Dental plaque is the sticky layer of acid-producing bacteria that forms on your teeth. The acid is produced after eating or drinking, destroying tooth enamel and causing cavities and gum disease. Although brushing and flossing your teeth can get rid of dental plaque, the latter can cause different issues when left untreated. Over time, plaque can become tartar and cause result in chronic bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Because of this, you must get regular dental cleanings from your Bethesda, MD dentist. Professional cleaning is the only way to fully get rid of plaque and tartar.
Causes of Plaque and Tartar
The bacteria in your mouth can be good or bad. They feed on starches and sugar in food particles. The acidic by-product the bacteria release blankets your teeth. When the plaque is not eliminated properly, it absorbs your saliva’s minerals, letting it harden into calculus or tartar. Plaque tends to be sticky and may seem like a pale-yellow lining. Meanwhile, tartar is porous, resulting in superficial staining.
How to Prevent Plaque and Tartar?
To prevent the formation of plaque and tartar, it is important to practice proper dental and oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth two times per day for at least two minutes each time. Also, you must floss once every day, rubbing your teeth’s sides gently. Use mouthwashy that has trace amounts of menthol. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
How to Remove Plaque and Tartar
Plaque and tartar can only be removed during dental procedures such as debridement. This procedure is performed when plaque has become tartar. Other procedures include:
A healthy diet and consistent oral hygiene can help you stop the buildup of plaque and tartar. If you have not gone to the dentist for a while, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. You should discuss your oral health with your dentist and determine the measures to take.