Using your finger to get tonsil stones out isn’t always convenient, even if it seems so at the time. You’ll likely be pushing around your tonsils aimlessly for a good 5-10 minutes before you finally get the little nuisances out, provided you don’t give up during the process.
But no matter the outcome, the end result is almost always one of stress and frustration.
So clearly using your finger isn’t the most productive use of your time, especially if you notice the tonsil stones first thing in the morning before work. To help you avoid all this trouble, I’ve outlined a few methods that will not only make tonsil stone removal fast, but easy.
#1 Use a Q-tip
Considering most people have these sitting around the house somewhere, it’s no surprise that the q-tip is one of most commonly used tools for removing tonsil stones.
Their thin shape makes it very easy to reach to the back of your throat without gagging and they can fit into the crypts of your tonsils much better than your finger. So it’ll save you quite a bit of time and hassle.
Make sure you wet the end of the q-tip as well as this makes it easier for the stones to stick to it.
#2 Use a Lighted Pik
This is very similar to the q-tip in that it makes reaching your tonsils much easier, but it has one extra special advantage.
Not being able to see what you’re doing is probably the most frustrating thing about locating and removing tonsil stones. But with the lighted pik – literally a thin stick with a light on the end – this problem is pretty much solved.
You’ll likely half the time it normally takes to get your tonsil stones and save yourself all the stress as well.
It’s also pretty thin so you’ll find it easy to fit into the crypts in your tonsils.
#3 Water Pik/Flosser
A water pik, if you haven’t heard of it, is basically an electrical device that produces a small pressurised stream of water. Kind of like those seen in dentists but less powerful.
They’re primarily designed to help people clean out their gums and in-between their teeth but if you’re in a rush and need to remove some tonsil stones then they can be very helpful for that as well.
It has quite a long neck, so reaching to your tonsils won’t be difficult, and the stream of water will be powerful enough to dislodge any stone you can find. Apart from maybe the ones that are buried within your tonsils – if you notice any of these then I recommend seeing a dentist or doctor.
These devices may cost a few bucks but it’ll more than make up for that with the amount of time that it saves you.
One thing to keep in mind though is how sensitive your gums and tonsil are. The stream of water can be pretty strong so you need to be careful not to cause yourself any harm. The strength will vary between each model but just make sure you test this out beforehand.
#4 Apple Cider Vinegar Gargle
You may have seen other websites recommend gargling salt water to help dislodge tonsil stones but I recommend you use apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead. Like the salt water, it has antibacterial and probiotic properties, but unlike the salt water, it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
So it should help aid with any symptoms you’re experiencing because of the tonsil stones.
Here’s what you do:
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to 8 ounces (1 glass) of water and mix them together
- Take a sip of the mixture, tilt your head back and begin gargling. Do so for about 15 seconds.
- Spit the mixture out (as well as any stones your find) and repeat with the rest of the glass.
- Rinse your mouth out with some clean water.
Now it isn’t exactly the ACV that forces your stones out of place, it’s more the act gargling that does that. So you could in theory get away with just gargling water, but I still recommend you add the ACV anyway as it’ll help prevent the stones from re-appearing.
This does mean, however, that gargling ACV will not really work for stones that are buried within your tonsils. Unless you gargle extremely vigorously (which I don’t recommend, you could hurt yourself) you’ll only be able to dislodge stones that are just about to fall out.
So it won’t work in all situations but it’s still much better method than using your fingers.
You won’t gag, it’ll only take a few minutes, you could be doing it at the same time as other things (it might take a bit of skill and practice but you still could) and you don’t waste any time looking around for the stones.
It may not be the most effective method in this post but it is the most convenient so I highly recommend you give it a try next time you notice some pain at the back of your throat.
Also, tonsil stones smell so they could be causing halitosis as well as pain or discomfort in the back of your throat. Because of ACV’s anti-bacterial properties, it’ll help treat this too.
I hope now that you are aware of these methods, tonsil stones are no longer a hassle or frustration whenever you first notice them.