You’ve probably heard your Framingham dentist say that regular brushing and flossing are key for preventing tartar buildup, but why? Even though studies estimate that at lease 68% of American adults have tartar on their teeth, most don’t know what exactly this tough substance is or how it can impact the health of their pearly whites. However, if it’s ignored and allowed to accumulate in your mouth, it can lead to a dirty smile an increased risk of serious oral health issues. Here’s everything you need to know about tartar buildup and what you can do to keep your smile healthy.
Why Do Some People Experience Faster Buildup of Plaque & Tartar?
While everyone will experience some form of plaque and tartar buildup, some people are susceptible to a faster accumulation of these harmful particles. This is often the result of factors like:
- Poor oral hygiene: Most commonly, plaque and tartar buildup is the result of bad dental habits. Great oral hygiene is needed to clean away these particles on a daily basis.
- Snacking habits: The more often you snack throughout the day, the more fuel your natural oral bacteria have to create plaque and tartar.
- Crooked teeth: Misaligned teeth create small spaces that can easily trap bacteria, food debris, and plaque.
- Tooth shape: Misshapen teeth or teeth with deep grooves can harbor particles in areas that are difficult to clean.
What Is Tartar?
You probably hear the terms “plaque” and “tartar” in the same sentence more often than not, but do you know the difference between the two? Plaque is a clear, sticky biofilm filled with bacteria that coats your teeth and gums throughout the day. If it’s not cleared away regularly, it can harden into a tough material known as tartar. Tartar provides a better surface for plaque and bacteria to grow on, which increases your risk of issues like tooth decay and gum disease. It’s also more porous than your enamel and absorbs staining particles, which can give your teeth a dirty looking hue.
How Does Tartar Impact Oral Health?
If tartar isn’t removed routinely, then it can provide the ideal foundation for a variety of oral health conditions, such as:
- Chronic bad breath
- Tongue or oral infections
- Tooth decay and dental infections
- Gum irritation and periodontal disease
How Is Tartar Buildup Treated & Prevented?
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to remove tartar yourself. This stubborn material can only be cleared away by a dental professional. Thanks to their keen eye and specialized tools, they can quickly, comfortably, and thoroughly scrape away tartar from every nook and cranny of your mouth. However, the best way to protect your smile from tartar is to prevent it from accumulating in the first place with great dental habits like:
- Brushing for two minutes twice a day.
- Flossing between all your teeth daily.
- Using a tartar-control toothpaste and fluoridated mouthwash.
- Eating a low-sugar diet and limiting how often you snack.
As long as you practice great oral hygiene and visit your dentist twice a year for your routine checkups and cleanings, you should have no problem keeping your pearly whites safe from tartar buildup!
About the Practice
Framingham Family Dental Care is proud to help keep the smiles of Framingham, MA and the surrounding communities happy and healthy for a lifetime. One of the ways they accomplish this is by focusing on excellent and long-lasting preventive care. With routine checkups and cleanings every six months, they can help their patients spot and stop oral health issues as early as possible, or even stop them from developing in the first place! If you’re concerned about tartar buildup, don’t hesitate to contact them via their website or at (508) 626-2402.