For sure you must have heard the term tartar somewhere. After all, we are constantly brushing, flossing and doing what we can in order to avoid just that! These are but countermeasures in order to avoid it, as failing to do so can end in losing our teeth.
So for this article we will be handling what tartar is, how it comes to be and what we can do in order to prevent it.
What is tartar?
To put it simply, tartar is the solidification of the pesky plaque. When it forms, as opposed to the sticky and colorless plaque, it can be told apart from the teeth. And not only that, but since the tartar forms and solidifies around the gum line, it is common for it to cause irritation and inflammation of the gums.
If left untreated, it just gives more surface area for even more plaque that can turn into tartar as well.
What is so bad about it?
Well, there are a number of reasons why you should be worried about it.
It really messes up with your brushing habits. Since it has hardened, it is very difficult to remove without the help of a dentist. As such, you would be brushing and accomplishing nothing if the tartar has settled.
Tartar makes it easier for you to develop tooth decay, as it gives area for plaque to hold on. This proves troublesome as there will be areas in your mouth which will be impossible to brush.
Furthermore, as it usually forms around the gum line, it irritates your gums and makes you susceptible to gum disease. The first form of gum disease is gingivitis, which is characterized by having gum pockets where more plaque is stored. Failing to treat this makes the gingivitis turn into periodontitis, which is more severe at that.
This is why it is important to treat it, so there is no chance for it to do much harm. Remember that once it hardens, it is best to have it removed by a dentist as they have the professional tools for that.
Do I have tartar? How can I tell?
This is a question we get here in Los Algodones, Mexico, and it is simple to tell if you have a mirror handy. Tartar, as opposed to plaque, has a color and is easy to spot in this state. If you notice a yellow or brown color along your gum line or teeth, then chances are that is tartar.
Of course, the best choice you can do is have yourself be checked and cleaned by a professional dentist.
Tips to prevent tartar
Now that we have gone through what it is and the harm it does, now we need to know how to fight against it:
- Brush twice a day! Proper brushing proves immensely helpful in order to keep plaque at bay. This means not only brushing for 2 minutes each session, but also brushing against your gumline so that you can get to the bacteria that get stuck there.
- Also make use of the dental floss. It might look tricky to use at first, but with practice it will come natural. Flossing is helpful as it reaches between the teeth where it is difficult for the toothbrush.
- There are also toothpastes made specifically towards tartar-control. These toothpaste help fighting against the bacteria and help remineralize the tooth enamel. You can easily find them in pharmacies in Los Algodones.
- Likewise, there is an array of mouthwashes available towards plaque and its bacteria. Make sure to use everything in your arsenal!
- Be mindful about the amount of acidic and sugary foods you consume. Cutting them a bit is nice, but being totally conscious of how much time you spend with all that sugar stuck to your teeth will totally help in the long run. This is why it is important to pick up on good habits!