Many people have heard of tartar, but not everyone knows what it is. Tartar is actually hardened plaque that has been allowed to remain on the teeth. Plaque occurs when the bacteria in your mouth feeds on the foods that you eat. It sticks to your teeth and your dental restorations, particularly along the gum line and in hard-to-reach areas. If you want to prevent tartar, then you must first eliminate plaque.
Preventing Tartar: Brush Properly and Daily
Simply brushing your teeth isn’t enough to remove plaque, unless you do it properly. You need to brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, making sure that you reach every surface of your teeth. Most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day. Make sure you replace your toothbrush whenever you’ve been ill or the toothbrush looks worn.
Preventing Tartar: Flossing Daily
Since the bristles of your toothbrush cannot get in between your teeth, you need to floss daily if you want to prevent tartar. When you floss, it allows you to clear away the plaque that accumulates at the gum line as well as in between the teeth. Many people find that flossing is more helpful than brushing in preventing tartar build-up on the back of the second or third molars.
Preventing Tartar: Rinse, Rinse, and Rinse
Using a mouthwash on a daily basis helps to keep bacteria in the mouth under control, helping you to prevent tartar. As an added bonus, you might also help to strengthen your teeth if you use a fluoride rinse. Choose an antibacterial mouthwash or rinse that is designed to fight bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis.
Preventing Tartar: Get a Dental Cleaning
Even if you believe you are doing a good job, it’s important to get an annual or bi-annual cleaning if you want to prevent tartar. Each time you have your teeth professionally cleaned, existing tartar build-up is removed along with any plaque that you’ve missed. The dental hygienist uses special tools to remove the tartar build-up in between your teeth and under the gum line, which can help to keep your teeth cleaner and prevent tartar from accumulating