3 Tips for Preventing and Removing Tartar
We all know that it is important to brush well, floss regularly and eat a healthy diet. Many of us fall short in one or more of these areas, with very little understanding of how important it is to prevent plaque and tartar build-up.
Once you have a tartar build-up, you will need to visit your chosen dental professional – removing tartar is not something that can be done at home.
But why is it important to prevent tartar, and what can happen if you don’t?
What Is Tartar?
Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth. This is what causes that furry feeling over your teeth after eating or drinking. Each time you eat or drink something, this bacteria produces acids. This acid can destroy the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities and progressive gum disease.
Tartar is an excessive build-up of plaque in the mouth. Plaque left untreated will harden, and this becomes tartar, also known as calculus. Removing tartar is not such a simple process, and if you don’t do it properly it can cause infection.
Why Is Tartar Bad?
Tartar build-up can make it harder to take care of your teeth. Brushing and flossing become harder to do properly, and this leads to added layers, and badly cared for teeth are prone to cavities and decay.
Any tartar that forms above the gum line can cause problems. The bacteria can irritate the gums, and over time this will lead to gum disease. When untreated, gum disease can cause damage to the tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place.
What Can You Do?
When it comes to tartar, prevention is better than cure. Here are three top tips to keep the plaque growth under control which in turn will limit the build-up of tartar.
A good daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to reducing the damage to your teeth. It will limit the number of bacteria that hangs around, which are the main culprits when it comes to dental problems.
Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time goes a long way to preventing a build-up. If you are quickly running a brush around your mouth, how certain are you that you are doing a good job? If you are wondering suddenly how long you brush for, try timing it on your phone. If it feels strange still going around the two-minute mark, you probably haven’t been brushing for long enough!
Choose a brush with soft bristles and a small head for those hard-to-reach places. Investing in an electric toothbrush is also a great way to combat plaque and tartar.
Look for tartar control toothpaste with fluoride – this can help repair the enamel and fight bacteria.
Floss and Rinse
It doesn’t matter how well you brush your teeth, or how regularly. There are still some places that only the floss can get to. Flossing is the only way to remove the plaque from in between your teeth.
It also gets rid of tiny food particles that we don’t even know are there. If you are not flossing regularly, you are opening yourself up to sneaky bacteria that hide in hard-to-reach places.
As well as flossing, add a daily rinse out with antiseptic mouthwash to your tooth care routine. Mouthwash contains ingredients that can help kill much of the bacteria that cause plaque growth.
Watch your diet. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods, so be aware of how much of these you are eating. This doesn’t mean you have to cut them out entirely, just be mindful of the amount that you eat in a day – this includes in-between meal snacking.
When the bacteria are exposed to food and drink, especially those with high sugar content, they release harmful acids that cause damage to your teeth. Another small change you can make to your daily routine is to start drinking a glass of water with your meals. This will help rinse larger particles and some bacteria out of your teeth after eating.
Remove Tartar for a Sparkling Smile
One of the trickiest things to remember about plaque and tartar, and even in mild cases of gum disease, is that they are not painful. So, it is very hard to tell whether you have them without regular trips to the dentists’ rooms.
Once tartar has formed on your teeth, only a dental professional can remove it for you. Regular trips to your dental hygienist, at least every six months, are recommended for removing the tartar.
In between these appointments, keep up the good oral hygiene. If you would like more information or want to book an appointment, contact our team of professionals today.