518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
Call 09 834 6359

Your oral hygiene routine is more than just about keeping your teeth and gums clean. It’s about preventing issues like tartar and further dental problems.

In our latest post, we’ll explain what tartar is. You’ll also learn how to stop tartar from forming on your teeth. This action can help reduce your risk of both gum disease and tooth decay.

Here at Opal Dental, your local dentist for Te Atatu, we’re committed to helping our patients improve their oral health. Advising how to prevent tartar on your teeth is one of the ways we do this, so read on to know more.

What is tartar?

You may have wondered, “what is tartar on my teeth, and how does it affect my oral health?”

Tartar is built-up, hardened plaque. It leaves a yellow or brown deposit on the teeth. Let’s find out more about plaque first to understand the connection with tartar.

Plaque is a film that develops on your teeth. It’s a combination of food particles and saliva that react with bacteria to produce acid. This can damage enamel, the hard outer coating of your teeth, resulting in gum disease and tooth decay.

You can clean away plaque from your teeth by regular brushing and flossing. If you don’t brush properly or often enough, plaque can harden and form tartar (also known as “calculus”).

How does tartar affect my teeth and gums?

Tartar can have a harmful effect on the teeth, making them harder to brush and floss. This can lead to tooth decay.

Sometimes tartar develops below the gum, which can lead to gingivitis (early-stage gum disease). Gingivitis can be treated. But if it’s left to progress to periodontitis (advanced gum disease), the impact can be serious. It means you are at risk of losing your teeth.

Studies have also found a link between gum disease and heart disease.

How do I know if I’ve got tartar?

These are some signs of tartar:

  • Rough-feeling teeth
  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen or bleeding gums

Can my dentist treat tartar?

Your dentist can treat tartar using tools to gently scrape it away as part of a dental clean. You shouldn’t try to do this at home, as you could damage your teeth.

For most people, a cleaning every six months helps to keep tartar under control. Your dentist might recommend more frequent treatment if you are at risk of cavities or gum disease.

Your dentist can also treat gum disease as a result of tartar.

How to prevent tartar?

Here are some steps you can take to prevent tartar:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash after brushing.
  • Floss in the gaps between your teeth once daily.
  • Research shows that you have a higher risk of developing tartar if you use tobacco products. Consider quitting smoking or using other forms of tobacco.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Bacteria in your mouth feed off sugar and produce plaque, which can harden into tartar.
  • Visit the dentist for a check-up at least every six months.

Your dentist in Te Atatu can help keep your smile healthy

By taking steps against tartar, you can improve your oral health and cut your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

For any questions on tartar and how to treat it, come and see us at Opal Dental. We’re your local dentist in Te Atatu and we’re here to help keep your smile healthy.

Book an appointment for a check-up or to talk to us about any aspect of your dental health.

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