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How to Prevent and Remove Tartar from Teeth

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how to prevent and remove tartar from teeth

Ensuring our teeth stay clean and healthy is crucial. A major challenge in maintaining good oral hygiene is managing tartar buildup. Learning what tartar is, how it forms, and, most importantly, the best way to remove tartar from teeth is vital for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

What is Tartar?

Tartar is a tough, yellow, or brown buildup that develops on teeth due to hardened plaque. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it solidifies into tartar. This can cause teeth to appear yellow, feel rough, and potentially result in significant dental issues if left untreated.

How Does Tartar Form?

Tartar starts forming when plaque stays on your teeth for too long. Plaque is a mixture of bacteria, tiny bits of food, and saliva. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque can turn into tartar in as little as 24 to 72 hours. Once tartar forms, it becomes much harder to remove and can only be taken off by a dental hygienist.

Why is Tartar Bad?

Tartar not only looks unpleasant but can also cause the following:

  • Cavities: Tartar is difficult to remove with regular brushing, which can lead to cavities.
  • Gum Disease: Tartar irritates your gums, leading to gum disease. This can make your gums turn red, swell up, and bleed easily.
  • Bad Breath: The bacteria in tartar can cause bad breath.
  • Tooth Loss: Advanced gum disease can result in losing teeth.

How to Prevent Tartar

1. Brush Your Teeth Properly:

  • Frequency: Brush your teeth at least twice daily, ideally after breakfast and before bed.
  • Technique: Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush using short, gentle strokes. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth—the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
  • Duration: Brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste:

Fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth by remineralizing the tooth’s enamel, reducing the risk of cavities. Some toothpaste also contains tartar control agents that can help prevent tartar from forming.

3. Floss Daily:

Flossing removes plaque and food particles between your teeth and under the gumline, areas your toothbrush can’t reach. It acts like a dental plaque-removal tool at home. Slide it gently between your teeth and move it up and down against the tooth surface.

4. Rinse with Mouthwash:

Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that cause plaque. Rinsing after brushing and flossing can provide extra protection against tartar.

5. Eat a Healthy Diet:

Sugary and starchy foods provide an ideal environment for bacteria in your mouth, leading to more plaque and tartar. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of water to help rinse away food particles and bacteria.

6. Avoid Tobacco:

Smoking and chewing tobacco can increase the risk of tartar buildup and gum disease. Avoiding tobacco can help keep your mouth healthy.

7. Regular Dental Checkups:

Visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings near you. Dental professionals can remove tartar and check for any signs of dental problems.

Fun Tips to Keep Your Teeth Tartar-Free

  1. Chew Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help increase saliva flow, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
  2. Snack on Crunchy Fruits and Veggies: Foods like apples, carrots, and celery can help clean your teeth naturally by increasing saliva flow. 
  3. Stay Hydrated: Drinking water throughout the day helps keep your mouth clean and can prevent dry mouth, which can lead to more plaque buildup.

Looking For Expert-led Dental Care?

At Sunridge Landing Dental Care, we are dedicated to supporting you through every step of your oral health journey. Tartar can impact your oral health at any stage in life, however by maintaining good oral hygiene practices and regular dental check-ups, tartar impacts can be minimal. Remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss every day, maintain a nutritious diet, and visit your dentist regularly. Contact us, we always welcome new smiles at our dental clinic in NE Calgary.

By following these simple steps, you can maintain healthy teeth, gums, and a radiant smile!