice and recommendations of the manufacturers are sometimes ignored and over-read by the user (I am no exception!).

  • Therefore, I would like to remind you once again that personal tartar removal is your own doing.
  • Particular care should be taken if you are removing tartar at home for the very first time.

You yourself are responsible for the application and the qualitative success of your personal tartar removal.

Inevitable: Cleaning and disinfection of instruments

So, for example, follow the various recommendations for cleaning, disinfection/sterilization, and storage as described by the manufacturer when you purchase the product.

Bacteria and germs like to remain invisible on instruments and can cause inflammation and injury if not used properly.

So, in addition, never share your purchased instrument with other family members or people in your household. Their oral flora is sensitive and reacts easily to bacteria and germs of other people.

Do not exceed maximum usage time

Also, do not exceed the maximum recommended duration of use

remove tartar

Replace scrapers too often rather than too infrequently – dull devices tempt you to make mistakes.

So, if an item has exceeded its maximum shelf life, you should discard it and get a new one. Using and exhausting these items beyond their maximum will do more harm than good in the long run.

  • Some utility items also need to be sharpened on a regular basis to maintain quality.
  • A blunt instrument has never helped in dentistry and the same goes for private scaling.

The proper care of your purchased tools, of course, also affects the durability. For this reason, it is worth following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Conclusion: what should I do for maximum tartar removal?

Surely you would like to know a final conclusion and recommendation from me. Of course, I would like to give these to you.

You complement the dentist – but you do not replace him

No matter which of the above methods you would like to choose:

Please never forget that you cannot compete with a dentist with many years of experience and training

  • The equipment and instruments recommended above can assist you in your personal tartar removal.
  • They are therefore only to be considered as a supplement to professional scaling at the dentist. But never as a replacement.

To ensure maximum care for your teeth, you should therefore consult your trusted dentist at least once a year for professional scaling.


My recommendation

As described above, health insurance companies cover the cost of one treatment per year.

  • So take this offer with thanks – It costs you nothing and your teeth and interdental spaces feel noticeably cleaner and refreshed.
  • However, this effect naturally wears off at some point due to the permanent food intake.

New tartar will form sooner or later. For this reason, for a better feeling and to complement the annual visit to the dentist, you should opt for at least one of the above methods. Better yet, opt for two different methods.

I would make it as follows for personal use

Invest a little more money in the use item. Since you want to use it several times and over a long period of time, it is allowed to cost a few euros more and be made of stainless steel.

Maintain and disinfect your instruments properly, so you have nothing to worry about for years and can always remove tartar.

  • In addition, the use of a dental eraser is recommended. You not only optimize the aesthetics and appearance of your teeth, you also maintain them sustainably and brighten them.


Since the tooth erasers are consumptions items, the application period is limited and you will eventually have to willy-nilly re-coin. In the long run, that can add up to quite a bit of money.

Furthermore, the tooth eraser can also be seen as an accessory to the more expensive mechanical set.

So if you use and consume the tooth eraser less frequently than recommended by the manufacturer, it’s not a problem per se. Especially not if you use the mechanical care set frequently to compensate.

It comes down a bit to finding the right balance between optimizing benefits and minimizing costs.

With a bit of routine, however, you can master private scaling and will be able to find an optimal balance between benefits and costs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Tartar Removal Tools

Dental hygiene is a vital aspect of overall health, and tartar removal is essential in maintaining it. Tartar, also known as calculus, is a hard deposit that accumulates on teeth, particularly on hard-to-reach areas such as around gums, and may lead to gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. Using tartar removal tools is a common approach to eliminating tartar buildup, but it has both advantages and disadvantages.

One of the most significant advantages of using tartar removal tools is that they are more effective than brushing alone. Tartar removal tools allow you to remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach spots. Scaling instruments, for instance, are designed explicitly to remove heavy tartar deposits. Tartar removal tools also help in preventing gum disease, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. With regular use, these tools can improve oral health, leading to fresher breath, shinier teeth, and better gum health.

Despite their many advantages, tartar removal tools also have their share of disadvantages. For starters, these tools require a certain level of skill to use them correctly without causing damage. Misusing tartar removal tools, such as applying too much pressure, can destroy or scratch tooth enamel, making teeth susceptible to decay. Some tartar removal tools, such as ultrasonic scalers, require the use of water or other cooling agents, which can be quite messy, especially if not adequately controlled. Moreover, tartar removal tools can be time-consuming and may leave the mouth feeling sore, particularly if used the wrong way.

In conclusion, tartar removal tools are beneficial in maintaining oral health, but they should be used with caution. They can remove tartar effectively, improve breath and overall gum health, but they require careful handling, appropriate training, and regular maintenance when necessary. It is essential to consult with a dentist before using tartar removal tools to ensure you use them correctly and safely to achieve significant oral health benefits.