Even professional brushers and flossers have some plaque in their mouths. As plaque sits on your teeth, the bacteria begin to feast away on leftover food particles, which forms an acid that is corrosive to your teeth.
Eventually, this sticky stuff hardens into tartar, which is far more difficult to remove than plaque.
So how can you get rid of or prevent tartar? Colorado Dental Group has your answers.
How Does Tartar Form?
Plaque is an invisible film that is made up of bacteria. It is sticky and colorless, but if it isn’t properly removed, it won’t stay that way for long!
Plaque eventually hardens and turns a shade of yellow or brown. This hardened substance is called tartar or calculus. Not only is this a cosmetic issue, but it can be irritating to your teeth and gums.
How to Remove Tartar
Unfortunately, once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a dental professional using a process called scaling. This process involves using a special tool to scrape tartar off of your teeth.
While similar tools are available for purchase, it is very important that you don’t attempt to scale teeth on your own, since without professional training, this can cause serious damage to your teeth and gum tissue.
How to Prevent Tartar
Since only a trained professional can safely remove tartar from your smile, your best bet is to prevent the tartar from forming in the first place by keeping the plaque buildup in your mouth under control.
To do this, follow these rules:
Brush for at least two minutes twice a day. That two-minute time frame is important, since it gives the fluoride in your toothpaste time to penetrate your teeth, so you can get its strengthening benefits.
Floss daily. 40% of your teeth’s surfaces are located in between your teeth, and no matter what types of claims your toothbrush, paste, or mouthwash makes, it cannot clear out the plaque from in between your teeth. Plus, the areas along your gum line and between your teeth are great places for tartar to hang out, which can irritate your gums, so you need to take double care here.
Cut the sweets. Limit the amount of sugary and starchy foods you eat during the day. The bacteria in your mouth thrives on these types of foods.
Visit your dentist. Make it into your dentist’s office at least twice a year. Your dentist will take X-rays to make sure you don’t have problems lurking beneath the surface, and getting a dental cleaning twice a year also removes any tartar that does build up, before it becomes a problem