Tartar is the main reason why it’s so important to brush and floss your teeth. But how does it get on your teeth, and what to do in that case?
What is tartar?
Bacteria in the mouth is a fact, no matter how great care you take of your teeth. It mixes with food byproducts and proteins and forms what is called dental plaque. It coats your teeth (even the hardly reachable areas), gets under the gum line and sticks to fillings. It is also not good for the teeth. Bacteria create acids and damage the tooth enamel, which opens cavities, and the same acids can cause inflamed or infected gums. So that’s why it’s important to floss and brush regularly, so the plaque can be removed and permanent teeth loss can be avoided.
In some cases, plaque hardens into tartar. This can be removed by the dentist only, and it forms in just a day!
How Does Tartar Affect Teeth and Gums?
Tartar leads to cavities and tooth decay, and makes it hard for us to floss and brush like we are used to. If it forms above the gum line, that’s bad news for you, because of the damage made to the gums by the bacteria. If it progresses, gum disease is inevitable. Its mildest form is gingivitis, which can be healed if you brush and floss regularly, and visit the dentist. If left untreated, pockets form in the gums and get infected by bacteria. Once this happens, the immune system responds by releasing chemicals which mix with the bacteria, and this mix damages the bones and tissues which hold the teeth, resulting in a serious condition called periodontitis. Some studies even link the bacteria of gum disease with heard diseases and various health issues.
Tips to help control tartar
The best tip we can give you is to not let tartar form. Here are some tips how to not let it happen:
- As always, oral hygiene rests on the rule of brushing at least 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes. The best brush is a small soft one, which can reach everywhere in your mouth. You also have to be sure to get all those hard reachable places, and clean your molars too.
- Some studies suggest that the electronic brushes remove plaque better than the normal ones. If you plan to use one, be sure to check it for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal, because of the rigorous tests and quality control.
- A tartar controlling fluoride paste may be best to use. They have the ability to stop plaque forming into tartar, and the fluoride helps in enamel repair. Some of these toothpastes even have triclosan in it which fights the plaque bacteria.
- No matter how good or regularly you brush, flossing is the best way to remove plaque stuck between the teeth. By doing that, it keeps tartar out of your mouth.
- As usual with every health issue, a healthy diet is a must-have. The bacteria thrives from foods full of sugar. Try to limit sweets and snacks. After eating, brush your teeth and drink a lot of water.
- Don’t smoke, because studies have shown that smokers are more susceptible to tartar.
Tartar cannot be cleaned at home by brushing or flossing – only a dental specialist can remove it. So a trip to the dentist once in 6 months is recommended to remove the plaque that formed, and prevent it from forming tartar and also other issues.