Way to Prevent Tartar
BDS, Diploma in Hospital Administration, Diploma in Pharmacy
23 years experience
Toothpaste advertisements, dentists and many others have warned us about tartar and its ill effects. Most of us are unsure of what tartar is or what it does to our teeth.
Tartar - what is it?
Although you take good oral care at home, there is still bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria mixes with food and proteins and forms a sticky substance called plaque. This forms a coat on your teeth, gets under the gum line and damages the teeth and the gums.
Whenever you eat something, the bacteria releases acids, which damage the tooth enamel and create cavities leading to infected and inflamed gums. If the plaque is removed regularly, permanent tooth decay can be prevented.
However, plaque that settles on the teeth hardens to form tartar that only a dentist or a dental hygienist can remove.
How are teeth and gums effected by tartar?
Tartar makes brushing and flossing harder which can lead to cavities and eventually tooth decay.
If tartar forms above your gums line, the bacteria present in it irritate and damage the gums and overtime lead to progressive gum diseases.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. Visiting a dentist regularly alongside brushing and flossing daily can keep gingivitis away from you. Otherwise, the damage can worsen to such an extent that pockets form between the teeth and gums and bacteria infects the gums. This is called periodontitis.
How to control tartar build-up
The best way however is not to let tartar form on the teeth.
1) dental care
Brush twice a day for at least 3 minutes with a soft toothbrush. Ensure that you brush the rear surface and the rear molars too.
Electronic or powered toothbrushes have been proven to get rid of plaque better than the manual ones, but make sure that they are ada approved.
If you choose a tartar control toothpaste with fluoride, you can prevent plaque from hardening into tartar. Fluoride repairs the enamel damage too. Toothpastes that have triclosan also fight the bacteria in plaque.
Flossing is the only way to remove plaque from between the teeth and keep out tartar formation.
2) proper diet
The bacteria in your mouth along with starchy and sugary foods release harmful acids to damage the teeth and the gums. Remember that whenever you eat, you are feeding the bacteria too. Hence, limit the intake of sugary foods, brush and floss after every meal and drink lots of water.
3) quit smoking
People who smoke or chew tobacco products succumb to tartar build-up.
A dentist only can remove the tartar from your teeth. Accordingly, visit a dentist once in 3 months to prevent any further oral problems.
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