Everyone knows it is important to brush, floss, and rinse with a mouthwash to prevent tartar buildup.
But do you know why this is important? Or what tartar is?
How it gets on your teeth? And what happens if it does?
Get the facts straight ahead, courtesy of Alex Bratic Dental Care.
What Is Tartar?
No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, you still have bacteria buildup in your mouth. The bacteria join with proteins and food byproducts to create a gooey film known as dental plaque.
This gooey crud coats your teeth, gets beneath your gum line, and attaches to fillings or other dental work. Plaque carries bacteria that can attack tooth enamel and end in cavities. Happily, if you remove plaque on a regular basis, you can prevent permanent tooth decay and gum disease.
But, if plaque stays on your teeth and hardens into tartar you are on the path towards serious dental trouble.
Tartar, also known as calculus, forms below and above the gum line. It is coarse and permeable and can cause receding gums and gum disease. It can only be eliminated using special dental tools.
How Does Tartar Affect Teeth and Gums?
Tartar can make it more difficult to brush and floss like you should, as it blocks the brushing action. This can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Any tartar that forms above your gum line is bad for you, because the bacteria in it can irritate and damage your gums. Over time, this might lead to progressive gum disease.
The lowest level of gum disease is called gingivitis. It can usually be halted and reversed if you brush, floss, use an antiseptic mouthwash, and get regular cleanings from your dentist.
If tartar is not eliminated by good dental habits, it can cause pockets to form between the gums and teeth and get infected by bacteria. This stage of gum disease is periodontitis, and in response you immune system sends chemicals to attack it. Unfortunately those defensive chemicals mix with bacteria and bacterial byproducts resulting in damage to the bones and tissues that hold your teeth in place. Some studies even link the bacteria in gum disease to heart disease and other health problems.
Your best bet is not to let tartar form. Here’s a home strategy:
- Brush regularly, twice a day for 2 minutes a time. Use a brush with soft bristles. Work particularly hard on difficult-to-reach areas like the molars.
- Electronic toothbrushes may remove plaque better than manual ones, and they typically have built in timers to help you brush long enough.
- Use a tartar-control toothpaste containing fluoride and triclosan, which fights the bacteria in plaque.
- Floss religiously. No matter how skilled you are with a toothbrush, dental floss is the only way to remove plaque that gets stuck between teeth.
- Rinse daily. Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
- Watch your diet. Oral bacteria thrive on sugary and starchy foods. When they’re exposed to those foods, they release harmful acids. So eat a healthy diet and limit the amount of sugar you consume. Snacks are dangerous, too. Each time you eat, you feed your oral bacteria as well. You don’t have to give up sweets or between-meals snacks. Just be aware of how often you eat them. Brush and drink plenty of water during and after meals.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette consumption seems linked to tartar.
Once tartar has formed, only your Alex Bratic Dental Care professional can remove it. So, visit us every 6 months for a dental checkup to remove plaque and tartar that might have formed.
Deep Clean At Alex Bratic Dental Care
At Alex Bratic Dental Care our first treatment is the clean and scale. Using a small mirror, your dental hygienist uses a scaler to eliminate plaque and tartar around the gum line, as well as in between your teeth. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time is needed to scrape the tartar off.
After your teeth are free of tartar, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush, which makes a grinding noise. Professional cleanings use a paste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, but has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth.
Your teeth will then be flossed to remove leftover plaque or toothpaste and your mouth will be rinsed, often with a rinse containing liquid fluoride.
Comfort, Convenience, and Excellent Care at Alex Bratic Dental Care
Alex Bratic Dental Care in Beenleigh delivers the very best in dental services to patients of all ages. If you, your child, or a family member needs a smile fix, or just a checkup, we’re here for you!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is located on City Road near the Pacific Motorway near Beenleigh Station, with convenient public transport nearby and free onsite parking.
Call (07) 3287 2627 or visit us at 113 City Road in Beenleigh.