How To Remove Tartar Buildup

How To Remove Tartar Buildup

Everyone encounters tartar build-up, also known as dental calculus, at some point, so let’s go over how to remove tartar buildup. Even the best brusher will find some tartar in hard-to-reach places. 


Plaque is a sticky film we all have on our teeth. It forms when bacteria mix with sugary or starchy food in our mouths. Your mouth is naturally warm and moist, making it the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. In this ecosystem, when we don’t brush, rinse and floss every day, the plaque will build up and get thick and sticky. Left for long, it will calcify or harden into tartar! Yes, it will set even though the mouth is moist! 


Tartar can lead to cavities, gingivitis (gum disease) and tooth loss – so it is important not to let it get out of hand—Book regular dental checkups to remove plaque and protect your teeth.


Is It Dangerous?


Tartar, also known as calculus, forms below and above the gum line. It has a rough and porous texture. Many people describe the feeling as ‘crunchy – mainly when small pieces of tartar break lose. It has no taste and is not toxic if swallowed. 


Tartar is dangerous for your teeth and leads to problems like receding gums and gum disease. Receding gums leaves the mouth open to cuts and infections. This is called periodontitis. Also, some studies link the bacteria in gum disease to heart disease and other health problems, Web MD says.


You cannot remove it at home – it can only be completely removed with special tools in the dentist’s office. Scratching it off at home can lead to gum trauma and irreparable damage. 


You can, however, slow the progress of tartar buildup and nip it in the bud before any dental intervention is necessary. 


Removing Tartar Build-Up From Home

As said above, you can’t remove the tartar buildup at home, but you can take steps to lessen the buildup and even avoid large sections of buildup on the teeth. 


Brush Your Teeth

Everyone knows that the recommended amount of times you should be brushing your teeth is twice daily, in the morning and at night. But frequency isn’t nearly as important as precision. Make sure you use a clean, new toothbrush (buy a new one every six weeks) and brush lightly, only using the tips of the bristles. A 30-second scrub won’t remove plaque or prevent tartar, says WebMD. Also, brushing isn’t enough – especially in hard-to-reach places.

Get To The Hard-To-Reach Crevices

Brushing can only reach the wider surface area of the tooth and mouth, but what about on the tight nooks and crannies?

Mentholated dental floss is the best tool for removing plaque from between the teeth. If you don’t get in there, that plaque with hardening into tartar between the teeth and cause pain and discomfort.


Use The Right Products

Tartar is hard plaque, so you need toothpaste and mouthwash created to fight plaque and bacteria. There are loads of tartar-control kinds of toothpaste that contain fluoride to repair enamel damage and fight against anything attacking the mouth’s well-being. Look for products containing triclosan – it also kills plaque-associated bacteria. An antiseptic mouthwash is an excellent extra protection to help kill bacteria.


Eat Healthily!


As we said, sugary and starchy foods are the ones that wreak havoc on the mouth. When in contact with bacteria, these types of foods release harmful acids. Limit the number of sugary foods you eat. That goes for snacks, too. When you eat, you feed the bacteria in your mouth. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a treat once in a while, but when you do – wait an hour or so and clean your mouth properly! Brush thoroughly, and drink plenty of water during and after meals to rinse any residue when you can’t get to your toothbrush.


Only a dental professional should remove tartar. This is because it needs to be scraped using sharp tools, best left in the hands of a professional. So, book a dentist visit every six months to remove any plaque and tartar that might have formed and prevent further problems.

We know this can get pricey, so check out Affinity Dental’s wide range of dental insurance plans for the whole family. 


Remember The Tongue!


Plaque can build up on your tongue. It can lead to bad breath and many oral health problems. We also don’t want the plaque from the tongue to transfer onto the back of the teeth and harden there! So when you brush your teeth, also gently brush your tongue. Some even use a tongue scraper every week to ensure no buildup on the tongue’s surface.


Dental Plaque Identification At Home

Two tests can be performed to identify dental plaque at home. The first method uses special tablets that stain plaque with red dye. Chew one table first. Move the mixture of saliva and pigment over your teeth and gums for 30 seconds. Rinse your mouth with water. Examine your teeth for any red-stained areas. Those areas are plaque.


The second method involves a plaque light. Swirl a fluorescent solution around your mouth, then rinse with water. Examine your teeth and gums with ultraviolet plaque light. Your plaque will look bright yellow-orange. This method does not leave red stains on your mouth.


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