Tartar. It’s unsightly, making your teeth look stained. It can also contribute to the development of gum disease.
Here’s what you need to know to prevent the problems caused by the hard buildup on your teeth.
What Is Tartar?
“Tartar” is a common term for dental calculus. Calculus is a hard layer of mineral deposits that form on your teeth when saliva mixes with dental plaque.
That’s right—plaque and tartar are not the same thing.
Dental plaque is a soft, sticky, and almost colorless film of bacteria and food debris. You can easily remove soft biofilm by brushing and flossing. If you don’t remove the plaque regularly, however, the minerals from your saliva will calcify the plaque and make it hard like a rock.
This final product is the gritty yellow-colored buildup called calculus, or tartar.
Tips for Preventing Tartar Buildup
Unlike plaque, you can’t brush away the rock-hard tartar once it’s packed onto your teeth.
Instead, your best bet is to prevent it from forming in the first place.
Here are a few tips:
- Avoid smoking (which is associated with increased tartar)
- Brush and floss daily to remove dental plaque
- “Dry brush” your teeth without water and toothpaste before regular brushing
- Keep your mouth hydrated by drinking water
The Best Way to Get Rid of Plaque and Tartar
Sometimes, tartar will form no matter how well you brush and floss the plaque away. To keep up with tartar growth, you’ll need to visit a dental office for a professional teeth cleaning. Only professional dental tools are designed to safely and effectively remove tartar.
Are you overdue for a cleaning? Polish up your smile by calling Elegant Smiles today to schedule a professional cleaning appointment.