The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

July 23, 2019

Keeping your teeth in good conditionIt’s normal for our patients to have trouble understanding the difference between plaque and tartar, but it is important to differentiate the two so you can properly manage their prevalence.

Luckily, the professionals (that’s us!) can help you manage this twice a year when you visit for a cleaning. But in the interim, its good practice to know what plaque and tartar look like and how to respond when you notice buildup.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a soft, sticky film-like bacteria that collects on the surface of your smile throughout the day. When we eat, our mouth is introduced to carbs and sugar, all of which love feeding on bacteria. It’s impossible to rid your mouth of plaque all day long, but there are several ways to limit its existence and start fresh each day.

Practicing good oral hygiene habits, like brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing, will help remove plaque and build up. We also suggest drinking plenty of water and opting for a piece of sugar-free gum after eating. This will limit plaque in your mouth and serious issues, like gum disease and cavities, from eroding your pearly whites.

What is Tartar?

dental tools in blueTartar is a hard substance that occurs when plaque has built up for too long. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional, which is why two visits a year are an important part of oral maintenance.

Tartar can lead to several serious issues like:

  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Cavities
  • Tooth Discoloration

Schedule an Appointment Every 6 Months

To make sure you don’t suffer from these issues, make sure to visit your dentist regularly. Two visits a year will allow your dentist to monitor your teeth and gums and give them a professional clean so you can enjoy a healthy, happy smile.

Contact us to schedule your appointment today.

Posted In: Dental Hygiene