When you visit your dentist for your routine cleanings plaque and tarter are 2 common phrases you hear frequently. Plaque and tarter are two common culprits that can cause tooth decay and even gum disease. Do you know what plaque and tarter are and how they develop? In this article, we will be looking at these two occurrences a little closer to see the true impact they have on our teeth.
Stage 1: What is Plaque?
Plaque is a sticky biofilm that is soft and colorless. The biofilm that makes up plaque is comprised of saliva, food, and bacteria. These particles expand into the gums and attach to the surface of our teeth. If you have ever forgotten to brush your teeth you know that the texture on the surface of your teeth and tongue becomes gritty and leave a bad taste in your mouth. The plaque can be beneficial and eat sugars and other bacteria’s that help eat the harmful bacteria that is left over from starches and acids. So, because plaque is soft it is easy to remove by using a toothbrush or floss. Implementing a daily brushing routine both before bed and right when you get up will help prevent plaque build-up that can become dangerous to your teeth over time.
Stage 2: What is Tarter
Tarter is the harder version of plaque it is what develops after you do not care for your teeth over a period. Tarter is the hard-yellowish material that adheres itself to the enamel of your tooth. Once this develops you will need to see your dentist in order to remove the tarter from your teeth and prevent damage from reoccurring. How does tarter develop? It develops when acid is extricated from oral bacteria when it meets the saliva then causes a reaction when it meets minerals in your mouth. The risk increases when you for people who wear braces, crowded teeth, and those who suffer from dry mouth and a smoking habit. The risk increases as both you and your teeth age.
How to Control Plaque and Tarter
The best way to help control plaque and tarter is to implement a routine cleaning schedule along with professional cleanings from your dentist. Here are some tips for reducing plaque and tartar build up that can help promote healthy oral care.
- It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day in two-minute intervals. Brushing all the surfaces thoroughly while including the gum line.
- Floss using traditional floss or use a water pick. This will help get food particles out of the places a brush may not be able to reach.
- Use an anti-plaque toothpaste. This will help remove the plaque buildup a lot better and help reduce the risk of damage.
- Cut down on the number of sugary foods and acids that you eat every day. This will help reduce the amount of buildup.
- Using an electric toothbrush will help with more deep cleaning. Some electric toothbrushes come with apps you can download on your mobile phone that helps indicate problem areas you are experiencing.
- Routine cleanings are key when it comes to oral health it is the best way to detour any issues you have been experiencing.
For all issues regarding plaque and tarter consult your dentist on how to keep tooth and gum disease away.