How can I Prevent Tartar Buildup?
Proper brushing, especially with a tartar control toothpaste, and flossing are essential in reducing plaque and tartar buildup. So is visiting the dentist regularly.
Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or dental hygienist can remove it. The process for removing tartar is called scaling. During a scaling, the dentist or dental hygienist uses special instruments (those sharp tools you see when visiting the dentist) to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gumline. The key is that they make sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the tooth pocket.
If it's been a while since you've had a dental visit and tartar has built up, debridement is also an option. Debridement is a procedure that removes thick or dense deposits from the tooth. Local anesthesia is applied during debridement, and then the tooth is scaled with either a hand instrument or ultrasonic scaler. It involves the use of water and high-frequency vibrations to dislodge the tartar build-up from your teeth.
If tartar is not removed, your oral health is at risk. Tartar damages gum tissue and can cause gums to bleed and pull away from the teeth. Thus, it can become an advanced form of gum disease (aka periodontitis). As periodontitis spreads, it can damage deeper gum tissue and eventually spread to areas of the jawbone, causing teeth to become loose and fall out.
Now you know the 411 on tartar. Tartar comes from plaque that's not be removed by the regular care of your teeth. And, as we discussed, it takes a professional to remove it. Removing it is essential in the prevention of gum disease. Remember to keep up with your oral hygiene as it's the best thing you can do to prevent tartar buildup. If you see a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums, check-in with your dentist as soon as you can. Taking care of tartar is essential in maintaining your oral health and beautiful smile.