Tartar or dental calculus is a hard deposit that forms on teeth, both above and below the gum line, as a result of an accumulation of plaque over a period of time. It is a crusty layer that leads to bad breath, tooth sensitivity, dental cavities, several gum diseases and permanent tooth decay in extreme cases.
Tartar is formed when the bacteria in one’s mouth mix with leftover food particles and saliva, and calcify into a hard, uneven coating on the teeth. Tartar is rough and porous in nature and easily stained by food or drink, which is why it often appears yellow or brown in colour.
How to Remove Tartar from Your Teeth
When it is tartar vs. plaque, plaque can be easily removed at home with regular brushing and flossing. However, removing tartar from teeth is a process that should ideally be carried out by professionals like our Dentist in Whitby. Although several home remedies are sometimes suggested for removing tartar from teeth, they are usually without much scientific basis. Thus, if one notices an accumulation of tartar on teeth, it is best to fix an appointment with an oral hygienist.
At a dentist’s clinic, tartar is usually removed using manual scaling tools or an ultrasonic device. Most dentists use a hand-held metal scaler to scrape away the tartar from the teeth, both above the gum line and below it. In case there is a heavy build up in the pockets of the gums, a laser is used to destroy the bacteria to reduce the risks of an infection.
Finally, the roots of teeth are smoothed so that the gum re-attaches itself. In case one is already suffering from gum infection, the removal of tartar is followed by a treatment of the infection.
Even though it is difficult to remove at home, tartar build up can be easily checked by preventing the deposit of plaque on the surface of teeth. Besides brushing and flossing twice a day, using an electric toothbrush can also reduce the risks of tartar formation on teeth.
How Often Should One Get Tartar Removed?
The frequency of tartar removal is usually commensurate with the build-up of tartar on teeth: if one has a high rate of build-up, he/she may have to get it removed more often than others. However, most dentists advise their patients to opt for a thorough check up and cleaning at least once in every 6 months, so that any accumulation of plaque or tartar on teeth may be restricted from an early stage.
The rate of tartar build-up is usually higher among those who suffer from dry mouth due to medication or old age. It is also significantly high among those who have conditions that keep them from following a regular dental hygiene routine. People with a tendency to contract gum diseases, such as habitual smokers and diabetes patients are also prone to faster plaque build-up than others and are therefore advised to visit a dentist 4 to 5 times in a year to get their teeth cleaned professionally.
Tartar on teeth is not an uncommon occurrence, but it may severely compromise one’s dental hygiene if left untreated. Considering tartar vs plaque, it is easier to check the former. So for you, it is better to check the accumulation of plaque with routine brushing and flossing and avoid tartar build-up altogether. Regular visits to the dentist are also advised to maintain oral hygiene.
Our Dentist in Whitby is growing and open to new patients. If you have any questions on tartar, or just want to learn about our approach to family dentistry, we invite you to explore our site and learn more about us. You can find information about our team, office, technology, and the range of services that we offer. Or, give us a call. We love hearing from our patients and anyone who may be interested in becoming one.