The Best Tricks to Prevent and Remove Plaque and Tartar
Have you ever run your tongue across your teeth and felt that gross, sticky film on the surface? Yuck!
Well, that fuzzy substance is called plaque, and it’s really, REALLY bad for your gums and teeth. When that plaque turns into tartar, it can lead to all sorts of health problems that you might not expect. Taking care of your teeth is serious business!
Most people know that plaque is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease. The problem is that many folks just don’t understand what they should do about it or how to prevent it in the first place.
The good news is that you have come to the right place. The team at Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, CA knows a thing or two about plaque and tartar. To learn what it is, how to prevent it, and what you should do between dental visits to maintain good oral hygiene, take a look below.
What is Plaque?
If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you’ve probably noticed a slimy or grainy feeling on your tongue and the surface of your teeth. This forms as a result of bacteria in your mouth that feed on the sugars from leftover food particles. Sugars from the different things that we eat and drink throughout the day produce acids that eat away at the enamel on our teeth.
Without regular brushing and flossing, these acids mix with bacteria and sugars to create what we refer to as plaque. Left unchecked, plaque will negatively impact your oral health by causing cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
How to Remove Plaque Between Visits to Your Dentist in Encinitas, CA
There’s no question that plaque can create some big problems for your teeth, but it’s an issue that’s fairly easy to manage. The truth is, there’s no way to stop plaque from forming, but you can remove it by making sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and flossing.
If you want to take charge of your oral care, you should try to brush after every meal and before bed. You should only eat sugary, starchy, acidic, and sticky foods in moderation. While you cannot remove all plaque, you can minimize it.
The less plaque you allow to build upon your teeth, the less tartar will accumulate. This means a lot less work for your dentist at your next appointment.
What is Tartar?
Tartar occurs when plaque is allowed to build upon your teeth and harden. It can even get under your gums and cause bleeding and irritation. The more that plaque accumulates on the surface of your teeth, the greater your chances are of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
Plaque is usually clear. However, you can recognize tartar by its distinct yellow or brown color.
Can You Remove Tartar at Home?
The short answer is no. Only a qualified dentist in Encinitas, CA has the proper tools and knowledge to safely help you get rid of tartar. The best way to stop tartar in its tracks is to prevent it from forming in the first place.
Daily brushing and flossing will remove plaque before it has a chance to harden onto the surface of your teeth.
What Happens When Plaque and Tartar are Left Unchecked?
Plaque is sneaky and can cause damage to your teeth and gums that you may not notice until it’s too late. Its acidity can eat away at your tooth enamel, and the symptoms will get worse over time.
Plaque releases toxins that irritate the gums and cause them to appear red and inflamed. This is usually a telltale sign of gingivitis, one of the earliest stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Irritated gums that are bright red in appearance
- Tender, painful gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth decay and cavities
Plaque that is left to turn into tartar will leave you with bigger problems on your hands than just cavities. Tartar can also cause degeneration of the jawbone, receding gums, and infections that lead to tooth loss. There are also a host of other health issues that plaque and tartar can cause if left unchecked.
The Best Ways to Stop Plaque and Tartar in Their Tracks
The fact is that we are in a constant battle with plaque and tartar when it comes to the health of our teeth and gums. Fortunately, with a few good oral hygiene practices in place, it’s a battle that we can win. Take a look at this list of ways you can help keep your mouth clean, healthy, and looking its best.
Improve Your Oral Care Regimen
Bushing and flossing might seem like simple concepts, and that’s because they are! If you want to keep your smile shining bright, then improving your oral care routine is going to be your best defense against tartar, plaque, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Maintain a Proper Diet
Even if you’re brushing your teeth the way you should, eating the wrong foods can sabotage your efforts to maintain good oral health. Making a few minor adjustments to your diet is a great way to protect your teeth and your figure.
Here is a list of healthy foods that your teeth will appreciate:
- Leafy greens
- Apples and carrots
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean protein sources
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese
All of these foods help to stimulate saliva to clear away food particles and strengthen your teeth.
Let Go of Bad Habits
If you’re serious about improving your health, it’s time to drop bad habits like smoking and chewing tobacco. These behaviors put you at greater risk of developing infections. They can also make your mouth look and smell bad!
Schedule an Appointment with Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, CA
Visiting your dentist twice a year is vital to maintaining your good oral health. The team at Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, CA provides our patients with professional and personalized preventative care to protect your teeth, brighten your smile, and improve your overall health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.