Dental Instruments Used to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Many people avoid going to the dentist because they dislike the tools dentists use during exams and corrective therapy. However, regular dental visits are an important part of dental care and oral health. The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist for regular checkups. This should be at least once a year, and twice a year for most people in order to maintain dental health and to help to prevent more serious problems like tooth loss.

During a dental checkup at Blanco Crossing Dental, we examine your throat, gums, tongue, lips, jaws, and teeth. As part of this process, we look for signs of decay, disease, and even early signs of oral cancer. We also recommend dental cleanings twice a year to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A dental hygienist, a specialist trained in oral health care, performs much of the dental cleaning in Stone Oak at our office before the dentist completes the exam. They use specialized dental hygienist tools as part of a professional cleaning that removes deposits from teeth, cleans gums, and polishes the enamel. As part of a dental checkup, we may request X-rays or other tests to further evaluate your teeth and mouth.

Here, we explain several of the dental tools we use during a dental cleaning session and what they do. Each has a specific function that helps us make sure you have clean teeth, healthy gums, and a sparkling smile.


Mirrors are small round teeth cleaning tools that are used to get a look at the hard-to-reach areas in the mouth. These are the areas that are usually the parts of the mouth that are difficult to clean, and most of the time, they are the most likely places to find cavities. Using a mirror and other dental cleaning tools will ensure that the oral cavity will be thoroughly cleaned after the dental cleaning session.


Even with regular brushing and flossing, soft plaque gradually builds up. Plaque is a sticky film that develops when you eat and drink. It combines with saliva, food, and liquids to produce bacteria that become acidic and break down tooth enamel. Eventually, plaque hardens into tartar, a deposit of mineralized calcium that allows bacteria to grow beneath it. Tartar adheres to the surface of teeth, including areas under the gum line. It may be visible as yellow or brown stains. Although you can control plaque by brushing and flossing, tartar must be removed by a dental professional. Our hygienist removes tartar by carefully scraping deposits from the surface of each tooth using a dental scaler.


These teeth cleaning tools are used after all the plaque and tartar are cleared away using the scalers, a polisher is the next teeth cleaning tool that will be used. As its name suggests, a polisher is used to polish teeth and give them a smooth shine.

Computer Imagery

We may also use computers to help us evaluate our oral health and diagnose problems. X-rays are an important tool in evaluating the health of each tooth, jaw, and surrounding bones. Traditional X-rays use a low dose of radiation to create an image on film.