Good dental hygiene is essential for overall health. For smokers, it is even more important to pay extra attention to their oral health. Smoking can have various negative impacts on your teeth and gums, making it essential to understand the link between smoking and oral health problems. Smoking can leave obvious signs on teeth and…
What is Tartar Buildup and How To Avoid It?
- Tartar, also known as calculus, is a yellow or brown deposit that can form on your teeth. It is composed of food debris, bacteria, and other substances that adhere to your teeth. Over time, it can harden and become difficult to remove. If not removed, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. While brushing and flossing can help to remove the buildup, it is usually necessary to visit a dentist or oral hygienist for a professional cleaning. During this procedure, tartar will be scraped away from the teeth using special instruments. In some cases, ultrasonic devices may also be used to break up the deposits. By routine professional cleanings and good oral hygiene habits at home, you can help to keep your teeth free of tartar buildup.
What Causes Tartar?
- Tartar can build up on teeth for several reasons. For example, poor oral hygiene habits can allow plaque to accumulate on teeth. In addition, certain foods and drinks can contribute more to buildup. Foods that are high in sugar or acid can damage tooth enamel and make it more susceptible to buildup. Drinking lots of coffee or tea can also cause tartar to form. Finally, aging can make people more susceptible to buildup. As we age, our saliva production decreases, which can lead to an increased risk of tartar formation.
What Does Tartar Buildup Look Like?
- Most people are familiar with the idea of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can form on teeth. Plaque is generally invisible, but it can be seen if it’s allowed to build up and harden. This hardening process is known as tartar formation, and it can occur both above and below the gum line. It is usually yellow or brown in color, and it can cause tooth staining. In addition, the buildup can lead to gum disease by providing a place for bacteria to hide and grow. However, it can be removed through regular brushing and flossing, as well as professional dental cleanings. By keeping your teeth clean, you can help to prevent tartar buildup and keep your smile looking its best.
How to Prevent Tartar Buildup
- Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent buildup. Regular brushing helps remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Plaque can harden into tartar, so it’s important to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Dental seals can also help prevent buildup. Dental seals are thin, plastic coatings placed on the biting surfaces of your back teeth — molars and premolars. Plaque and tartar buildup is more likely to occur on these surfaces because they’re harder to reach with a toothbrush. A sealant creates a barrier that makes it difficult for plaque and tartar to attach to the tooth. Sealants can last for several years, but they need to be checked during regular dental visits. In some cases, they may need to be reapplied.
How is Tartar Removed?
- Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. The first step is to soften the buildup. This is done by spraying the teeth with a tartar-dissolving solution. The next step is to use specialized instruments to scrape the tartar off the teeth. Finally, the teeth are polished and flossed. Tartar removal is an important part of maintaining good oral health. If left untreated, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Regular brushing and flossing can help to prevent buildup.
The Effects of Tartar on Oral Health
- While tartar itself is not harmful, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if it is not removed. Because it is difficult to remove with brushing, it is important to see a dentist or hygienist regularly for professional cleanings. If it is allowed to build up, it can cause tooth enamel to wear away, leading to sensitivity and cavities. In addition, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause gum inflammation and infection. As a result, removal is essential for maintaining oral health.
Tartar buildup can cause bad breath, cavities, and even gum disease if it’s not removed. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent buildup and remove any existing plaque or tartar. If you have questions about how to keep your teeth healthy contact St. George Dental for more information or to make an appointment. We would be happy to help you get on the path to better oral health!
Request an appointment here: https://www.stgeorgedentalcare.com or call St. George Dental Care at (435) 628-9099 for an appointment in our St George office.
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