Uses of a dental mouth mirror

Written by connie whiting
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Uses of a dental mouth mirror
Use of a dental mouth mirror by a dentist. (Image by, courtesy of Herry Lawford)

A dental mouth mirror is an essential dental tool. It consists of a small concave mirror set into a metal or plastic handle. The end tilts so that the mirror easily fits into small spaces unlike a regular mirror.

Dental Procedure Companion Tool

Dental mirrors provide a way for the dentist to see all areas in the mouth, including hard-to-see areas such as the back of a tooth. A mirror is used with all other dental tools. For example, during a checkup, the dentist holds the mouth mirror in one hand, while holding the hooked instrument called an explorer in the other. He checks the teeth with the explorer while looking at his progress in the mirror.


Anaesthesia used in some dental procedures causes the mouth tissue to become slack. The patient is not able to move his cheek or tongue since it is numbed by anaesthesia. The dentist then uses the mirror to hold the tongue or inner mouth tissue to the side, especially when using a dental drill.

Other Professionals

Other professionals also use dental mirrors to work in a tight small space. A car mechanic might use a dental mirror to see a clip behind a headlight, or a computer technician can fit a dental mirror behind delicate electronic components safely.


The small concave mirrors look stunning when sewn onto fabric crafts. Mini-sunflowers are made by painting the handle green and the mirror section yellow. Small fabric leaves and petals glued onto the dental tool complete the effect.

Dental Teaching Aide

Children learn dental health through the use of disclosing tablets and a plastic dental mirror. The children chew the tablets, releasing a harmless stain that settles on the plaque on the teeth. Each child then uses a dental mirror while looking in a larger regular mirror to see the plaque. This teaches children where the hard-to-reach areas are, so they can brush their teeth more efficiently.

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