Is Anti-Tartar Mouthwash Effective?
It would be nice to be able to wash tartar away, wouldn't it? In truth, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of tartar removal mouthwashes. One study compared the effectiveness of an antimicrobial mouthwash widely used in dentistry with that of a commercial anti-calculus mouthwash. The study found that there was 47% more new calculus and 10% more new plaque formed when using the antimicrobial mouth rinse versus the anti-calculus rinse.
Another study tested an anti-tartar rinse's effectiveness by soaking calculus samples in vitro or in the laboratory setting. A percentage of the tartar's mineral content was dissolved in the rinse, but only after it had been soaking for 4.5 and 16 hours. This study was not conducted on a human mouth, and of course, no one wants to swish mouthwash for that long!
So, what would your hygienist think about dissolving your tartar? Well, as dental professionals do, they'll go with the research. If a mouthwash arises that research shows is a great option for dissolving tartar, they'll be all for it.
Until then, if you're wondering how to reduce the amount of tartar that forms on your teeth, the best thing you can do is to reduce plaque and calculus build-up in the first place. You can do this with proper home care and visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily will go far in reducing the need to look for ways to remove tartar.
Plaque control directly relates to tartar prevention and is known to prevent cavities and gum problems. That's why one of the things every hygienist does is to help you remove it. Remember that your dental hygienist is trained to use tools to help you remove your tartar and that trying to use sharp instruments in your mouth is dangerous. What about a mouthwash that that can dissolve tartar? It may be a useful addition in the future, but more research is needed before you'll find one on your pharmacy shelves that your hygienist will approve. Good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments are and will continue to be the best treatment. If tartar is something on your radar, see your hygienist and get proactive in taking care of it right away.