Tartar is a sticky, hard, yellow substance that forms from plaque buildup on your teeth. This substance eats away and dissolves your tooth enamel, which results in cavities, decay and even infection and disease. Understanding how tartar forms and the means by which you can reduce it can be the difference between a healthy smile and gum disease that can turn into serious health problems. Here’s a look at tartar reduction and how you can do it at home.
Did you know that you can still end up with tartar even if you take great care of your teeth? You have bacteria in your mouth regardless of your brushing and flossing habits. That bacteria, as it mixes with food in your mouth, forms the basis of plaque that turns into calculus, or tartar. When tartar begins to form, it can make it harder to maintain healthy teeth and gums, even with a good regimen of brushing and flossing.
There are, though, things you can do to reduce and minimize the formation of tartar on your teeth. Engaging in a good oral hygiene regimen in the first place is the best way to protect your gums from the ravages of tartar formation.
Good tartar reduction practices include maintaining the right oral health routine. Brush twice daily for at least two minutes. You hear this a lot, but a quick 30-second brush isn’t going to get rid of plaque and tartar. Electric toothbrushes can be a help, and flossing is essential. Use a tartar control toothpaste. This can help keep plaque from turning into calculus by fighting the bacteria in plaque which transforms it.
A healthy diet is every bit as important to your teeth as it is to your overall health. The more you eat sugary foods and starches, the more in danger of plaque and tartar you are. You don’t have to give up treats altogether, just monitor how much you take in and be sure to brush and drink lots of water.
Smoking is a horrible culprit in the formation of tartar on your teeth. If you smoke, stopping the habit will help your teeth as well as your overall health. Avoiding tobacco is one way to engage in good tartar reduction habits.
Maintain a good routine of dental visits. You should see your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough, professional examination and cleaning. Your dentist can get to areas that your toothbrush and floss cannot, and as previously mentioned, even if you do everything right, tartar can still form. When the tartar is there, only your dentist will be able to get it all off.
If you have more questions about how you can engage in good oral health, or would like to explore dental implants as an option for replacing decayed teeth, get in touch with us for information or an appointment today!