Plaque is a film of saliva, bacteria and cellular components that cover your teeth. It can contribute to a slight yellow discolouration of your teeth. If it is not removed it can mineralize on your teeth and become a buildup of tartar, which really breaks down the enamel and affects your oral health. To keep plaque and tartar under control there are some methods you can use at home.
6 Ways to Manage Tartar Between Dental Visits
#1: Brush your teeth regularly. The most obvious and simplest way to prevent plaque buildup is to brush your teeth at least 2, but ideally 3 times per day.
#2: Use an electric toothbrush. If you notice plaque is consistently a concern, an electric toothbrush might be a better option for you.
#3: Floss regularly. Flossing your teeth gets into all the nooks and crannies between teeth to gently remove the plaque that may have been forming throughout the day.
#4: Use a special toothpaste. There are many kinds of toothpastes on the market that help to control the buildup of plaque and tartar. Look for “plaque control” or “tartar-control” on the box when you pick up your next tube if you are struggling despite regular and frequent brushing and flossing. These toothpastes are not recommended to patients with tooth sensitivity.
#5: Rinse with mouthwash. Similar to toothpaste, there are mouthwashes targeted to control the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth that you can purchase at most grocery and drugstores.
#6: Avoid smoking. Smoking can exacerbate the discolouration of plaque and tartar on the teeth. It can make teeth look very yellow or even brownish. If you do smoke, reducing or quitting may help with the appearance of plaque and tartar.
When to Get a Professional Teeth Cleaning
Follow the recommendation of your dentist and dental hygienist to maintain the health and beauty of your smile. They will let you know when you need to return for your professional dental hygiene therapy based on your oral health. Whether you need to be seen at three-, four- or six- month intervals, a smile that is well cared for will last for years, and will be less likely to break down or suffer from dental complications leading to more invasive care.