What is Tartar (Dental calculus)?

To make it simple, tartar is made up of hardened dental plaque. Plaque is a biofilm composed of several different kinds of bacteria and their products that develop over the enamel on a layer known as pellicle. The process of plaque formation takes several days to weeks and will cause the surrounding environment to become acidic if not removed. Dental plaque hardens with calcium ions in the saliva to form tartar or calculus which needs professional cleaning known as scaling to remove them.

How Does Tartar Affect Teeth and Gums?

Any plaque or tartar that forms above your gum line can harm your tooth, causing tooth decay.

Plaque that adheres under the gum line will cause gingivitis (bleeding gums while brushing). It can get worse if the plaque is not cleaned and hardened to become calculus, to the point where pockets form between the gums and teeth and can be infected by bacteria. It’s called gum disease or periodontitis. Your immune system will send chemicals to fight these bacteria. And as a result of that, bones and tissues that hold your teeth can be damaged, with manifestations such as receding gums, sensitive teeth and mobile teeth. Also, some studies link bacteria in gum disease to heart disease and other health problems.

How To Remove Plaque and Tartar?

The best way you can do this is to remove plaque efficiently.  Here are some tips:

  • You need to brush regularly, twice daily for 2 minutes at a time. Rubbing 30 seconds twice a day will not remove plaque. If possible, use a smaller head brush with soft bristles for easy access to your teeth. Be sure to insert into surface that is hard to reach and your last tooth area and behind your lower teeth. Studies have found that electronic, or powerful toothbrushes can get rid of plaques better than manual model toothbrushes.
  • Choose toothpaste that has fluoride. Fluoride will help repair enamel damage. Some products have a substance called triclosan that fights bacteria in plaques.
  • No matter how good and regular you are with a toothbrush, flossing is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and keep tartar out of this difficult area. You can use mouthrinse as an optional antibacterial agent.
  • Also, control your diet. The bacteria in your mouth grow with sweet and sticky food. When they are exposed to the food, they release harmful acids. Try to eat healthy foods and limit the amount of sugary foods That applies to snacks too. Whenever you eat, you also feed bacteria in your mouth. Continue and drink plenty of water during and after meals.

Once tartar is formed, only a dentist can remove it from your teeth. Therefore, visit us at Smileway Dental Setapak and USJ every 6 months to remove any plaque and tartar that may have formed and to prevent further problems. It will be a painless procedure.a

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