PLAQUE AND TARTAR CONTROL
Patients often confuse plaque and tartar and how they are related to each other
Plaque is a sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth surface. Saliva, food, and fluids combine to produce these deposits that collect on teeth and where teeth and gums meet.
The buildup of plaque can trap stains on the teeth, and it is also the primary factor in gum disease. Fighting plaque is a life-long part of good oral care.
Plaque begins forming on teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing, which is why it is so important to brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
Tartar, also called calculus, is a crusty deposit that can trap stains on the teeth and cause discoloration. It creates a strong bond that can only be removed by a dental professional. Tartar formation may also make it more difficult to remove new plaque and bacteria.
Individuals vary greatly in their susceptibility to plaque and tartar. For many of us, these deposits build up faster as we age.
The photographs show the degrees of tartar (or calculus) formation.
There are many stages and forms of periodontal disease, including:
YOU CAN HELP PREVENT THE BUILD UP OF TARTAR BY:
- Having your teeth cleaned professionally (Scaling and Polishing) every 6 months, or more frequently as recommended by your dentist or hygienist
- Brushing with a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphate, such as Crest® Tartar Protection, which adheres to the tooth surface and inhibits the formation or growth of calculus crystals
Brushing with recommended toothpastes that contain sodium hexametaphosphate, a pyrophosphate specially formulated to not only inhibit calculus, but also loosen and break the bonds of extrinsic stains for powerful whitening and a protective barrier to prevent future stains.
Reference: OralB. P&G