Taking care of your smile can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t been performing the most thorough dental care routine. Two of the words that every person has heard, whether they’re a dental professional or a toothbrush-avoider, are plaque and tartar. Here is what you should know when it comes to dealing with plaque and tartar.
What Are Plaque and Tartar?
Plaque is a thin, tacky to the touch, neutral-toned film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gum line as you eat and drink throughout the day. This plaque is what can lead to cavities, tooth damage, and gum disease. If you don’t take the time to remove plaque throughout the day and week as it accumulates, it will harden into tartar or calculus. Tartar is simply old plaque that has hardened and attached to the enamel of your teeth.
How Do You Know that You Have Plaque and Tartar?
Plaque and tartar are visible to the naked eye if they are on the front or back of your teeth. The plaque and tartar lurking near your gum line are often harder to spot and need to be removed using floss or a water floss system. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a plaque and tartar problem, ask your dentist what they see when looking in your mouth at your next cleaning.
Prevention is Key
Prevention is your best weapon in the fight against plaque and tartar. To prevent plaque from accumulating on your teeth:
- Brush your teeth and gums at least two times a day for two minutes
- Floss at least once every day
- Try to avoid sugary and starchy foods and snacks, particularly when you won’t be able to brush or floss right afterwards
- Have your dentist perform a thorough cleaning at least twice a year.
Treating Plaque and Tartar
If you have a severe plaque and tartar problem, your dentist can perform a procedure called scaling to remove the build-up from your teeth and your gum line.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Annapolis Dental Center
Whether you need a tooth extraction or just want to get a dental health check-up, Annapolis Dental Center has the expertise and compassion to work with you to improve your oral health and get you smiling again. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy with the services that they receive. To set up your appointment today, give us a call at (410) 571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and the whole family, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and check us out on Yelp!