Good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of protecting your teeth. But even with good oral hygiene, it is possible for tartar to build up on your teeth.
Tartar buildup is an unfortunate problem for your teeth and your mouth. Tartar attaches itself to the enamel of your teeth, as well as below the gumline.
If left untreated, it can become part of an unfortunate downward oral health spiral. Luckily, it can be prevented and treated.
You can fight tartar buildup at home, as well as visiting us at Prevent Dental Suite to have it taken care of professionally.
Let’s take a look at tartar, what causes it, how to avoid it, and how to treat it if occurs!
What is Tartar?
Tartar, sometimes known as calculus, is plaque that has hardened on your teeth combined with additional bacteria and your saliva. This creates a hard mineral deposit on your teeth, which acts as a breeding ground for other bacteria.
Tartar can form at and underneath the gumline and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar is porous and rough, which gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and also gives bacteria a place to hide.
It also creates a much stickier surface to adhere to. Excessive tartar may lead to periodontal disease and other dangerous conditions.
Tartar is serious because at-home brushing and flossing cannot eliminate it – It requires the help of a professional. It can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.
Not only can tartar threaten the health of your teeth and gums, it is also an aesthetic issue. Because tartar is porous, it absorbs stains easily. So if you are a coffee or tea drinker, or if you smoke, it is especially important to prevent tartar buildup to avoid staining.
How do I Know if I Have Tartar Buildup?
Unlike plaque, which is a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineralized buildup that can be detected by the naked eye, if above the gumline. The most common evidence of tartar is a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums. Of course, to be certain you have tartar — and to remove it — you need to see your Prevent Dental Suite dentist.
Preventing Tartar Buildup – 7 Tips
The best way to prevent tartar is to battle plaque. Here are 5 common-sense ways to wage that battle!
Brush twice a day. Brushing twice daily is probably the first thing any dentist would suggest. But by brushing, we don’t mean a daily half-paid attention to ritual. You need to pay attention to brush for two minutes, reach all areas of the teeth and mouth, and brush with an appropriate pressure using a brush with soft bristles. You also need to ensure that you brush the hard-to-reach surfaces behind the teeth.
Floss. Similar to brushing, make this a daily habit as it is the only way to reach between the teeth to dislodge bacteria, plaque, and bits of food.
Rinse daily. Use an antiseptic mouthwash that does not contain alcohol to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
Electric toothbrushes. Dentists advise many patients to use electronic toothbrushes as studies indicate they remove plaque better than conventional toothbrushes. They are also easier to use for seniors, children, and those with mobility/flexibility issues.
Tartar control toothpaste. Consider using tartar-control toothpastes. These toothpastes contain fluoride, which prevents plaque from hardening and repairs enamel damage. You can also choose a toothpaste that has triclosan in it, as this fights bacteria.
The importance of diet. Lastly, keep control of your diet. What you eat directly influences your dental health. Sugary and starchy foods help feed the oral bacteria that excrete harmful acids. Try to maintain a healthy diet and keep your intake of sugary items to a minimum. Also, avoid snacks between meals as they help in bacteria formation. If you do indulge in such snacks, consider brushing afterwards and drink plenty of water during and after meals so that food doesn’t get stuck between the teeth.
Don’t smoke. People who smoke are more likely to have tartar build-up. It is advisable you avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products. Do not miss visiting your dentist every six months too.
And if none of that seems to work, visit us at Prevent Dental Suite for a checkup and clean and scale.
High-quality Dental Care at Prevent Dental Suite
Prevent Dental Suite is comprised of dedicated dental professionals who provide gentle and patient-oriented care to offer the best-quality dental service from the moment patients enter into our office.
Dr. Shilpa Gupta is the resident dentist at our Kallangur clinic, and he combines many years’ experience with personable service.
Parking is easy and it’s free. Parking is located at the rear of the building – access via Storey Road.
Call (07) 3886 2428 or visit us at 9/1376 Anzac Ave in Kallangur.