This may surprise some people: plaque and tartar are not the same thing! Although, they are similar. One actually turns into the other! So what are the differences between tartar vs plaque? And how do you remove each of them from your teeth? Keep reading to find out!
WHAT IS PLAQUE?
Plaque is the common term for the yellowish or whitish build up that deposits itself along the gum line, between teeth, and on the surface of teeth. Plaque is the grime that builds up on teeth through the course of the day that most people tend to brush or floss out of their mouths at the end of the day and in the morning when they wake up.
Plaque in and of itself is not all that dangerous and can be easily removed at home with thorough brushing and flossing.
Though it is harmless when removed, it does contain bacteria and acids that can lead to the decay and destruction of tooth enamel and eventual decay of teeth. Plaque is something that should be removed often to keep teeth healthy.
WHAT IS TARTAR?
Tartar is the calcification of plaque. In other words. It id plaque that has been left on the teeth for an extended period of time.
Essentially, the plaque that is not removed hardens and affixes to the teeth in such a way that only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it fully and safely.
Tartar can yellow or brown teeth and can cause periodontal disease and lead to gingivitis. Tartar often builds up between teeth, on teeth in the back of the mouth, and on the backs of teeth where it is difficult to brush and difficult to remove the plaque that may be hiding there.
WHY REMOVE PLAQUE AND TARTAR?
Plaque and tartar can both lead to a huge variety of issues in the mouth. They can cause periodontal disease, gingivitis, can stain the teeth, can lead to tooth decay and more. The longer the plaque or tartar is allowed to stay on the teeth the more likely it is that a major issue will occur or that you may even lose your teeth.
WHAT CAUSES PLAQUE AND TARTAR?
Plaque and tartar are commonly caused by the bacteria of the mouth. They are byproducts of the bacteria as food and other substances in the mouth are broken down. The main cause of a build-up of either plaque or tartar is not brushing or not partaking in proper dental hygiene.
In order to prevent or remove plaque, you should take the time to make sure you are brushing thoroughly and often to remove any and all plaque build-up so that it does not turn into tartar.
You can prevent both plaque and tartar by brushing each and every day, at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. This will remove any plaque or bacteria that have accumulated in the mouth through the course of the day.
For those that are already dealing with tartar, visiting a dentist is the only way to have tartar completely removed from the teeth. The dentist or dental hygienist will use various tools like picks to remove the calcified plaque from the teeth and then will brush and polish the teeth to make it difficult for plaque to stick to the surface.
The best way to prevent and treat any sort of dental issue is to take the time to make an appointment with a dentist. Biltmore Commons Dental Care has a staff ready and waiting to help you get the cleanest and healthiest smile you can possibly have.