Have you ever wondered what plaque really is? Dental plaque, which is also known as tooth plaque is a dental biofilm that is soft and sticky and builds under your teeth. Plaque is very sticky and usually colorless or pale yellow in color that regularly forms under your teeth.

When the food, drinks, and saliva combine together, they produce bacteria that begin to collect under your teeth where the gums meet. Plaque is made with bacteria that produce acid attacks on the enamel of your teeth and can damage your gums.

If it isn’t treated in time, the damage it causes is permanent. It is made with millions of bacteria that gradually feed on the food and drink that you consume. If these deposits of bacteria are not removed through regular brushing and flossing, and routine dental checkups and cleanings, they can cause gum disease, tartar buildup, and even tooth decay.

What is Tartar?

  • As mentioned earlier, if plaque is not taken care of, it develops into tartar. The sticky biofilm under your teeth becomes harder, turning into tartar and all this happens within 24-72 hours. This is why brushing your teeth at least two times a day is recommended. 

While plaque can be easily removed by brushing and flossing at home, tartar will require a visit to the dental office.

  • Tartar is usually yellow or brown in color and it can easily be seen under your teeth where the gums meet. You have a greater risk to develop tartar if you smoke, or have braces, dry mouth, or crowded teeth. 

Preventing Plaque and Tartar

  • Making sure to routinely brush your teeth is the key to preventing plaque from building up and turning into tartar. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth every day and swish your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day. 

The American Dental Association also strongly recommends that you visit your dentist biannually for checkups and cleanings. This way, if there is any plaque or tartar on your teeth that are not visible to the eye, it can be dealt with in a timely manner.

  • Keep in mind that delaying dental cleanings will lead to tooth decay which can end up having you lose your teeth. The end result is always tooth extraction if you do not take care of your oral hygiene.

If you haven’t been to the dentist recently, now is the best time to get your teeth checked. Visit Icon Dental Center in Everett or Seattle for a routine checkup and we’ll make sure that your teeth are in good condition when you leave our office.

Our doors are open for new patients, so contact us today via phone or through filling a short online appointment form and we will get back to you immediately. 

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