We always envy that awesome smile we watch on the TV. Some of us will try to whiten and brighten the teeth with various materials. Before attending a party, we desire a gorgeous smile. But, what if we notice some abnormality on our teeth. Lately, you see scratches over the teeth. You are miffed, dejected and terrified of this scratches. Have you thought what might be these scratches, are these real and how to fix them. Let us explore..

Scratches on teeth

First, not all scratches seen on teeth are abnormal. We have to sort out what is normal or abnormal. Sometimes, scratches on teeth may be actually enamel – outer layer of tooth crown – with ridges of bacterial plaque covering the teeth.

While in some fracture of tooth crown may appear as scratches on teeth.


Enamel the hardest tissue in human body is the outer covering layer of tooth. Although hardest, there are chances of chipping of enamel in some cases.

Some people may mistake the appearance of enamel as scratches on teeth. Enamel may have ridges and some grooves.


In some, hardened plaque on teeth may appear as scratches. Dental plaque is a sticky layer formed on teeth by bacteria. This plaque hardens with time and no intervention. This hardened plaque may appear as scratches. Some sugary foods such as sweets, candies and cakes quicken the plaque formation. Once hardened, the dental plaque known as Tartar can be best removed by Dentists. Tartar may lead to formation of tooth decay and gum diseases. Tartar has many pores in its structure which makes it easy to absorb stains.

Scratches on teeth after cleaning

Can cleaning in dental office cause scratches on teeth?

This is a common misbelief among youth that cleaning may result scratches on tooth surface.

Cleaning – Ultrasound scaling in dental terms – involves removal of plaque, tartar and calculus. Undergoing Ultrasonic scaling doesn’t make any scratches on teeth. The ultrasonic scalers which are used in Dental office are not sharp enough to scratch the enamel. Ultrasound scalers are designed only to remove tartar that sticks onto the teeth.  

In some cases, Plaque formed on the teeth makes you think that tooth surface is smooth. When the plaque is removed, tooth surface is exposed. Teeth has fossa and lines on its surface. These lines get exposed once plaque and tartar are removed. So, those are not scratches from cleaning.

Professional cleaning of your teeth twice a year is advised. It is a part of good oral hygiene.

But cleaning may expose any wearing of tooth surface due to brushing or due to acids.

Scratches on teeth after braces

Can braces cause scratches on teeth? Well, no. Braces, usually, doesn’t cause any scratches. While fixing Braces, Orthodontist use a bonding agent to stick them to teeth. After completion of the treatment, Orthodontist removes the braces. If some bonding material is still stick on to teeth, it may appear as scratches.

An appointment with your Orthodontist is enough to remove the bonding agent still stuck onto the teeth. They will remove the retained bonding agent using finishing burs without scratching the tooth.

After going through all the above info we can safely conclude that scratches on teeth are not common and they don’t usually occur after a dental procedure. But if you notice any scratch on tooth surface and the tooth is sensitive or in pain, then the best possible course of action is visit your dentist.

Morel, A et al. “A study of human jaw movements deduced from scratches on occlusal wear facets.Archives of oral biology vol. 36,3 (1991): 195-202. doi:10.1016/0003-9969(91)90086-a