If you're like me, you probably tried many things when searching for a cure for tonsil stones only to be frustrated by a lack of actionable...
Cotton swabs, vacuums, carrots, etc. I’ve used a lot of different tonsil stone removal tools over the years and I can tell you that there is a lot of GARBAGE out there.
If you’re reading this, I probably don’t need to convince you that removing tonsil stones and having fresh breath is a good idea, so allow me to spare you a few weeks of heart-ache and let me share with you the tools that have become a staple for me.
The best tonsil stone removal tools are a lighted pick with an extended shaft and rubber tip, and a low-pressure water flosser that can be used to flush away stones and oxygenate your tonsils.
So in this article I’m going to show you the light and which tools you should get.
- Just as a quick reminder, tonsil stones are calcified debris and particles that get trapped within the crypts of your tonsils, and the putrid smell is caused by anaerobic (aka “bad”) bacteria.
- If you’re like most people, you will probably suffer from a gag reflex when trying to use tools to dislodge and remove tonsil stones. Check out my post on how to get around your gag reflex!
Best Tonsil Stone Removal Tools
|Airgoesin™ Upgraded Tonsil Stone Remover Tool||Amazon|
|Oxbird Wireless Otoscope||Amazon|
|Oral irrigator Tonsil Stone Remover||Amazon|
|Cremax Low PSI Cordless Water Flosser||Amazon|
|TheraBreath Oxygenating Fresh Breath Oral Rinse||Amazon|
Believe it or not, there is a systematic process to removing tonsil stones in a certain order so that you don’t end up leaving behind traces of the Putrid Pearl and its smelly bacteria.
If you use the lighted pick, but not the irrigator, you could end up only removing half of the stone and crushing/smearing the other half deeper within the crypts. If you use the mouthwash and skip the lighted pick or irrigator the stone may remain, and you just end up having bad breath again within minutes.
So, the correct procedure for removing tonsil stones is this:
- Use the lighted pick to inspect the tonsil crypts and remove any large stones.
- Use the irrigator to flush out the tonsil crypts.
- Gargle with any oxygenating mouthwash to kill any remaining anaerobic bacteria.
Tonsil Stone Removal Kits
Originally designed for earwax removal, these kits are the perfect option for removing tonsil stones and come in many different types. My favorite being the lighted pick, because it’s so much easier to see what I’m doing.
I like the lighted pick by Airgoesin because it comes with a soft rubber tip that is very gentle on your tonsils and has an extended shaft so you can reach all the way into your mouth.
The kit listed above comes with a syringe type irrigator. It works well enough, but I recommend some different options that work much better (listed below).
- Very inexpensive and effective.
- Extended tips for reaching into throat.
- Rubber tips for easy use.
- Light is bright and pleasant.
- Extra batteries.
- Cheap construction that feels flimsy and prone to breaking.
- Syringe type irrigator is sharp and edges need to be rounded.
- Not waterproof.
Another option is what I like to call the Rolex Tonsil Stone Pick because of how fancy it is. It too has a light for illumination and comes with multiple tips (one of them is rubberized).
However, the fancy part is that the end of the tip has a wireless camera! You heard me right, a frigging camera!
It requires you download an App on your phone, but it allows you to inspect and remove stones in high definition – WITHOUT doing any gymnastics in front of a mirror.
- Good build construction.
- Very bright light for illumination.
- Multiple tips.
- Wireless camera for easy viewing.
- Shorter shaft.
- Tips feels rough and sharp.
Water Irrigators For Tonsil Stones
After removing any tonsil stones with the lighted pick, the next step is to use the irrigator to flush out the inside of your tonsil crypts.
Honestly, I would say that incorporating this into my routine has been the single most effective approach to getting rid of tonsil stones and not having to worry about my breath. Not only can it provide oxygen for your tonsils, it also keeps them moist and flushes out any developing stones you can’t see yet.
When selecting a water flosser for flushing out tonsil stones, it’s very important that you use one with a very low PSI so you don’t end up giving yourself a tonsillectomy! There are two options below:
One of the most underrated and overlooked water flossers is this little gem right here (Amazon). It is absolutely HORRIBLE for using it was regular flosser for your teeth but is MAGIC when it comes to flushing out tonsil stones.
- The button on the side is a manual pump and it allows you to easily control the pressure.
- Long shaft on tip for reaching into your mouth.
- Shaft swivels so you can change angles of approach.
- Doesn’t work well for flossing.
- Cheaply made and prone to breaking.
- Pump leaks and can fail.
Low Pressure Water Flosser
In my opinion, a much better solution is this low-pressure water flosser by Cremax (Amazon). In fact, it is the ONLY rechargeable battery powered unit that I could find with a PSI rating as low as 10, and as high as 115.
It is critically important to use a super low PSI when using an irrigator on the soft tissue of your tonsils! Most units start between 30-40 PSI and will cause significant pain/bleeding, which is why I recommend you get the Cremax.
- High quality construction.
- Large water reservoir.
- Shaft swivels so you can change angles of approach.
- Very low (10) PSI, and Can be used for regular flossing (115 PSI).
- 10 PSI may be uncomfortable for some people.
- Shaft is shorter.
Why do such small tonsil stones have such a big smell? Because of anaerobic bacteria! The folds and crypts in your tonsils is the perfect breeding ground.
These bacteria cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment, which is why an oxygenating mouthwash is so effective.
Skipping this step after removing tonsil stones can leave your mouth smelling like a faint fart, because even though you don’t have stones – you might still have anaerobic bacteria.
There are many different types of mouthwash out there, and some of them may even make your problem worse if they are alcohol based (it dries out your mouth). Even still, there’s nothing more effective than destroying anaerobic bacteria then the use of oxygen – and for that, I like to use Therabreath.
My recommendation is to gargle with it for 30 seconds after the first two steps, however you CAN add it to your water flosser to freshen up your tonsils like a spring rain.
Quick Note on The Waterpik For Tonsil Stones
As much as I love my Waterpik, using it for flushing out tonsil stones can be a very bad idea if you’re not careful – because even on the lowest setting it can be incredibly painful to use inside the crypts of your tonsils.
To add insult to injury (see what I did there), some other issues made using it quite difficult:
- The cord is a bit too short when trying to bring it into your mouth.
- The On/Off switch on the wand is awkward to control.
- The reservoir is not very secure on the unit, which often was knocked over and spilled water everywhere.
- It’s not very portable, so travelling meant I had to leave it home.
It’s difficult to control your tonsil stones if you aren’t motivated to use the tools for doing the job, and in my opinion the Waterpik just isn’t the right one.
I haven’t found a better approach to dealing with these little balls of joy outside of getting your tonsils removed. Those of us who didn’t get tonsillectomies when we were younger will need to learn how to live with them.
Once you get a routine going, living with your tonsils isn’t that bad. It takes less than a minute or two every morning (and before you go to bed), and you don’t have to worry about stones again!
At least I don’t, AND the wife is happy.
Of course, if you have a similar experience or know of better tonsil stone removal tools then I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
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