The collection of plaque that has had time to harden on the teeth can lead to a frequent dental issue known as tartar buildup, which is sometimes referred to as calculus. 

In contrast to plaque, which may be removed easily by brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by a dentist using specialized tools and techniques.

Causes of Tartar Buildup

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Failure to brush and floss regularly can lead to the buildup of plaque, which can harden into tartar.
  • Diet: Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to the growth of bacteria in the mouth, leading to plaque buildup.
  • Age: As we age, our saliva production slows down, which can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar.
  • Genetics: Some people are more prone than others to tartar buildup based on genetic factors.

Symptoms of Tartar Buildup

  • Yellow or brown discoloration on the teeth
  • Bad breath, despite regular brushing and flossing
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Gum recession

A buildup of tartar on teeth can result in gum disease, tooth damage, and possibly the loss of teeth if it is not removed. Good dental hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis and going to the dentist for checkups and cleanings on a consistent basis, is the most effective method for preventing tartar accumulation.

Brushing and Flossing Techniques to Keep Tartar at Bay

Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the best ways to prevent tartar buildup. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and brush in a circular motion at least twice each day for two minutes. Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

It’s also important to floss daily, as this removes plaque from areas between teeth that brushing can’t reach. Start with about 18 inches of dental floss and use it to gently clean between all teeth. Wrap most of the floss around each middle finger, using your thumbs to control the movement as you guide it between teeth. Gently move the floss up and down against both sides of each tooth before repeating the process on each tooth.

Along with brushing and flossing, you should also use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce plaque build-up and keep tartar at bay. Mouthwash can reach areas of your mouth that brushing and flossing can’t, so it’s important to incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine. Choose a brand that contains fluoride to further strengthen your teeth against cavities.

These techniques will help you stay ahead of the battle against tartar buildup and keep your teeth healthy for years to come. If tartar has already begun to build up on your teeth, however, then professional dental treatment may be necessary in order to remove it properly. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups, so you can keep your smile looking its best.

Diet and Nutrition: Foods to Eat and Avoid for Healthy Gums

When it comes to keeping your gums healthy, what you eat can make a big difference. There are certain foods that can help keep your gums strong and healthy, while others may cause inflammation or worsen existing gum problems. Here are some of the best (and worst) foods for healthy gums:

Foods to Eat for Healthy Gums

  • Fruits and vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach and kale, as well as fruits like apples and oranges, contain essential nutrients that promote gum health.
  • Whole grains: Brown rice, oats, quinoa, and other whole grains provide important vitamins and minerals that help keep your gums strong.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are a great source of vitamin E, which can help reduce inflammation in the gums.
  • Dairy products: Low-fat milk and yogurt provide essential calcium to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Foods to Avoid for Healthy Gums

  • Sugary foods and drinks: Candy, cookies, soda, and other sugary treats contain high levels of sugar that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Highly acidic foods: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, and other highly acidic foods can irritate the gums and lead to inflammation.
  • Processed meats: Salami, bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats are high in saturated fat and salt, both of which can be harmful for healthy gums.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause gum inflammation and dry mouth, putting you at risk for gum disease.

By making smart food choices and avoiding the unhealthy options listed above, you can help keep your gums healthy and strong. Eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, nuts, and seeds is key to maintaining healthy gums. Regular brushing and flossing is also essential—so don’t forget to take care of your oral hygiene routine too!

The Role of Regular Dental Checkups in Tartar Prevention

Checkups at the dentist should be done on a consistent basis in order to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent the accumulation of tartar. Your dentist will remove any plaque or tartar that has formed on your teeth during routine exams and will also provide you with information on how to avoid its formation in the future. 

It is possible that your dentist will also suggest professional cleaning procedures such as scaling and planing. These treatments involve removing plaque and tartar deposits from the teeth in order to reduce the amount of bacteria present in the mouth. 

In addition, they are able to offer guidance on how to maintain proper dental hygiene, such as brushing your teeth at least twice per day, flossing at least once per day, using an antibacterial mouthwash, avoiding meals and drinks that are high in sugar, and drinking a lot of water throughout the day. 

All of these are essential actions that should be taken in order to lessen the amount of plaque and tartar that builds up on the teeth. 

Finally, having regular dental examinations enables your dentist to monitor your mouth for early symptoms of decay or other problems that may be treated before they become more serious. This allows your dentist to prevent these issues from becoming more severe. Therefore, make it a priority to schedule routine appointments with your dentist for a thorough checkup and teeth cleaning. 

If you follow these steps, you will prevent the formation of tartar and keep your teeth in good health. 

Our Role In Helping You With Tartar Problems

At Monahan Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and preventative measures like regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, as well as practicing good oral hygiene. 

We are dedicated to helping our patients achieve the best possible results in their oral health care. Our experienced team of dentists is here to provide you with individualized treatment plans tailored to your needs that will help you overcome any tartar problems that may arise.

We offer a full range of services from routine cleaning and examinations all the way to advanced treatments like scaling and planning for more complicated issues. 

Our goal is to make sure our patients have access to the highest quality of dental care possible so they can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for years to come. Contact us today!