People might not like to talk about it, but tartar buildup on the teeth is a problem for many. Tartar is plaque that has hardened on the teeth. It can also form at and underneath the gumline and irritate gum tissues. Tartar allows plaque more surface area to grow, and creates a much stickier surface to adhere to, which can lead to more serious conditions such as cavities and gum disease. Saliva, food and fluids combine to produce the buildup that collects on the teeth and gums.
While plaque is a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see above the gumline. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color on the teeth or gums. Tartar is porous and stains easily, so it’s especially important for smokers and those who drink coffee or tea to prevent tartar buildup.
How to Prevent Tarter Buildup
There are several reasons for plaque and tartar buildup, including:
- Irregular brushing habits – Brushing your teeth twice a day is vital to keeping bacteria from forming.
- Poor diet – A diet high in added sugar can completely destroy your teeth. Natural foods, including many fruits and vegetables, can help keep plaque away, including apples, carrots and cucumbers.
- Not flossing – Flossing can reach spots between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t get to.
- Skipping trips to the dentist – It’s pretty much impossible to get rid of all of the plaque on your teeth, unless you visit a dentist. Regular cleanings can help you avoid buildup.
Proper oral hygiene is extremely important in preventing tartar buildup. Plaque begins to form on teeth 4-12 hours after brushing, so it’s extremely important to brush at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing regularly can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, along with several other home remedies you can try, to help prevent complications from tartar buildup, including cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
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