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Using Tartar Control Toothpaste for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Regular brushing and cleaning between teeth provides a solid foundation for your oral health. You can help keep your smile happy by combining proper brushing techniques with the right toothpaste. If you struggle with plaque and tartar build-up, a tartar control toothpaste might be the boost your oral care routine needs. Keep reading to learn more about tartar control toothpaste and its benefits.

What Is Tartar?

Put simply, tartar is hardened plaque. You know plaque is that sticky film of bacteria that constantly coats your teeth. It feeds on the sugars in your food and produces acids that can harm your enamel and cause tooth decay and gum disease. If the plaque is not removed, it eventually absorbs calcium and phosphates in your saliva and hardens into tartar, also known as dental calculus.

Why do you need tartar control?

Tartar appears as rough, yellowish deposits along the gum line, which might cause you to raise a cosmetic complaint or two. However – more importantly – tartar can form both above and below the gum line as well as between your teeth. This puts you at risk of periodontal disease.

In the earliest stages of periodontal disease, the tartar causes some mild gum irritation, such as inflamed, red or bleeding gums. If addressed early, the gum disease can be reversed with treatment from your dental professional and proper oral care. If tartar is not removed, the infection can spread to the tissue and bone that support your teeth, leading to periodontal pockets, bone loss and – eventually – tooth loss. Fortunately, you have access to all the tools you need to remove plaque, fight tartar and keep your smile happy and healthy.

What are the benefits of a tartar control toothpaste?

If you're constantly fighting plaque build-up, your dental professional might recommend tartar control toothpaste. Check out the benefits of adding plaque removal toothpaste to your routine:

  • Anti-calculus agents. Tartar control toothpaste is specifically formulated to delay the calcification of plaque on your teeth, allowing you more time to remove the plaque through normal brushing. Common anti-calculus agents in toothpaste include zinc ions and pyrophosphate.
  • Abrasives. These kinds of toothpaste also contain abrasives to help remove the sticky plaque or biofilm from the surfaces of your teeth. The abrasives help grind away the bacteria and polish your teeth without damaging the enamel.
  • Fluoride. This natural mineral plays an important role in strengthening your enamel and protecting teeth from cavities caused by plaque buildup. Fluoride can also help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

What’s the best toothpaste to remove tartar?

Taking control of your oral health starts with proper brushing techniques and the right tools. While toothpaste alone isn’t enough to remove tartar on teeth, if you brush your teeth with a good tartar control toothpaste, it can help with plaque removal and prevent it from turning to harmful tartar. For example, when you brush your teeth with Colgate Total Plaque Protection Toothpaste, it removes and protects your teeth from plaque, reduces tartar on teeth, protects against cavities and strengthens and repairs tooth enamel. Use it twice daily and enjoy the benefits of great oral health*!

*In vitro on weakened enamel caused by dietary acids.

Additional Methods to Help Prevent Tartar Build-up

The best way to avoid a build-up of tartar is to prevent plaque from turning to tartar in the first place! Plaque removal at home can be easy if you have a good oral health routine. Here are some simple tips you can use to remove plaque from your mouth and keep your teeth tartar-free:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes at a time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If possible, use an electric toothbrush as it can be more effective than a manual toothbrush at plaque removal from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, for example, Colgate Total Plaque Protection Toothpaste.
  • Take care to clean the spaces between your teeth using dental floss, interdental brushes or a water flosser.
  • Rinse your mouth daily with a fluoride mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
  • Cut back on sugary snacks and food and drinks that will quickly cause plaque bacteria to build up on or between the surfaces of your teeth. Brush your teeth and drink plenty of water between meals to wash away food particles.
  • If possible, avoid smoking and other tobacco products as the nicotine and tar can cause a buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth. [kw1]

Professional Dental Treatment for Tartar Removal

Unfortunately, once tartar forms on your teeth, it will take more than toothpaste to get rid of it. If you notice tartar build-up on your teeth, make an appointment with your dental professional. Your dentist or dental hygienist will eliminate the tartar using a non-surgical treatment called scaling to carefully remove plaque and tartar both above and below the gumline.

For more information, ask your dental professional for recommendations on the best tartar control toothpaste and take another step towards a healthier smile!



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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.