U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 33-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to safely remove tartar from your teeth without visiting a dentist?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ragan Faler
Dentistry 24 years experience
Why avoid?: Tartar buildup is mainly due to missing places when brushing. Simple regular cleanings and improving home care will reduce tartar buildup. Avoiding the dentist will simply cause things to get worse. Many people do because they dont want to hear what might be needed. Delaying a visit can only make things worse.
Dr. Jared Plitt
Dentistry 20 years experience
Probably not.: Tartar can form above the gums and below the gums. To remove it from below your own gums without hurting yourself is not likely. You may be able to remove some tartar in easily accessible areas. Besides removing tartar, though, your dentist should also be looking for oral cancer, measuring the health of the gums, and looking for cavities. Those are definitely hard to do on yourself.
Dr. Heidi Nelson
Dentistry 43 years experience
Don't try.: Tartar, or calculus, is the calcified accumulation of bacterial plaque on your teeth. Plaque starts to form soon after eating, especially starchy or sugary foods. Brushing and flossing can remove this safely. Once it hardens to a rocklike coating, it has to be scraped off carefully. If you improvise and try to do it yourself, a you could scratch off the enamel, infect your gums and miss spots.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Not effectively: You don't have the training or the instruments to do this effectively. Would you consider trying to operate on any other area of your body by yourself? You probably would do more harm than good.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership

Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

Can you safely remove tartar from your teeth without visiting a dentist?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Keith Hasday
Dentistry 36 years experience
Its possible: Damage to your teeth and gums will almost certainly result. There are some tools available to the public that will help accomplish this but it is really not recommended.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Oct 3, 2016

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.