You know it’s important to brush your teeth properly and use dental floss or interproximal brushes to prevent tartar buildup.

But do you know why? What is tartar? How does it get on your teeth? And what can happen if it does? Here we tell you.

What is tartar?

Even if you take good care of your teeth, you still have bacteria in your mouth. These mix with proteins and food by-products to form a sticky film called dental plaque. If you don’t brush this plaque gets under the gum line and sticks to teeth, fillings or other dental work, hardening over time and turning into tartar.

Plaque contains bacteria that can damage your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. But if you remove plaque regularly, always brushing after eating, you can prevent cavities and gum disease.

Tartar, also called calculus, forms below and above the gum line, causing gum inflammation initially and eventually leading to periodontal disease.
Once installed in the mouth, tartar cannot be fought at home, it must be removed by a professional cleaning at the dentist’s office.

How does tartar affect teeth and gums?

Poor tooth brushing and the non-use of dental floss or interdental brushes can cause tartar build-up, facilitating the appearance of caries, as well as producing gingivitis that can lead to periodontitis.

Gingivitis can usually be reversed if you brush and floss properly and have regular cleanings with your hygienist.

If you do not do so, it can worsen, until it becomes periodontitis, thus affecting not only the gums, but also the bone support, producing dental mobility.

How to remove tartar from teeth?

Once the tartar has hardened, the only way to remove it is through professional hygiene performed by a qualified hygienist or hygienist.

The professional performing the hygiene will determine if conventional cleaning can remove the tartar buildup without compromising the tissues surrounding the teeth. If so, he or she will refer you to a periodontist for evaluation and treatment.

1. Dental cleaning

Using ultrasound and hygiene products, the professional removes tartar without damaging the tooth surface.

2. Curettage

When calculus is below the gum line, the most common way to remove it is by a manual curettage process. Curettage is the scaling of the root surface of the affected teeth by which the calculus deposits are carefully removed so as not to damage the tooth structure or the gum itself. This is followed by root planing so that the surface is not roughened and plaque does not easily reattach.

How can tartar formation be prevented?

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly after every meal.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft or medium bristles, either manual or electric.
  • Complete brushing with dental floss and interproximal brushes.
  • Use a specific mouthwash (prescribed by your dentist) if you have any specific problem such as tooth sensitivity or gum inflammation.
  • Finish by cleaning the tongue and the inside of the cheeks with a tongue scraper.
  • Don’t forget to visit your dentist every 6-12 months for a complete check-up.
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