Keeping your smile clean and healthy is an important job—so much depends on your oral health in terms of your overall well-being! One of the biggest parts of maintaining your; teeth and gums is preventing tartar buildup. Dealing with tartar before it becomes a problem can help prevent all sorts of oral health issues including gum disease. The good news is for most folks, dealing with tartar is pretty simple and easy to build into your daily routine. So let’s talk about tartar, what it is, how it forms, and what you can do about it.
What is Dental Tartar?
Even the cleanest mouth is home to many bacteria, which combine with the proteins and food and then form a sticky layer called dental plaque which coats the teeth and works its way under the gum line. Dental plaque can cause problems on its own—it carries bacteria that can cause cavities–but if neglected it can harden into a white, rough, porous substance called dental tartar or dental calculus. Because it can form both above and below the gum line, tartar can lead to receding gums, gum disease, cavities, and eventually tooth loss. It’s nasty stuff, and preventing its buildup is really important for your health!
How Can You Prevent Tartar?
Preventing tartar is best accomplished by adopting and sticking with a regular oral health regimen. This means covering the basics of oral health, including the following:
- Regular brushing is the biggest single thing you can do for your oral health and includes preventing tartar buildup. Brushing at least twice a day for at least two minutes can go a long way towards removing plaque and debris that becomes tartar.
- Likewise, regular flossing is a vital part of your oral health routine. Flossing reaches places that a toothbrush just can’t, and twice a day flossing is the best way to prevent plaque, debris, and bacteria from building up between teeth.
- A tartar-control toothpaste can help prevent tartar when used as part of a daily brushing and flossing routine.
- Rinsing your teeth daily with an antiseptic mouthwash can help kill off the harmful bacteria that lead to so many problems in the first place.
- Avoiding alcohol and tobacco use can do a lot for your oral health, including preventing tartar and gum disease.
- A healthy diet affects every aspect of the human body, including oral health and the prevention of tartar. By limiting sugary and starchy foods and focusing on vegetables and lean proteins, you can go a long way towards limiting the growth of plaque and tartar.
Your Dentist Can Help
As with all aspects of your oral health, your dentist can give you the best guidance for your particular situation and needs. Your dentist or qualified oral health care provider can also help by performing regular examinations and cleanings, which detect problems before they become too serious and remove plaque and debris before they lead to tartar or gum diseases. Regular cleanings are an important step in making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy your whole life long, so make an appointment today and schedule an exam and cleaning. In the long run, you’ll be happy that you did.