Plaque vs. Tartar: Differences, Prevention, and Treatment

Serving Patients in Vancouver WA

Plaque vs. Tartar: Differences, Prevention, and Treatment with Lewis Implant Dentistry in Vancouver

Welcome to Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry, where we prioritize your dental health with the latest in dental technology and methods. Understanding the enemies of your oral health, such as plaque and tartar, is the first step in maintaining a healthy, bright smile. Below, we delve into what plaque and tartar are, how they differ, and the innovative techniques we use to combat them, including our state-of-the-art Ultrasonic scaling devices.

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that continuously forms on our teeth. It’s the main cause of cavities and gum disease if not removed regularly through brushing and flossing. The plaque bacteria use sugars from our food to produce acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to dental decay.

What Is Tartar?

When plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar (also known as calculus) within 24 to 72 hours. Tartar is a crusty deposit that traps stains and makes plaque more difficult to remove, creating a shield for bacteria. Unlike plaque, tartar is too tough to be removed by brushing and flossing and requires professional dental cleaning.

Differences Between Plaque and Tartar

The primary difference between plaque and tartar lies in their state: plaque is soft and sticky, while tartar is hard and calcified. Plaque can be managed and removed at home with regular oral hygiene practices. Tartar, on the other hand, requires professional intervention to be removed safely from the teeth and gum line.

Tips for Preventing Plaque and Tartar

Preventing the formation of plaque and its hardening into tartar is key to maintaining oral health. Here are effective strategies to minimize plaque buildup and prevent tartar formation:

  • Brush Regularly: Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth.
  • Floss Daily: Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner daily to remove plaque and food particles between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Use Antiseptic Mouthwash: Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once a day to kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: Maintain a diet low in sugar and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce plaque-causing sugars and starches.
  • Limit Sugary Snacks: Reduce the frequency of sugary snacks and drinks that feed the bacteria in plaque.
  • Regular Dental Checkups: Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams to remove any tartar buildup and to check for signs of decay.

Advanced Tartar Removal at Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry

At Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry, we go beyond basic cleaning techniques to ensure your teeth are thoroughly clean and healthy. We utilize Ultrasonic scaling devices, a cutting-edge technology that uses ultrasonic vibrations to gently remove tartar from both above and below the gum line without damaging your teeth. This method is highly effective, less invasive, and provides a more comfortable experience for our patients.

Our Ultrasonic scaling devices are just one example of how we integrate advanced technology to enhance dental care. These devices allow for a more thorough clean in a shorter amount of time, ensuring that your visit is not just beneficial for your oral health but also efficient and comfortable.

Don’t let plaque and tartar compromise your oral health. Contact Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry to schedule your next cleaning today!

Back to General Dentistry

Plaque vs. Tartar: Differences, Prevention, and Treatment in Vancouver WA and Clark County WA

Vancouver WA | Camas WA | Cascade Park WA | Mill Plain WA | Fishers Landing WA