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The Truth About Plaque and Tartar

Proper oral hygiene is a necessity for everyone. But while we know that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, not everyone understands why oral hygiene is so important or what you’re really trying to remove.

One of the biggest confusions that people may have is differentiating between plaque and tartar.

How are Plaque and Tartar Different?

Plaque is actually the beginning stage of tartar. When food begins to break down in the mouth and is not properly brushed away, it creates plaque. Plaque is a film containing bacteria that can lad to gum disease and tooth decay. When you brush your teeth, you’re removing the plaque.

If you do not successfully remove the plaque from your teeth, it will begin to harden. Once plaque is hardened, it is referred to as tartar.

How Does Plaque and Tartar Build Up?

Plaque will build up normally throughout the day. As you eat and drink foods, plaque will continue to grow in your mouth or on your teeth until it is removed. Plaque is natural and is a result of having bacteria – both good and bad – in your mouth. Even though it is natural, you will want to properly remove it.

Tartar builds up when plaque is ignored or forgotten. When tartar is left behind, it will attract more bacteria that can cause plaque. If that excess plaque is not properly removed, more tartar will form.

How Can I Prevent the Development of Plaque and Tartar?

Plaque is unavoidable. Because bacteria will be naturally found in your mouth, you will always have some level of plaque. But you can reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth by brushing twice a day and regularly flossing. You can also reduce plaque amounts by cutting out or eliminating sugary foods.

To prevent tartar from forming, you will need to effectively control the plaque in your mouth. If you follow a proper oral hygiene routine, you should not need to worry about plaque. However, if plaque does form, you will need a professional cleaning to remove it.

To schedule a tooth cleaning appointment, contact the Kansas City office of Dr. Anderson.

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