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Everything You Need to Know About Plaque and Tartar

You hear it every time you go to the dentist.

Either you have plaque here or tartar there. But what exactly is the difference between plaque and tartar exactly, and how do you get rid of it? Does it go away on its own, or do you need to see a dentist?


You're not alone in wondering. Below, we're going to examine plaque and tartar on teeth, and give you solutions for getting rid of them.


The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is a sticky residue that forms on your teeth. Since it's either light yellow or pale, it's hard for us to see and attend to it properly.

Despite its invisibility, you may be able to recognize plaque by sliding your tongue across your teeth. Fuzzy is the best word to describe the feeling.

Now, it's not uncommon for plaque to build up naturally, even if you brush and visit your dentist. It's tartar you should worry about. Once plaque hardens on your teeth for long enough, it mineralizes into tartar. 

Unlike the soft feel of plaque, tartar forms a hard, crust-like shell at the base of your gum line. Because of its placement, only professionals can remove tartar.

It is, however, easier to see than plaque. If you notice a yellow or brown substance on your gum line, contact your dentist immediately.

Without help, you might experience a receding gum line, poor breath, and erosion of your enamel. At its worst, you'll develop gum disease or lose teeth.


Plaque and Tartar Causes

Plaque appears on our teeth thanks to the combination of saliva, food, and bacteria. If you eat foods with a lot of sugar or carbs, you're especially susceptible to acquiring plaque.

Some food and beverages to look out for are milk, juice, soft drinks, pasta, bread and other carbohydrates. At the very least, you should be diligent in brushing after eating these kinds of foods. We also recommend steering clear of smoking.

As we discussed, untreated plaque will harden into tartar.

Brushing and flossing twice a day should be enough to keep plaque at bay, though. Surprisingly, 31 percent of Canadians have forgone flossing in the past six months.


How to Remove Plaque and Tartar

Brushing frequently is the best way to fight plaque and tartar on teeth. A powered toothbrush with a 2 minute timer can also be very helpful with making sure you are brushing long enough. Pair this with flossing every day and eating fruits and vegetables.

It's also important to pick out a mouthwash that contains cetylpyridinium and chlorhexidine, which are chemicals that fight bacteria. 

Lastly, make sure to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. The CDA recommends coming in twice a year for plaque and tartar removal.


Start Fighting Plague and Tartar Today

As we've discussed, plaque and tartar are extremely commonplace.

Luckily, there is hardly anything a little bit of brushing and flossing can't fix. As long as you regularly visit your dentist, you shouldn't have to worry about contracting gum disease.

To schedule an appointment with one of our dental hygienist in London, contact the Galleria Dental Centre today.




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