Plaque and tartar are similar, but they’re not the same thing. One can be prevented at home, and the other needs a dental professional to remove it from your teeth. This can be done easily, but if it’s neglected over a long enough timeline it can become a serious issue! In this blog, we’ll cover the difference between the two and also give you the solutions to prevent both!
Plaque – What Is It?
How common is plaque?
Who’s most at risk for plaque?
Here are some indicators that you may be more at risk for plaque:
- You consume a lot of sugary, starchy foods or drinks.
- You have a dry mouth due to medications or other afflictions
- You smoke (this is really bad for your teeth)
What Causes Plaque?
What Are The Symptoms Of Plaque?
- A fuzzy feeling on your teeth.
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed after brushing.
Why Is Plaque So Bad?
How can I prevent plaque?
- Floss 2-3 times a day: Using floss or a water pick can get rid of food or plaque stuck between your teeth.
- Brush 2-3 times a day: Brush with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Do this at least twice a day, or after every meal.
- Chew sugarless gum: Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can help remove food particles, and will keep your breath fresh.
- Choose healthier foods: Mitigating your intake of starch, or starchy; foods or drinks, can greatly help with plaque buildup.
- See your dentist: Your dentist can do a better job at cleaning your teeth from plaque build-up, make sure you go every 6 months at least.
- Use mouthwash: Mouthwash can help clean your mouth of acids and prevent plaque buildup.
When Should I Be Concerned About Plaque Buildup?
- Chronic bad breath.
- Facial swelling.
- Loose tooth.
- Pain or difficulty chewing.
- Redness around or inside your mouth.
- Swollen bleeding gums.
- Toothache or general oral pain
- Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold drinks.
What Is Tartar (Calculus)?
If plaque is not cleaned off your teeth in a timely manner it can harden into tartar, tartar is also referred to as calculus.
How common is tartar?
Tartar is not as common as plaque, but it is still a prevalent issue among dental patients.
What are the symptoms of tartar?
Even though plaque is colorless, once hardened into tartar it will take n the appearance of yellow/brownish staining among the gumline of your teeth. This can be a general health issue, as well as a cosmetic issue.