Plaque and tartar on teeth
Plaque is the sticky coating that forms on teeth from a buildup of bacteria. Tartar is hardened plaque.
Tartar and plaque on teeth; Calculus
Your dentist or hygienist should show you the correct way to brush and floss. General steps for preventing and removing tartar or plaque on your teeth include:
- Brush at least twice a day with a brush that is not too large for your mouth. Choose a brush that has soft, rounded bristles. The brush should let you reach every surface in your mouth easily, and the toothpaste should not be abrasive.
- Electric toothbrushes clean teeth better than manual ones. Brush for at least 2 minutes with an electric toothbrush each time.
- Floss gently at least once a day. This is important to prevent gum disease.
- See your dentist or oral hygienist at least every 6 months for a thorough teeth cleaning and oral exam. Some people who have periodontal disease may require more frequent cleanings.
- Solutions you slosh in your mouth to identify areas of tartar buildup may be helpful.
Well-balanced meals will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Avoid snacking between meals, especially on sticky or sugary foods. If you do snack, try to brush afterward.
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