Tartar on Your Teeth?

Teeth cleaning - How to Identify and Remove Tartar on your teeth

Learn more about Tartar buildup on teeth including how to prevent tartar buildup on your teeth, and how to remove tartar buildup. 

Did you know that tartar was found on human remains which were 400,000 years old? Tartar is a dental issue that is as old as humankind and that we still deal with today… Surprisingly for a problem that has affected humans for our entire existence, it is super easy to prevent. But before we talk about preventing tartar, let’s see what it is.

What is tartar on teeth?

Tartar buildup on teeth is calcified plaque and happens when plaque sits on your teeth for an extended period. Tartar is formed because of minerals in your saliva which get deposited into your plaque’s biofilm. The minerals cause the biofilm to harden and form tartar. Tartar also creates an environment that creates more plaque because it is much stickier than your teeth. This can lead to cavities and serious gum issues. Dental hygiene aside this is also a smile-affecting appearance problem. Tartar stains very easily (often while you’ll notice most tartar being yellow), so smoking and drinking coffee while dealing with tartar will color your smile yellow. 

Are tartar and plaque the same thing?

We can’t talk about tartar without its sidekick plaque. Think of plaque as a caterpillar you don’t want in your mouth. It starts off small and then hatches into a big butterfly. That’s what plaque does. It begins by coating your teeth, then if left untreated it builds up and turns into tartar. So it’s best to spot plaque right away before it can get worse and end up turning into tartar. 

Preventing Plaque Buildup on Your Teeth

To prevent or stop plaque early on there are a few things you need to do. First and foremost, the best way to prevent plaque is by practicing good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush twice a day and floss. Unfortunately, plaque can be colorless so spotting it can be tough. It’s important to see your dentist every 6 months. They can use a dental mirror to spot plaque in hard-to-see places and remove it right then and there. Looking for the best at-home option for spotting plaque? You can get plaque-disclosing tablets at a pharmacy or drug store. These tables stain the plaque making it easy to find and may show you the areas where you need to brush and floss better. 

How to get rid of tartar on teeth

Since tartar bonds to your enamel, removing it won’t be as easy compared to plaque (which is why it’s super important to prevent and stop plaque early on). Tartar will have to be removed by a dental professional because it’s hardened and bonded to your teeth. 

A common theme you will see with potential issues in your mouth is that most are easily preventable if you practice the right dental hygiene and get the right care. Seeing your dentist and dental care team twice a year and having them spot and remove the hard-to-see plaque and brushing your teeth twice daily is pretty much all you need to be tartar free. It’s so important to stop plaque early on so that you don’t have to deal with tartar. We know you don’t want to be at the dentist having calcified bits being scraped off your teeth with a scaler, so take the easy route and keep your smile bright white and tartar free!