Plaque is never a good thing. This sticky coating is the bacteria in your mouth feasting away on leftover food particles, forming an acid that is corrosive to your teeth.
As if that weren’t bad enough, this substance eventually hardens into tartar, sometimes called calculus. This is a hard substance that ranges in shade from yellow to brown. This makes it a cosmetic issue, but it does go beyond that.
Hard tartar can poke at your gumline and make you feel uncomfortable. This causes irritation and inflammation. So how do you prevent tartar? What can you do once it collects on your teeth? Panorama Dental has your answers.
How Does Tartar Form?
Tartar begins as plaque, an invisible coating made up of bacteria. In its early stages, it is sticky and colorless, but it won’t stay that way if you don’t act fast.
When left alone, plaque eventually hardens into a yellow or brown layer that often collects along your gumline or between teeth.
How to Remove Tartar
The bad news is that once tartar is on your teeth, only a dental professional can remove it. Using a special tool, your dentist or hygienist scrapes the tartar away in a process called scaling.
The same tools dental professionals use are available in drugstores and online, but they should not be purchased. Attempting to scale teeth on your own without proper training is not a good idea. You could seriously damage your gum tissue or enamel.
How to Prevent Tartar
Only a trained professional can remove calculus from your teeth without risking damage, so if you’re concerned about tartar, the best thing you can do is prevent plaque from forming on your teeth.
These are the best ways to cut down on plaque buildup:
Floss daily. As the old joke goes, you only have to floss the teeth you want to keep. While many pastes, brushes, and mouth rinses claim to clean in between your teeth, using floss is the only way. If you’re trying to prevent tartar, this is extra important, since tartar loves to collect in the spaces between your teeth and underneath your gumline, and flossing is the only way to remove plaque from these areas without professional intervention.
Brush twice a day for sessions lasting at least two minutes. It’s important to get to the two-minute mark because this gives the fluoride in your paste enough time to soak in and nourish your teeth.
Visit your dentist. In order to cut down on the plaque and tartar that builds up on your teeth and around your gums, it’s important that you head to your dentist every 6 months. They will make sure no trouble is brewing inside your mouth and scrape away and tartar that has built up.
Cut the sweets. Sugary and starchy foods make the bacteria that live in your mouth very happy. As they feed on these, they produce a corrosive acid that causes further damage to your smile.