What Are Plaque and Tartar and How Can You Prevent Them?

What Are Plaque and Tartar and How Can You Prevent Them?

Regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, you’re still going to have bacteria in your mouth, which, when combined with proteins and food debris, form a sticky film known as dental plaque. If not removed, plaque reacts to the minerals in saliva and hardens to tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional using special tools.

Plaque and Tartar and Your Oral Health

Plaque and tartar left sitting on your teeth and gumline can potentially result in a host of dental problems. The harmful bacteria they contain produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. Moreover, the accumulation of plaque bacteria results in the inflammation of the gum tissues, leading to periodontal (gum) disease. If not treated, periodontal disease can progress and destroy the bone and tissues supporting the teeth, ultimately leading to tooth loss.

Plaque and Tartar and Your Overall Health

Plaque and tartar buildup is the leading cause of gum disease, which has been linked to a host of potentially serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, premature birth, and more. While scientists aren’t sure of the reason behind that connection, many believe that when plaque bacteria enters the bloodstream, it affects many major organs, resulting in various health challenges.

Preventing Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Here are some things you can do to stop plaque building up and hardening to tartar:

  • Meticulous oral hygiene practices, including daily brushing and flossing, are the most important things you can do to help remove plaque and prevent it from hardening to tartar. Make sure you use anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste for the best results.
  • Use a high-quality manual or electric toothbrush to make sure you brush away dental plaque and prevent it from hardening to tartar. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles show signs of wear.
  • Rinse your mouth daily with an anti-plaque mouthwash to reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. Mouthwash also kills bacteria, reducing new plaque growth, and ensuring your smile stays clean and healthy.
  • Make sure to limit your consumption of sugary or starchy foods that provide cavity-causing bacteria with an ample food supply, allowing them to flourish. Instead, opt for a healthy, nutritious diet.
  • Refrain from smoking. Studies show that cigarette smokers are a lot more likely to have tartar than non-smokers.
  • We encourage you to keep up with your twice-a-year preventive dental exams and cleanings to remove any plaque and tartar buildup and keep your oral health in tip-top shape.

Preventive Dental Care in Morrisville and Greensboro

Contact Dental Care of North Carolina to learn more about our preventive services for long-term healthy smiles. You can always count on our team for outstanding care and service. Call us and schedule your appointment today!