Everything you need to know about plaque and tartar

Captain Aquafresh squeezing in between teeth.

If you want to keep your smile sparkling, it’s important you know about plaque and tartar. And what to do if you spot them on your teeth.

A problem named plaque

Dental plaque is a sticky film that is naturally found on our teeth. Everyone has it, and if left alone it can contribute to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

When we eat sugary foods, the bacteria in plaque can break some of the sugars down into acids. If enough acid is produced, it can slowly eat away at your tooth enamel, eventually creating a cavity. But good twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste along with an interdental cleaning routine, can help remove plaque before it can do any damage.

Then along comes tartar

When plaque isn’t properly removed, over time it can form into tartar.

Tartar, or dental calculus, is created when minerals in your saliva combine with plaque and harden it. Once tartar has formed, it can shield bacteria from your toothbrush. This can irritate your gums, possibly even causing gum disease if it has dug in below the gum line.

Your dentist or hygienist will be able to help remove any tartar as well as recommend ways to prevent it building up again. 

Captain Aquafresh cleaning teeth.

How to keep plaque and tartar at bay

There’s no secret to strong, healthy teeth. It all comes down to a healthy diet and a good dental routine. As well as regular visits to the dentist to make sure your teeth are doing their best.

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to get all the ones at the back as well to help reach everywhere where plaque could form.
  • Eating a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables can help stop plaque at the source. Restricting the sugars that help plaque grow, and giving your body the nourishment it needs, to help fight the problems plaque can cause.
  • Smoking tobacco has also been linked to tartar build-up. Speak to your doctor or dentist for advice and support on quitting and keeping your teeth clean.

Cavities and tartar won’t happen overnight. Which is why it’s important to keep to a healthy diet and remove plaque before it has the chance to cause these problems. Keeping your mouth healthy and teeth looking their best.

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