You know about the sticky film that coats teeth between brushings. But do you know unremoved plaque can turn into tartar and attach much more firmly on your teeth? Here are five things to know about tartar.
Bacteria that stay on teeth form a sticky film called dental plaque. If this plaque lingers in the mouth, it may harden to tartar, also called calculus. This hardened plaque forms on the choppers but can also spread below your gum line.
How can you get rid of tartar?
You can remove dental plaque by brushing and flossing regularly. Conversely, tartar is much more difficult to get rid of. You can’t remove this hardened plaque by brushing and flossing. You need to visit your dentist for teeth cleaning.
Why is tartar harmful?
Hardened plaque increases the risk of cavities and tooth decay. The bacteria in the calculus can also irritate your gums and increase the chances for progressive gum disease.
What habits increase the risk of tartar build-up?
Besides poor oral hygiene, smoking and poor eating habits can encourage the formation of plaque and the build-up of calculus. Studies show that smoking and use of tobacco products increase the risk of tartar. Uncontrolled snacking on sugary and starchy foods also enhances the odds of having plaque and tartar.
What’s the best way to control tartar?
The best way to control calculus is by not letting it form on your choppers. Make sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Choose calculus-control toothpaste that contains fluoride and triclosan. Remember to floss and rinse with recommended mouthwash daily. Regular professional teeth cleaning will also keep your mouth free of tartar.
Plaque and tartar can adversely affect oral health in several ways. The gunk increases the risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, tooth loss and halitosis. Take good care of your mouth to prevent the formation of plaque and to prevent this sticky film from hardening into hard-to-remove tartar.