Anyone who has been to the dentist or read a toothpaste label has heard of plaque and tartar. While they are common dental terms, many do not know the difference between the two. Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour, DDS of Southern Cross Dental are committed to helping their patients lead a life of oral health. In our Colorado Springs, CO office, we want to help our patients understand the difference between plaque and tartar and why it is important.
Plaque is a thin, sticky substance that coats teeth. It is bacteria created from food, drinks, and our own saliva. It is often white in color or a pale yellow. Brushing and flossing remove plaque, but plaque forms just hours after doing so. That is why it is so important to brush your teeth two to three times per day and floss once per day!
Tartar is what forms when plaque is not brushed away. It commonly forms in hard-to-reach areas but can form anywhere plaque forms if oral hygiene is poor. When the plaque is not removed, it begins to form tiny crystals which eventually harden into calculus. Tartar is not removable by brushing and flossing and it must be removed by your dentist. Tartar left on your teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar may also begin to grow into the spaces between gums and teeth when irritated gums begin to recess.
To avoid plaque and tartar from forming and harming your oral health, develop a great at-home oral care routine! Also, make your cleaning and examination appointments with Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour, DDS! To schedule with Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, CO, call us at (719) 471-1717 or visit our website, www.southerncrossfamilydentistry.com.