Everyone knows the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day to keep them clean. However, do you know the difference between the plaque and tartar on your teeth? Here is what you should know about these two substances that are not good for your oral health.
What Is Plaque?
The white-colored sticky film that builds up on your teeth during the day is plaque. It's very easy to remove by brushing and flossing because it is still very new to your mouth and is still very soft. The reason that plaque forms is because of all the sugars and starches that you consume on a daily basis. All that bacteria in your mouth releases acids that help with the formation of plaque.
What Is Tartar?
If you do not remove the plaque from your teeth, it hardens and mineralizes to turn into tartar. It is very similar to limescale around a faucet, which forms over time from not cleaning the surface. Tartar makes you more susceptible to having issues with bleeding gums or gum disease, and it is recommended that you visit a dentist regularly to clean off tartar buildup before it gets to a point where it is difficult to remove.
How Is Tartar Removed?
Tartar is not something that can be brushed away by using a regular toothbrush. Your dentist will need to use scaling equipment to scrape the tartar off your teeth. Tartar can be difficult to remove as it forms in the deep pockets in your gums, which is why you want to get regular cleanings at the dentist and take care of your teeth at home.
How Can You Tell Where The Plaque Is Building Up?
If you find yourself having a lot of tartar on your teeth when you visit a dentist, it is worth using plaque tablets to see where that buildup occurs. You put the tablet in your mouth, and it will actually cause the plaque to turn a different color so that you can see it in the mirror. This can let you know which parts of the mouth you should focus on when brushing to make sure that you are not missing the plaque.
How Fast Will Tartar Form?
You may be surprised to learn that tartar can form very quickly. If you go a day or two without brushing, or simply do a poor job brushing, that plaque can become hard enough that normal brushing will not remove it. That's why it's so important to brush and floss regularly to remove the plaque when it is still gooey.