It isn’t possible to make our teeth stay white and shiny 24/7…unless you can go days without eating and drinking. The reason why our teeth become slightly yellow over time is that whenever we eat, a thin film of bacteria forms over our teeth. This film, also known as plaque, can cause trouble for our oral and overall health if it’s left to build up over our teeth and gums.
Tartar forms when plaque combines with minerals in saliva to form hard and tough deposits. Also known as “dental calculus”, it can’t be removed with simple brushing and flossing. Your teeth will need to be cleaned with a special cleaning tool known as a “dental scaler” then polished afterward. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep tartar from forming and causing you trouble.
How tartar affects the teeth and gums
Tartar doesn’t just make brushing and flossing harder than usual. It can even lead to periodontal diseases like receding gums and gingivitis.
Bacteria from tartar formed along the gum line can cause irritation and bleeding. In more serious cases, it can even cause the formation of gum pockets. When bacteria infiltrate these pockets, the tissues supporting your teeth can become damaged and weaken. The result? Lost teeth and incredibly painful gums.
What causes plaque buildup?
A slight and manageable buildup of plaque on the teeth is perfectly normal. However, problems can easily arise when the bacteria from plaque meets with sugars and starches in food.
Plaque forms when we don’t brush away bacteria and food particles from our teeth. Harmful mouth bacteria produce acids that can destroy enamel and cause tooth decay. The longer bacteria is left to thrive on carbohydrates from sugary snacks and sodas, the easier it becomes for plaque to build up just below the gum line and in places where our toothbrush can’t easily reach.
How do you manage plaque buildup?
Tartar is an inconvenient and difficult oral health problem to deal with. Fortunately, you can protect your teeth and gums from the onset of stubborn tartar simply by preventing plaque buildup at home. Here are some great tips for controlling and preventing plaque buildup.
1. Don’t forget to floss
We often forget to floss when we’re exhausted after a long day of work or school. But skipping out on flossing for a day or two could lead to massive consequences for our teeth and gums.
Brushing only removes 65% of bacteria from our teeth. So no matter how long you brush, the remaining 35% will always be there waiting to wreak havoc upon your gums and molars. Flossing is essential to our oral health since it eliminates dirt and bacteria stuck between our teeth and along the gum line. To prevent the buildup of plaque in the hidden corners of your teeth, it’s vital to floss properly after brushing.
2. Brush properly every day
Lazily brushing for a few seconds every day isn’t enough to prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums. If you really want your teeth to shine, be sure to brush for at least two minutes twice a day. Don’t forget to choose toothbrushes that are in good shape—i.e. not frayed or older than two months—to prevent older bacteria from infiltrating your teeth. Thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth in circular motions, and choose a toothpaste with fluoride to better strengthen enamel.
3. Do mouth rinses
Mouthwash will help a thorough and safe cleaning for your teeth and gums. After brushing and flossing, rinse with antibacterial mouth wash to get rid of any plaque or bacteria still stuck between teeth and along the gum line. Choose mouthwashes without any alcohol since they won’t eliminate good bacteria or damage tooth enamel with prolonged use. Your mouthwash will need some time to do its job, so do let it stay in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out.
4. Stop smoking and vaping
Every puff you take will harm your teeth and gums. Tobacco and nicotine in cigarettes, as well as chemicals in e-cigarette devices, can irritate the gums, stain teeth, and make it harder for your gums to receive healthy blood flow and recover from periodontal disease. Sugars found in some vaping devices can even mix with plaque bacteria to form tartar much sooner than you think. It’s much better to consult your dentist and lessen smoking habits than to expose your teeth and gums to any more harmful chemicals.
5. Stick to a healthy diet
Sugar is no doubt one of the biggest culprits for crimes against oral health. Eating too many sweets and drinking too many sodas will only make it easier for the plaque bacteria in your mouth to cause trouble, so do try to snack on healthier options instead. Try more nutritious and less sugary food options like fruits and vegetables. Your teeth, as well as your stomach and all your other body parts, will no doubt thank you for the shift to a healthier and more wholesome diet. If you can’t cut sugar from your diet that easily, try to lessen its harmful effects by drinking water or lightly brushing right after a snack.
6. Keep in touch with your dentist
You can’t fight tough battles alone. Visiting your dentist every 6 months will ensure that your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and that any early signs of gum disease will be taken care of right away. If you are already experiencing some abnormal plaque or tartar buildup, your dentist will also be able to get rid of any harmful substance from your teeth.
The daily battle against plaque and bacteria is tough, but you’ll be sure to win with enough hard work and perseverance. One of the best ways to protect your teeth from nasty invaders is to equip yourself with a top-quality dental scaler. Meeteasy’s dental scaler is specially made to help you scrape off sticky plaque buildup, as well as sticky tartar spots, from all corners of your teeth without any pain or strain. Buy your own dental scaler from our online store to enjoy cleaner, stronger, and healthier teeth!