You might be great at brushing and flossing your teeth every day, but have you ever stopped to consider why these tasks are part of your morning and evening routines? Good oral hygiene isn’t just about fresh breath and pearly whites—it’s about fighting a hidden enemy lurking in your mouth known as tartar. Once you understand what tartar is, how it forms, and the problems it can create, you’ll have a whole new perspective on your dental care routine.
What is Tartar?
Tartar forms gradually on your teeth, starting with the bacteria naturally present in your mouth. These bacteria feed on food residue left behind after eating to create plaque, a soft, sticky film that’s relatively easy to remove. However, without daily brushing and flossing, plaque accumulates on your teeth, sneaks under your gum line, and latches onto dental work.
While plaque itself can lead to cavities and enamel erosion, the real trouble starts when plaque hardens into tartar. Unlike plaque, which you can remove at home, tartar requires professional removal at a dentist’s office. It forms above and below the gum line and has a porous, hard texture that your toothbrush and floss can’t combat.
How Does Tartar Affect Your Teeth and Gums?
If flossing becomes difficult or you feel like you can’t get your teeth completely clean, tartar could be the culprit. As it builds up on your teeth, you may start to see rough yellowish-brown stains forming along the gum line. This invites bacteria, which can irritate and damage your gums. The resulting gum issues start as mild gingivitis, which can progress to severe periodontitis if ignored. Bacteria associated with gum disease can even lead to seemingly unrelated health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
Tips to Control Tartar Buildup
The best offense is a good defense. Here are some strategies to keep tartar at bay:
- Brush for two minutes twice a day, and choose a small-headed toothbrush that can reach the very back of your mouth.
- Consider an electric toothbrush, which is more effective at removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup.
- Opt for tartar-control toothpaste containing fluoride to help repair enamel.
- Don’t skip flossing; it’s the only way to reach the tight spaces between your teeth.
- Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Limit sugary and starchy food intake, which feeds the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Stay away from tobacco products, which make you more prone to tartar formation.
Once tartar forms, your only option is to visit the dentist. Regular dental services every six months keep tartar at bay and promote good oral health.
Take the Next Step with Beyond Dentistry Laser Center
Established in 1976, Beyond Dentistry Laser Center is your go-to destination for dental tartar removal in Brooklyn, NY. Our dentist, Dr. Simon Kappel, has delivered compassionate, patient-centered care for decades. We don’t just do dentistry; we change lives. To take control of your oral health, call us today at 718-436-0202 and schedule an appointment.