What Makes Plaque Turn Into Tartar?

Sink with tooth brushes and mouthwash

Professional cleanings paired with diligent at-home dental care can keep your mouth clean, healthy, and free of bad breath, decay, and gum disease. Because when you visit us every six months here at our Spanaway dental office, we work hard to eliminate plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and from along your gumline. Read on to learn about why you don’t want plaque and tartar to build up in your mouth!

First Comes Plaque

What Is It?

Plaque is a sticky, colorless to yellowish biofilm of bacteria that is constantly forming on the surface of your teeth and along the gumline. When fueled by the sugars in your diet, this bacteria produces acids that contribute to sensitive teeth, decay, and cavities. Thus, it’s important to nip the accumulation of plaque in the bud to protect your oral health.

How Do I Prevent & Remove It?

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent it from building up on your teeth, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after meals.

Then Comes Tartar

What Is It?

However, it can be difficult to reach all the plaque hiding in the nooks, crannies, crevices, and pits of your teeth. If not brushed and washed away, plaque combines with the minerals in your saliva and hardens within 24-72 hours into a calcified substance called tartar, also known as calculus. Though plaque is known for causing decay and gum irritation, tartar comes with its own set of problems. Strong and stubborn, this tough yellowish to brownish deposit can result in tooth discoloration, painful gum inflammation, and eventual tooth and bone damage and loss.

How Do I Prevent & Remove It?

The best way to prevent tartar is to remove its plaque predecessor through daily at-home oral hygiene and twice yearly visits to our office for a cleaning. But if you do have any accumulation of tartar, it’s not something you can take care of at home. Our exceptional dental hygienists use special tools to scrape away tartar.

Tartar Treatment at Elevate Smile Design

If it’s been six months since your last appointment or you have built-up tartar causing painful gums, it’s time to come see us for a cleaning. Once you’re here, we’ll assess your oral health and do all we can to help your mouth be in tip-top condition. Contact us today to set up your next appointment at Elevate Smile Design!

Is your mouth healthy and free of plaque and tartar buildup? Schedule a checkup!

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