Lots of people believe that tartar and plaque are the same thing- a film on your teeth that you can brush away easily. However, tartar and plaque are two different things, and one is easier to manage than the other. Keep reading to find out additional information about the differences between plaque and tartar.
What Is Plaque?
Plaque is really a biofilm. All of us have bacteria in our mouths. Bacteria help us digest our food and prepare it to be swallowed and digested. However, the longer the bacteria stays in your mouth, the greater the chances that the biofilm will form. If you have a good oral care routine, you greatly reduce the chances you will have a lot of plaque on your teeth and gums. Plaque is usually clear or a filmy white. If you run your tongue over your teeth, you can feel the plaque film. When you brush and floss your teeth, you remove that film each time you brush.
What Is Tartar?
Tartar is not easy to remove. In fact, tartar can only be removed with dental tools by your dental practitioner. That's because tartar is hard, and instead of looking milky white and feeling filmy, tartar is brown and hard. Tartar is what happens when you allow plaque to remain on your teeth and harden.
You will want to have the tartar removed because tartar forms at the gumline and greatly increases your chances of having serious gum disease. Gum disease can lead to gum infections and tooth loss. Also, the infection caused by gum disease can cause problems with other organs, such as your heart and pancreas. The simplest way to eliminate the chance you will get gum disease is to make sure you brush and floss your teeth each day. Also, take yourself to the dentist twice a year to have your teeth checked. That way, you can keep the chances your teeth have tartar to a minimum.
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