A General Dentist Explains What Plaque and Tartar Are

General Dentist Killeen, TX

Your general dentist has probably used the terms plaque and tartar around you before, but have you ever wondered precisely what they are, why they develop, and why they can be harmful? This review answers those questions about plaque and tartar and offers advice on how to prevent them from developing on teeth and along the gum line. 

What plaque and tartar are and how to prevent them from building up

Plaque and tartar are common contributing factors to oral health concerns, such as dental cavities and periodontal disease. Understanding what plaque and tartar are and how they form is the first step to preventing them from developing and affecting long-term oral health. 

Plaque and tartar: What are they exactly?

Plaque is a sticky film that develops from a combination of bacteria that naturally occurs inside the mouth, food particles, and saliva. If left untreated for too long, the plaque can turn into tartar, which hardens on teeth and becomes more challenging to remove. Plaque is often removable and can be prevented through good oral hygiene, whereas tartar may require more extensive treatment, such as a dental cleaning.

How to prevent plaque and tartar buildup?

The best way to deal with plaque and tartar is to prevent them from developing in the first place. This includes having a good oral hygiene schedule that involves brushing and flossing several times a day. Using mouthwash can keep excess bacteria from accumulating in the mouth. Dietary changes, such as limiting sugar consumption, can also help reduce the amount of plaque and tartar that develops in the mouth.

How tartar build-up is treated by a general dentist 

Brushing and flossing are the two best ways to prevent plaque development. Without good oral hygiene, tartar may develop. It can also develop from not visiting the general dentist for routine cleanings for a long time. When this occurs, the dentist may need to conduct an extensive dental cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar. If the plaque and tartar accumulate along and below the gumline, then they may need to perform a deep dental cleaning. 

The importance of regular visits with the general dentist

Regular visits with the general dentist (every four to six months) can reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar by catching them before they begin to worsen. While at-home care is the best way to keep plaque and tartar to a minimum, it does not replace the importance of regular dental visits. 

Our general dentist team can help you prevent plaque and tartar

You can reach our friendly dental team by calling us or sending us a message. We encourage you to ask any questions about your oral care and arrange a time to visit with our team for a check-up. We can put together short-term and long-term restorative and preventive oral care plans to help you deal with plaque and tartar build-up.

Request an appointment here: https://www.texasstarsmiles.com or call Texas Star Smiles & Fastbraces at (254) 237-1342 for an appointment in our Killeen office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Killeen, TX.

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