Preventing Tartar Buildup on Your Teeth

Posted by Dr. Soto Apr 27, 2018

Keeping your teeth and gums in top condition requires a bit of knowledge, and also continued dedication to maintaining good dental hygiene. When bacteria build up on and around your teeth, it forms a somewhat soft, sticky substance called plaque. And, if that plaque isn’t cleaned off properly, it hardens into a substance called tartar.

What can I do at home?

There are a few basic things you can do to minimize any buildup of plaque or tartar on your teeth. Your oral health is directly linked to your overall health, so the first step is to take care of your health and diet. Then, brush and floss regularly and often.

Here are some tips:

  • Stay as healthy as you can! You probably know that staying healthy requires eating regular, nutritious, and balanced meals.
  • Avoid snacking, especially sugary or chewy foods. Sugary foods promote the growth of bacteria and plaque, and sticky foods tend to get stuck between teeth. Try to clean your teeth after snacking if you do grab food on the run.
  • Brush often and brush properly:

- Brush your teeth after you eat, or at least twice a day.

- Brush smart, not harder. That means choosing a sturdy brush but one that has soft bristles. Hard or pointy bristles can injure your gums.

- Choose mild toothpaste. You don’t need harsh cleaners that may irritate your teeth and gums.

- If you can, buy an electric toothbrush. They do a better job as cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes, when used properly.

  • Don’t forget to floss. Food particles can still hide between teeth after you brush. Ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the best way to floss your teeth.
  • Ask about oral rinses that may help you identify where tartar buildup is occurring.

A dental professional can help

Once plaque hardens into tartar, you will need a dental cleaning done by a dental health professional to get rid of it. Brushing alone cannot dislodge plaque.

It’s also important to keep your gums as healthy as possible so that tartar won’t build up on your teeth below the gum line. If your gums are puffy or not tight against your teeth, plaque can form below the top of your gums. If this happens, you will needs special treatment in order to clean any below-the-gum-line plaque off of your teeth.

It’s important to go in for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months. If you have gum disease or other conditions, your dentist may ask you to come in more often in order to keep tartar build up under control and to keep your gums, teeth, and mouth as healthy as they can be.

If you have any questions about how tartar buildup happens and how to prevent it, contact your dentist.

Dr. Ernie Soto specializes in pain-free dentistry. If you are interested in getting your questions answered and for more information about tartar build up on your teeth, feel free to give us a call at (954) 368-6264 or request an appointment online.

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