They may be be said together in the same breath more often than not, but there is a distinct difference between plaque and tartar. Plaque is a soft bacterial film that covers your teeth and can mostly be removed by regular brushing. Tartar, a material that requires professional removal, comes from hardened leftover plaque. You should care about plaque and tartar because between them lie the battle lines of preventive dentistry.
Your Daily Diligence Against Plaque
Daily hygiene and upkeep are necessary in the battle against plaque. Drinking sugary beverages or eating starchy snacks feeds the bacteria that live on your teeth. Once fed, they produce acid, which breaks down your precious enamel. The best thing you can do to protect against the constant onslaught of plaque is keep brushing and flossing daily, or as recommended by your dentist.
What to Do About Tartar
Even the most diligent home hygienist can’t remove all of the plaque all of the time. That leads any plaque that stays on your tooth for over 48 hours to harden into pesky tartar. This tricky junk won’t leave no matter how hard you brush or how often you floss. To keep your mouth clear of tartar, routine general dentistry is the recommended approach.
The Consequences of Inaction
If you decide to let it ride, you may face the consequences of plaque and tartar. Plaque will eventually erode your teeth and cause cavities and tooth decay. Tartar will irritate your gums, and in serious cases, lead to gum disease like gingivitis. With regular home care and routine check-ups every six months, or as recommended by your dentist, much of this can be avoided.
ABOUT YOUR PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS DENTIST:
With decades of professional dental care experience, native of Kansas City, Robert M Browne, DDS is proud to provide general, cosmetic, restorative, and prosthetic care to patients from Prairie Village and surrounding communities. To learn more or to schedule a visit with Dr. Browne, contact our office today at (913) 901-8585.