Plaque and Tartar Are Bad News for Your Oral Health
Posted on 2/20/2016 by Lauren Pollard
Since we were children, we've constantly been told about the importance of brushing and flossing our teeth. While most of us understand this is to keep them clean and to prevent cavities, many people don't know much about the two main culprits responsible for so many oral health problems - plaque and tartar. Find out why these substances are so bad for your mouth.
What Are Plaque and Tartar?
Plaque is a colorless and sticky film of sugars and bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. It is the primary cause of gum disease and cavities, and when we brush and floss our teeth properly, it can be removed. Unfortunately, if we fail to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, it can harden to turn into tartar, which is even more serious.
Tartar is sometimes referred to as calculus, and it is a mineralized form of plaque. It is yellow in color and easy to see if it develops above the gum line, but it can also form underneath. Tartar leads to cavities, but it also gives the plaque more area in which it can stick, making the problem even worse.
How Can I Protect My Teeth?
Once tartar forms on your teeth, there isn't much you can do on your own, and you will need to see a dentist in order to have the deposits removed. However, plaque is something that you can take care of on your own, and it all starts with a good dental hygiene schedule. Make sure that you are brushing thoroughly at least twice per day and flossing once. You should also limit your consumption of starchy or sugary foods, as bacteria love to feed on them.
Do you have questions about how plaque and tartar are affecting your teeth? Contact our office to set up an appointment.