Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a form of dental plaque that has hardened on the teeth. Tartar can only be removed by a professional dentist or hygienist through a process called scaling and polishing. If left untreated, tartar can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent tartar buildup.
How is tartar formed?
Tartar is formed when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, mixes with saliva and minerals in the mouth to harden on teeth. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed through professional cleaning. If tartar is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
How can I prevent tartar buildup?
There are several things you can do to prevent tartar buildup:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss daily.
- Visit your dentist or hygienist regularly for professional cleanings.
- Avoid smoking.
- Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks.
- Use a tartar-control toothpaste.
Following these tips can help you prevent tartar buildup and keep your teeth and gums healthy.