The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar

Lots of people ask their dental professional if there’s a difference between plaque and tartar-and it’s a great question. Both plaque and tartar buildup are common dental problems. Significant plaque buildup can result in tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar is calcified plaque. Arming yourself with the facts can help you be smarter about how you care for your teeth. 

The Facts About Plaque
Plaque is sticky, colorless film containing bacteria that builds up naturally on tooth surfaces and especially along the gum line within four to 12 hours after brushing. Sugars in food and drinks can combine with plaque bacteria to release acids. These acids attack tooth enamel and break it down, which can then create cavities. Plaque bacteria can also contribute to gum disease, like gingivitis. Regular brushing and flossing are your most effective tools in the fight against plaque. If it’s not removed daily, plaque eventually accumulates and hardens into tartar.  

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JONES SMILES
Sedation ~ Cosmetic ~ Family Dentistry
7330 Spout Springs Road, Suite C15
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
(770) 965-3048

Tartar

Tartar is a deposit that forms when plaque hardens on the tooth. Individuals vary greatly in their susceptibility to tartar buildup. For many, these deposits build up faster with age. Tartar is easily noticeable because of its yellow or brown color on teeth.

What Causes Tartar Buildup

When plaque accumulates and is not removed from teeth, it can harden and turn into tartar. Because tartar buildup bonds strongly to enamel, it can only be removed by a dental professional.

Help Prevent Tartar Buildup

While tartar can only be removed by a dental professional, you can avoid tartar buildup by removing plaque. To help prevent tartar, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably with a tartar-control fluoride toothpaste like many from Crest, and floss once a day with a product like Glide®. And visit your dental office regularly for oral exams and cleanings.

Above article from: Crest.com

JONES SMILES
Sedation ~ Cosmetic ~ Family Dentistry

7330 Spout Springs Road, Suite C15
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
(770) 965-3048