Preventing tooth decay is essential for good oral health. In fact, plaque can steadily erode the enamel of your teeth, creating unpleasant surprises such as cavities and tooth decay. This article explores the differences between tartar vs plaque, the symptoms of each condition, their causes, how to remove plaque and tartar from teeth, and the importance of brushing your teeth regularly.
Plaque vs Tartar: What’s The Difference?
Dental Plaque Definition
Dental plaque is a white, sticky film of bacteria that feed on the sugars and the starches in the food particles leftover from eating. Plaque will constantly form on our teeth and along the gum line.
These bacterias release acids in your mouth, which attack the enamel on your teeth. Plaque that is not removed can also cause tartar buildup and irritate your gums, resulting in gingivitis and red, swollen, bleeding gums, cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Dental Tartar Definition
Dental tartar is plaque that has hardened or calcified. Dental tartar attaches to the enamel on your teeth, as well as along and below your gum line.
Dental Plaque Symptoms
Dental plaque gives your teeth a coating that feels fuzzy when touched with the tongue. In the more advanced stages of dental plaque, it can appear as a white, gray or yellow coating on the teeth.
What Causes Plaque On Teeth?
How is plaque formed on teeth? Dental plaque formation is unavoidable. It forms as a result of chemical reactions in our mouths as and after we eat.
To create plaque, your mouth needs bacteria, carbohydrates, food particles, and saliva. Carbohydrates are present in most foods, even in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. However, since foods with a higher sugar content contain more carbohydrates, eating a lot of sweet foods will make your mouth more likely to form plaque.
Here are the dental plaque formation stages:
As you chew food, you naturally break your food into carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates combine with the natural bacteria in your mouth to create an acid.
The acid combines with left-behind particles of food and saliva, triggering another chemical reaction to create plaque.
How To Remove Plaque On Teeth
Preventative dental care can help prevent plaque build up. Make sure to:
Brush thoroughly at least twice a day for two minutes, ideally with tartar control toothpaste, to remove plaque from all surfaces of your teeth
Floss every day to reduce plaque and tartar build up from between your teeth and under your gum line
Avoid sugary or starchy foods
Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleaning
Dental Tartar Symptoms
Dental tartar forms below and above the gum line. This tartar is rough and porous, and lead to receding gums and progressive gum disease, resulting in irritation and damage. It must be removed with tartar removal tools.
What colour is tartar? Unlike plaque, tartar is a buildup that can be visible above the gumline, bringing a yellow or brown colour to the teeth or gums.
How To Remove Tartar From Teeth
The only foolproof way to detect and remove tartar is to visit your dentist for an oral cleaning checkup. Your dentist will be able to perform heavy tartar removal with a special tartar removal tool. However, if you’re looking for ways you can proactively prevent and avoid tartar buildup yourself, these home remedies may assist in removing plaque from your teeth.
#1 Baking soda
To remove dental tartar:
Combine a teaspoon of baking soda with your toothpaste.
Apply the mixture to your toothbrush and brush your teeth.
Rinse your mouth with lukewarm water.
Repeat twice a week.
#2 White vinegar
Another great way to remove dental tartar is to use white vinegar as a mouthwash. To create this:
Take half a cup of water and add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt.
Use twice daily to rinse your mouth.
#3 Orange peel
Did you know that orange peels can prevent tartar build up on your teeth? Simply follow these steps:
Take a peel of orange and rub it on your teeth.
Leave the juice on for two minutes.
Wash your teeth.
Alternatively, make a paste from the orange peel and scrub it on your teeth, rinsing with warm water.
Repeat this ritual twice or thrice a week.
#4 Aloe vera and glycerine
Despite its bitter taste, aloe vera can work wonderfully for removing tartar from your teeth.
Combine one teaspoon of aloe vera gel with four teaspoons of glycerin, five tablespoons of baking soda, lemon essential oil, and a cup of water.
Mix these ingredients well.
Scrub your teeth with this gel.
Repeat once every three to four days.
#5 Vitamin C paste
Did you know that when vitamin C reacts with the bacteria in your mouth, it naturally cleans it?
Combine fruits with strong amounts of vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries and tomatoes, to make your own super paste.
Apply this paste to your teeth and leave for five minutes.
How Often Should We Brush Our Teeth?
As part of our essential preventative dental care, it is important to brush our teeth regularly with fluoride and a tartar control toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Dentists recommend brushing our teeth at least twice daily and flossing after every meal. Anti-septic mouthwash can also assist in tartar control.
Need some advice on controlling dental tartar or plaque? Contact the friendly staff at Australia Dental on (07) 3888 9125 or (07) 3284 7112 to book an appointment today.