How Plaque and Tartar Affect Your Oral Health
Find out how to better care for your smile to support the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
Everything from genetics to our lifestyle can impact our oral health. If you are looking for ways to protect your smile, you’ve come to the right place. By turning to our Cohasset, MA, family dentist Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette for routine checkups every six months, and by properly caring for your smile every day between appointments, you can prevent serious dental problems from happening. It’s important to understand what plaque and tartar are and how they can impact your smile.
What is plaque?
Whenever saliva and food combine they develop this clear, sticky film over teeth known as plaque. Bacteria within the plaque then take the foods and drinks you consume and turn them into acid, which will erode healthy tooth enamel and eventually lead to cavities. Leaving sugary and starchy foods on teeth all day long is particularly bad for your oral health, as this can increase the risk for decay.
What is tartar?
Tartar, also known as calculus, is hardened plaque. When plaque isn’t properly removed through regular brushing and flossing it will eventually harden into tartar. Unfortunately, once this happens, your toothbrush or floss will not be able to remove this deposit buildup. The only way to remove tartar is by visiting our Cohasset, MA, general dentist for a professional dental cleaning. We have the right tools to remove tartar buildup.
Are there ways to prevent plaque and tartar buildup?
The best way to remove plaque buildup before it even can harden into tartar is to brush and floss regularly. What does this mean, exactly? This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, and you can’t have one without the other. Brushing alone isn’t enough to remove plaque and food from between teeth. You also need to floss.
Your diet can also have an impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Eating a low-sugar and low-starch diet can certainly help with not feeding the oral bacteria responsible for decay. Also, fruits and veggies with a high water content such as cucumbers and apples are nature’s little teeth cleaners and can stimulate salivary production to wash away plaque and food particles.
How can plaque and tartar impact my health?
Since plaque and tartar buildup can lead to decay and gum disease, it’s important to take control of your oral health and to make sure that you are brushing and flossing often and properly. You also don’t want to skip out on those six-month dental cleanings with our dental team.
If it’s been more than six months since you last visited our Cohasset, MA, family dentist for a dental cleaning, or you simply want to discuss ways to better care for your smile, Dr. Thomas, Dr. Chenette, and the team at Cohasset Dental are here for you. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (781) 383-9393.