The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

July 28, 2018

healthy smile/brushing teethA lot of times, we misconstrue the difference between plaque and tartar, or think they are both the same. This common misunderstanding can be what keeps you from managing your teeth properly; let’s delve deeper into the two so you can understand how to take care of your mouth!

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria and naturally forms on our teeth throughout the day. When our food and saliva combine with plaque, we end up feeding the inevitable bacteria in our mouths, which aids in the production of more bacteria. As this bacteria sits in your mouth, it produces acid, which causes the erosion of your smile’s enamel, leading to gum disease and cavities.

Grossed out yet? There isn’t anything we can do to keep bacteria from camping out in our mouths, but we can adopt good oral hygiene habits to offset the likelihood of plaque buildup. Aside from brushing twice a day, chewing sugar-free gum after meals and consuming plenty of water are ways to promote a clean, healthy mouth.

What is Tartar?dental tools

Tartar is plaque that we allow to build up on our teeth overtime by disregarding proper cleaning procedures. Tartar is tough, hard deposits that can sit on your teeth and cause tooth discoloration, sensitivity, and gum disease.

The only way to take care of tartar is to visit your dentist. This calcified plaque can only be professionally removed, which is why a checkup every 6 months is recommended!

Visit Us Twice a Year

Now that you understand why visiting us is important, make sure to contact us to schedule an appointment today. Not only will we professionally clean your teeth, we will monitor your gums and assess tartar buildup in order to keep your smile happy.