Once tartar has formed on your teeth, it’s very difficult to remove, and it most likely will require a visit to see your dental professional to help eliminate it. That’s why brushing with a toothpaste that prevents tartar is so important. Find out which tartar control toothpaste is best for you and helps transform your smile into one that’s healthy and tartar free today.
Even if you take great care of your teeth at home, you still have bacteria in your mouth that mixes with proteins and food byproducts to form a sticky film called plaque. This gunk coats your teeth, gets under your gum line, and sticks to fillings or other dental work. Plaque carries bacteria that can damage tooth enamel and lead to cavities. But if you remove plaque regularly, you can prevent permanent tooth decay and gum disease. Bigger problems arise, however, if plaque stays on your teeth and hardens into tartar. Tartar is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. It's mostly mineralized dead bacteria, along with a small amount of mineralized proteins from saliva. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gum disease. Not only can tartar threaten the health of your teeth and gums, but it is also a cosmetic problem. Because tartar is more porous, it absorbs stains easily. So, if you are a coffee or tea drinker, or if you smoke, it is especially important to prevent tartar buildup.
Plaque can be a pale-yellow color, but it can also be colorless making it difficult to see. And once it hardens, it turns into tartar. That’s why it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and see your dental professional every 6 months for a checkup. They use dental mirrors to spot plaque in hard to see places and scrape the plaque between your teeth with a dental scaler. Every set of teeth is unique, so ask your dental professional for brushing and flossing tips to help address plaque buildup.
The best way to prevent tartar is to not let it form on your teeth in the first place. Here are some tips to stop tartar before it even begins. Brush regularly, twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day. Use a brush with soft bristles small enough to reach the hard-to-reach surfaces behind your teeth and on your rear molars. In addition, brush with an electric toothbrush proven to reduce plaque and tartar and rinse with a mouthwash.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months. Adults who see their dental professionals regularly are less likely to have plaque related dental diseases.
- Choose an anti-plaque fluoride toothpaste like Crest® PRO-HEALTH Advanced Toothpaste.
- Make sure to floss daily with a product like Oral-B Glide Deep Clean or Oral-B Glide Comfort Plus. Pair it with an Oral-B Water Flosser to further remove food particles and plaque between teeth. No matter how good you are with a toothbrush, flossing is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and help prevent tartar from forming in these hard-to-reach areas.
- Get an electric toothbrush and remember to replace the head every 3 months or as soon as the bristles look worn.
- Rinse daily. Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
- Watch your diet. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods. When they're exposed to those foods, they release harmful acids. It also helps to brush and drink plenty of water during and after meals.
- Aoid smoking to reduce the risk of increased plaque and tartar. Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products are more likely to have tartar.
Tartar-control toothpastes may contain pyrophosphate, which helps keep tartar from forming on teeth. An even more effective ingredient is sodium hexametaphosphate, a polyphosphate which is highly effective in helping to prevent tartar and stains. However, if you already have stubborn tartar, your toothpaste won't be able to remove it. You'll need a professional cleaning from your dental professional.
There are several great toothpaste options to effectively remove plaque and prevent tartar.
- Crest Pro-Health Advanced Toothpastes are fortified with the key ingredient stannous fluoride to help protect against plaque, gingivitis, sensitivity and cavities.
- Crest Pro-Health Clean Mint Toothpaste helps protect 100% of the whole mouth for 12 hours.
- Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste uses an activated foam to help penetrate hard to reach areas, finding and neutralizing harmful plaque bacteria around the gum line for clinically proven healthier gums.