What Is Tartar? How to Remove and Prevent It?

What Is Tartar? How to Remove and Prevent It?

What is Tartar?

Tartar, also known as calculus, is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is caused by precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid in plaque on the teeth. Tartar forms at, below, and above the gumline and can lead to receding gums and gum disease. When it collects above the gumline, gum tissue will become swollen and may bleed easily.

How do I Know if I Have Tartar Buildup?

If tartar is above the gumline, it’s easy to see. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums. If you want to detect and remove tartar, only dentist or dental hygienist can make it.

What Can I Do to Help Control or Prevent Tartar?

  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Use a brush with soft bristles that is small enough to fit into your mouth. Some electric toothbrushes, such as planck O1, equipped with algorithms and sensor can detects uncleaned zones to ensure a complete clean. It has been found that electronic, or powered toothbrush may remove plaque better than manual models.
  • Use tartar control toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride will help repair enamel damage. Triclosan contained in some products can fight the bacteria in plaque.
  • Floss and rinse daily. Dental floss can remove plaque between teeth and keep tartar out of hard-to-reach areas. And antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Watch what you eat. Bacteria in mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods. When they’re exposed to those foods, they release harmful acid. Try to reduce the amount of carbohydrate, especially refined sugars. Replace sugary snacks and drinks with cheeses, yogurt, and natural peanut butter. The American Dental Association also stresses the importance of a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, proteins, dairy, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Have regular professional cleanings. Once tartar has formed, only a dental professional will be able to remove it from your teeth. Hence, it is necessary to visit your dentist and dental hygienist for checkups and cleanings. Your dental professional will detect and remove any plaque and tartar that might have formed, and treat gum problems early before more serious dental problems have a chance to take hold.

The more you know about how to prevent plaque and tartar, the more likely you will be to implement them. Keeping proper toothbrush techniques, seeing your dental professionals regularly, eating a healthy diet, and using the right products, you’re doing what you can in your power to keep your mouth healthy and bright!