Everyone knows how important it is to brush and floss your teeth. Your dentist also recommends that you use a good mouth rinse to help prevent plaque and tartar, but do you really know why? Do you even know what tartar is or how it gets on your teeth in the first place?
So what is Tartar?
Even if you take great care of your teeth, you will still have both good and bad bacteria in your mouth. That bacteria mixes with food byproducts and proteins forming plaque. The sticky film will coat your teeth, especially on the hard to brush areas on your back teeth. Plaque can stick to your fillings, restorations and will sit below your gum line.
According to the American Dental Association, every time you eat something, the bacteria on your teeth will create acid damaging the enamel on your teeth leading to tooth decay. Brushing and rinsing after you eat can remove the plaque buildup preventing cavities.
Your dentist explains that tartar can harden in just over a day, and once it appears your dentist or dental hygienist are the only ones who can get rid of it.
What does it do to your Teeth and Gums?
If you have tartar, you will find it more difficult to brush and floss your teeth. If you have a hard time brushing because of tartar, you are more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
Tartar that has formed above or below your gum line could be extremely detrimental because it can irritate and damage your gums. Over a period of time, this could cause gingivitis or the more serious periodontal disease.
- Brush your teeth twice each day for two to three minutes as one minute of scrubbing will not remove plaque or prevent dangerous tartar.
- Use a small soft bristled brush that is the right size for your mouth and don’t forget to brush your rear molars and the surfaces behind your teeth.
- Try an electronic toothbrush that is recommended by the American Dental Association as recent studies have discovered that a powered toothbrush may get rid of plaque better than a manual toothbrush.
- Use a toothpaste that has tartar control and fluoride as it will help prevent dangerous plaque from turning into tartar. In addition, fluoride can help repair any enamel damage that you may have.
- Regardless of how good you are at brushing, it is imperative that you floss, as dental floss really is the best and only way to remove all of the plaque and bacteria in between your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash everyday, as it will kill the bacterium that causes plaque. Eat a healthy diet and avoid starchy and sugary foods.
Seeing your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning is also vital if you want to keep your teeth healthy. If you do have tartar, your dentist, or dental hygienist will be able to nip the problem in the bud.
Don’t let tartar get out of control. Call andschedule a checkup with your dentist today.