4 Steps to Preventing Tartar Buildup

Floss and toothbrush

​We all experience it from time to time, and it’s actually one of the biggest reasons for getting a professional cleaning twice a year: tartar buildup. Also called dental calculus, tartar buildup is a yellow or brown deposit that forms on teeth when plaque hardens. It can only be removed by a professional. If it’s not removed, it can lead to gum disease, and this can cause receding gum lines and even tooth loss. So, how can you prevent tartar buildup and in turn protect that beautiful smile? Here are four simple yet important steps to take:

Step 1: Brush Your Teeth Consistently and Efficiently

It’s not enough to just do a quick 30-second once-over on your teeth when you brush – even if you do it twice a day. Choose a brush with soft bristles, as hard bristles can erode enamel and hurt the gums. Brush for a full two minutes twice daily. Be sure to cover as many hard-to-reach spots as you can!

Step 2: Don’t Forget to Floss

Forget what you read on the internet a few years ago when those posts about not needing to floss went viral. Flossing is vital! It helps remove food particles, debris and bacteria from in between teeth that your brush alone cannot clean. Between teeth is one of the most common areas we see plaque buildup, and flossing once a day can eliminate it before it starts.

Step 3: Visit Your Dentist Regularly

We know how busy our patients are, but coming to see us just twice a year can actually help you visit us less! If you come in twice yearly for your professional cleanings and exams, you are much less likely to develop problems such as tooth decay or gum disease, two conditions that will force you to come into our office several more times a year.

Step 4: Maintain a Healthy Diet

Diet may not seem like a big deal when it comes to plaque buildup, but certain foods like those high in carbohydrates and sugar can certainly make things worse!

For more information on tartar buildup or to schedule one of those very important oral exam and cleaning appointments, call us today at 724-220-2347.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on December 9th, 2019