There’s a reason why dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day, every day – good oral hygiene is your best line of defense against plaque and tartar buildup.
Tartar is a calcified material that sticks to teeth. It has a white, chalky appearance and contains bacteria debris. Tartar makes it easier for plaque to hang around and can contribute to gingivitis. Removing tartar from your teeth can not only improve its appearance but help prevent future dental problems.
How Tartar Affects Your Teeth
When tartar forms, brushing and flossing becomes less effective. As a result, the acids released by bacteria in your mouth will be far more likely to break down the enamel on your teeth. Eventually, tooth decay and cavities become a major threat.
Tartar becomes especially concerning when it develops along the gumline. The bacteria it harbors can cause damage to the gums and inflammation. In time, that inflammation can lead to gum disease or periodontitis in severe cases.
5 Ways to Remove Tartar
Removing tartar is the first step to healthier teeth and a brighter smile. Listed below are some of the most effective ways to eliminate tartar.
1. Brushing Properly
It’s no big secret that brushing your teeth can help prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. The key here is learning how to brush properly. Without the right technique, brushing is not nearly as effective as it could be. Follow these tips when brushing your teeth:
- Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle. Point the brush upwards towards your nose when brushing the top of your mouth and downwards towards your chin when brushing your lower teeth. When you brush at a 45 degree angle, you ensure that you clean along the gumline where bacteria tends to hide.
- Use the right brushing motion. When brushing, go back-and-forth using short strokes. Try to target just a few teeth at a time.
- Brush gently. Many people make the mistake of brushing too hard. They believe that brushing harder will help get rid of more bacteria, plaque and tartar. However, brushing too hard can actually damage the gums and tooth enamel.
- Keep the brush flat when brushing your back teeth.
- Brush your tongue. Many people forget to brush their tongues, but plaque and tartar can also build up here.
2. Use the Recommended Toothpaste
If it has become a major issue, you may want to consider purchasing toothpaste specially formulated for tartar control. This type of toothpaste can help reduce deposits of tartar by 30 percent.
3. Use the Right Tools
Now that you understand how to brush properly, you need to make sure that you are investing in the right kind of brush. The American Dental Association recommends using a rounded brush with nylon bristles. Hard bristled brushes can wear away tooth enamel and cause damage to the gums. Make sure that your brush is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth.
You can also purchase a tartar scraper and remover online or in stores. These are the same tools used by dentists to scrape away tartar from your teeth. Make sure that you purchase quality tools and use them appropriately.
4. Floss Daily
Flossing should be a part of your daily routine. Taking the extra minute or two to floss after brushing will help ensure that the bacteria lodged between your teeth is removed. Regular flossing can reduce tartar buildup and help prevent tooth decay.
5. Schedule Regular Cleanings
If it has become a serious problem, a visit with your dentist may be in order. Your dentist can schedule regular cleanings and scrapings to remove the tartar and restore your smile.
Once it is under control, you need to take the steps to ensure that you are brushing and flossing regularly. By maintaining good oral hygiene, you can prevent tartar buildup from becoming an issue in the future.