What is Tartar?

February 12, 2021 Staff 0 Comments

Proper oral care through brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups can prevent things like cavities, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. We’re often told to look after our teeth to prevent the build-up of plaque. But one problem we hear about less frequently is tartar. Read on to find out more about tartar and how to prevent its build-up.

Plaque and tartar

Plaque and tartar are not the same thing, but they are related. Plaque develops on the surface of our teeth due to the bacteria in our mouths and the food that we eat, particularly if we leave tiny food particles in our mouths and on our teeth. If plaque isn’t brushed and washed away regularly, it will build-up and cause more serious problems.

When plaque is left for too long on your teeth, it hardens due to exposure to the minerals contained in your saliva, forming tartar or dental calculus. You may be able to feel tartar on your teeth or along your gum line as it will feel harder than plaque. The build-up of tartar on your teeth and below your gum line can cause gum disease and other dental problems.

How to prevent tartar

Simply brushing your teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from developing into tartar. Flossing at least once a day also helps to prevent plaque build-up in between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. You should also try to reduce the number of sugary snacks you eat, making sure to clean your teeth more regularly if you are consuming sugar.

Visiting the dentist regularly can help keep your teeth clear of plaque and tartar, too. As well as giving your teeth a more thorough, professional cleaning, your family dentist can also assess how much plaque is built up on your teeth, giving you advice on your brushing technique or oral hygiene routine if they think plaque and tartar are a problem for you.

How to remove tartar

You can’t remove tartar from your teeth simply by brushing and flossing. While you may read of some DIY dental products and home remedies for tartar removal, the most effective and reliable way to remove tartar from your teeth is by seeing a dental professional. They have the proper tools and training required to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any tartar build-up, particularly below the gum line where it is difficult to access.

If you have problems with tartar and plaque build-up, contact Advance Family Dentists to book a dental check-up or get oral care advice from one of our family dentists in Advance, NC.