The term tartar and plaque are often interchanged by most people because they think they mean the same thing. Although the two words are directly related to each other, they are two separate things. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms in the mouth after eating or drinking anything aside from water. The bacteria then produce acids that damage the tooth enamel which eventually causes cavities.
Plaque buildup is easy to miss as it tends to hide in hard to reach areas in the mouth such as under the gum line and between the grooves of the teeth. If plaque is not removed, it hardens and mineralizes into tartar. While plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, tartar requires the help of skilled dentists for removal. If the tartar buildup is not addressed, this will lead to severe tooth decay or gum disease in the future.
Tips To Prevent Plaque Buildup
The key to avoiding tartar from forming is to prevent plaque from building up in the first place. These are some easy to follow tips that will lead to a healthier mouth that is free of plaque and tartar:
Tip #1: Brush Properly And Regularly
There’s no denying that learning how to properly brush your teeth is one of the most effective ways to deter plaque buildup. Remember to brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, ensuring you reach every corner of your mouth.
Tip #2: Daily Flossing
A part of proper oral health care is flossing. No matter how good your toothbrush is, it is incapable of reaching in between your teeth. Flossing everyday ensures that no food particles are left in between the teeth which can encourage bacteria growth that can lead to cavities.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget To Use Mouthwash
The last step in proper oral care is of course mouthwash. Find the right mouthwash that kills bacteria to help prevent plaque formation.
Tip #4: Stop Smoking
Chemicals in tobacco increase plaque formation because it dries out the mouth. In most cases, no amount of brushing is enough to counter tartar from forming.
Tip #5: Avoid Sugary Food And Drinks
Bacteria in the mouth thrive and feed on sugar. Consuming a lot of sugary food and drinks will lead to cavities as it allows bacteria to produce the acid that weakens tooth enamel. Avoid sugary treats as much as possible to keep your body and your teeth healthy.
Tip #6: Stay Hydrated
A hydrated mouth is healthier than one that is dehydrated. Make sure to drink a lot of water and to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. There are several fruits and vegetables that increase saliva production which naturally removes bacteria from the mouth.
Tip #7: See Your Dentist
Finally, always make an appointment to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleaning. Dentists are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to help you keep a healthy mouth. Be sure to follow all of your dentist’s tips when it comes to keeping your teeth tartar-free until your next professional cleaning.
At Riverside Dental, we have a team of dentists who are friendly, caring, and respected in their field. Contact us today to book an appointment.