Plaque is a sticky, soft film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth, dental fillings, gums, tongue, dentures and crowns.
When multiple layers of plaque combine with minerals present in your saliva, it hardens into a white, chalky calcified substance called tartar.
It create a breeding ground for the oral bacteria that feed on sugars from the food you eat. Plus, it forms acid during this process that breaks down the tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities. Bacteria also produce toxins causing various periodontal (gum) problems.
Several factors contribute to plaque buildup, such as improper oral hygiene, bad brushing technique, poor food choices, heredity and lack of professional care.
Maintaining dental hygiene is key to preventing plaque and tartar buildup. You should:
- Brush your teeth with a good toothpaste at least two times a day. Use a soft, nylon brush with rounded, polished bristles. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.
- Make sure you brush your tongue as well because it supports growth of bacteria leading to plaque buildup.
- Use dental floss regularly to clean your teeth and gums.
In addition to regular dental hygiene, you can use some natural remedies to remove plaque and tartar. Remember, once the tartar has mineralized on your teeth, it is extremely difficult to remove. However, if you regularly remove plaque, it can help prevent permanent tooth decay.