Tartar is a hard mineral that builds up when plaque is not removed from your teeth. It can only be removed with dental cleaning, so it is best to avoid its build up in the first place. To prevent tartar, you should practice good dental hygiene. This means removing plaque quickly by brushing and flossing regularly and having regular dental cleanings. With thorough preventative care, your teeth can stay healthy and tartar free for years to come.
EditPracticing Good Oral Hygiene
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. In order to remove plaque from your teeth, and in turn prevent tartar from developing, it’s important to brush your teeth. Brushing twice a day is recommended to keep plaque and tartar at bay.
- Typically, you should brush your teeth in the morning when you get up and in the evening before you go to bed. However, pick a brushing schedule that works for you and stick to it.
- Floss every day. Tartar can build up between your teeth if you do not remove food that builds up there. By flossing once every day you will remove the substances that cause plaque and tartar.
- When flossing, slide the floss gently between each of your teeth. Move the floss around between the teeth to remove any debris between them. Then pull the floss out with a sawing motion.
- Sugars and starches that build up between your teeth are especially capable of developing into plaque and tartar. If you have been eating sugar or starch, consider flossing right after eating.
- Use plaque-removing mouthwash. There are some mouthwashes that are formulated to help remove plaque from the teeth. They typically help loosen plaque so that your brushing and flossing is more effective. Using one of these mouthwashes once a day in combination with brushing and flossing can improve your dental health and prevent tartar.
- Use your mouthwash after you brush and floss in order to rinse away any left over debris.
- Look at the label on your mouthwash and make sure that it has antibacterial properties designed to fight plaque. Good mouthwashes typically have a seal of approval from a professional dental organization, such as the American Dental Association.
- Avoid foods that are bad for your teeth. In order to prevent the buildup of plaque you should avoid eating foods that promote its growth. These include sugary and starchy foods, such as candy, soda, and bread.
- If you do eat these foods, brush your teeth after eating them. However, if you don’t have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste right away, be sure to drink a lot of water to rinse these foods off your teeth.
EditRemoving Plaque Effectively
- Use the right toothbrush. If you want to get rid of plaque and prevent tartar, you need to use an effective toothbrush. Use a soft-bristled brush so that the plaque is removed but the gums and enamel of the teeth are not damaged.
- The bristles of the toothbrush should be rounded. This also protects your enamel and gums from damage.
- Use a tartar control toothpaste. There are many toothpastes to choose from but you should make sure to get one labeled for tartar control. These toothpastes have a built-in mild abrasive that can remove plaque from the surface of your teeth.
- If you have sensitive teeth, make sure to get a toothpaste that is labeled for tarter control and sensitive teeth.
- Brush at a 45° angle with short strokes. In order to remove plaque from below the gum line, angle your tooth brush correctly. By holding your brush at a 45° angle, you will get some of the bristles down below the top of the gums.
- Use short, gentle, and circular movements when brushing. This will be most effective for removing plaque and food debris.
- Brush all of your teeth thoroughly. Spend time cleaning every tooth. If you are taking the time to clean them all, your total brushing time should be about 2 minutes.
- It is important to clean all sides of your teeth. Take time to clean the inside, outside and top surfaces of your teeth.
EditHaving Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned
- Schedule regular cleanings. To keep your teeth tartar free, you should have your teeth cleaned in a dental office on a regular basis. Be sure to schedule your cleanings in advance so you actually get them done on a regular basis.
- While many dental professionals recommend 2 cleanings per year, the actual number you need may vary. Talk to your dentist about how often you should get cleanings based on any risk factors or dental issues you have.
- Contact your dental office if you suspect something is wrong with your teeth. If you are having pain or irritation in your mouth, it could be the sign of a problem that needs treatment. Contact your dentist and schedule an appointment to have your teeth looked at and treated.
- Have your teeth inspected. First, the dental hygienist will look inside your mouth and assess your teeth. They will look over all your teeth and look for signs of plaque and tartar build up.
- The hygienist will also look for signs of other dental problems, such as gingivitis.
- Have your teeth cleaned. When you have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist, they will likely begin by manually removing plaque and tartar. To do this, they will use a metal pick called a scaler. The hygienist will then continue the cleaning by brushing your teeth with a gritty toothpaste. This will remove any remaining plaque and tartar on your teeth.
- The gritty toothpaste that is used in dental offices gives your teeth a shiny polish, but it should only be used twice a year. Using this type of toothpaste more often can damage the enamel surface of your teeth.
- Get an ultrasonic cleaning. After your dental hygienist gives your teeth a general cleaning, you may need more advanced care. If plaque and tartar have built up significantly, your hygienist may clean it away with an ultrasonic cleaner. This uses vibrations and water to clean off large chunks of tartar.