Plaque, a sticky substance of bacteria and sugars, can harden and turn into tartar, also known as dental calculus. Tartar can negatively affect your oral health, so it's essential to keep it at bay.
Can You Remove Tartar At Home?
While you may be wondering how to remove tartar from your teeth without a dentist, it is best to seek help from a dental professional for a clean and accurate job! Once plaque hardens into tartar, a toothbrush can't remove it. You may be tempted by "do it yourself" tartar-removal products, like dental tool kits or "natural" remedies, such as strawberries, vinegar, or sesame seeds. While these ingredients and products are readily available at any local grocery or pharmacy, we recommend speaking with your dentist about removing tartar rather than attempting at-home methods.
How Tartar Affects Oral Health
When tartar builds up on the teeth, and along the gumline, oral health conditions can develop. Tartar provides a porous area on your teeth for plaque to adhere to. So as it builds, a cycle of plaque sticking to tartar, which creates more tartar, begins. Since plaque can lead to conditions like gum disease and cavities, it's best not to allow this cycle of plaque-to-tarter to occur. When tartar builds up around the gumlines, it can cause gum inflammation and bleeding. This is gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. Tartar can also pose cosmetic problems. Since tartar is absorbent, it can quickly soak in stains. This means that drinking pigmented beverages, like tea or coffee, can darken your teeth for a yellowish smile. Nobody wants to worry about the look of their teeth while enjoying their favorite drink!
Signs of Tartar Buildup
When trying to determine if you have tartar buildup, you will most likely notice it by how your teeth feel. Tartar feels like a rough substance in the mouth that brushing alone will not remove. When tartar appears below the gumline, it can cause raised swellings that may bleed. Buildup above the gumline is yellow or tan and grows larger if not removed. Below the gumline, it may be brown or black.
Ways to Prevent Tartar Buildup
Like many dental issues, the solution usually lies in prevention! Rather than get to the stage of tartar buildup having to be professionally removed, you can take steps to prevent it from building up in the first place. While you can't safely remove tartar at home, with an excellent oral hygiene routine, plaque removal can be done by following these steps: