You’ve probably heard your dentist mention tartar build-up before, and just how crucial it is to brush and floss each day in order to minimize it. But what exactly is it? To learn more about this tartar we speak of and why it’ so important to prevent, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Tartar?

Tartar is a yellowish or brownish colour build-up that commonly forms on the teeth and along the gum line. This sticky calcified film consists of bacteria that combine with proteins and particles from the food that you eat which eventually becomes visible on the gum line.

Is Tartar the Same Thing as Plaque?

Yes, it essentially is! Tartar forms from plaque and begins to harden as it comes in contact with saliva. So without regular cleanings and removal, the plaque is what causes tartar to develop. And, since tartar is a much harder substance, it’s also more difficult to remove, which is why it requires cleaning from your dentist.

What Causes Plaque and Tartar?

Our mouth is filled with bacteria, and when we consume different foods and drink, they grow and leave behind deposits (which is how plaque originates). Certain items that we consume can encourage more bacteria to thrive and create this sticky film, such as simple sugars, carbs, starches and soda.

How Can this Damage My Oral Health

There are two specific types of tartar that form – the first is along the gum line and the second is in between your teeth and the gingiva or gum pockets. The second type is most harmful for your oral health. Beyond cavities, it can lead to bone and tooth loss and inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis.

How to Prevent Tartar?

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are very important for keeping your mouth clean and tartar free. But since tartar is such a stubborn, calcified substance that can’t fully be removed from using a normal toothbrush, regular cleanings by your dentist are imperative. So never skip out on those appointments! Reducing your intake of sugary, starchy substances can also be helpful in reducing the accumulation of this plaque.

If it’s been longer than 6 months since your last cleaning, you could be creating the perfect environment inside your mouth for bacteria to thrive which can leave behind stubborn tartar. Contact us today at The Teal Umbrella to schedule an appointment to keep your teeth and oral health in good shape.