What Are the Tools My Dental Hygienist Uses to Clean My Teeth?

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Have you ever wondered exactly what tools our dental hygienist uses to give your teeth that thorough cleaning that makes your mouth feel so fresh right after a dental visit? Well, wonder no longer. Here is the shortlist of our dental instruments.

Tiny Mirror

To get a good look at the backside of your teeth, and to explore all the nooks and crannies in your mouth, the small, circular, handheld mirror is as important as the rest of our more “high-tech” dental instruments.


We use pointy metal probes to push things around and delve into the crevices of your mouth. There are many kinds of probes, and each have a particular shape on the end, but probably the most used is a hook-shape that has a sharp point at the end. We use this to push between the gumline and measure pocket depths around teeth.


Scalers are used to scrape tartar and plaque off of teeth. They also have various blades and pointed ends each for specific areas and angles of a tooth. Besides the typical handheld kind, we also have powered scalers that use soundwaves, water, and compressed air to do the job.


A curette is also a scaler, but it is specifically adapted with a round end to scrape the crevice between the gum margin and the root of a tooth.


Similar to a powered shoe polisher, our tiny version buffs and shines up the teeth surface in order to make it harder for tartar and plaque to adhere to it for the next six months.

Saliva Ejector

Last, but not least is the suction tube that the hygienist hangs in the corner of your mouth to collect the saliva so that you don’t need to spit.

If you’re past due on your six-month dental checkup and cleaning, call Dr. Jennifer Ortega and our helpful team at Ortega Dental Winter Park. Phone: 407-645-3636. Make an appointment or come by our office in Winter Park, Florida.