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What’s the Difference Between Plaque & Tartar?

Tips and Advice Leave a comment  

Toothbrush and toothpaste on blurred background Maybe, you’re confused about the difference between plaque and tartar, or think they’re both the same thing. Or maybe, Dr. Alrez told you you need a deep cleaning to get rid of tartar (find out what that means here). 

No matter what, telling plaque and tartar apart can help you better manage your oral health, so keep reading for advice on keeping the difference straight!

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth and tongue between brushing. The food you eat helps to feed that bacteria, which helps it grow and cover more of your teeth. These bacteria create an acid, which over time, eats away at your enamel and causes cavities and gum disease. 

While the process of plaque developing in your mouth is inevitable, we do have a lot of control over the process! Brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and drinking plenty of water are three things that will drastically reduce the effect plaque can have on your teeth. 

What is Tartar?

dentist's instruments with shallow depth of field blue tintedIf we don’t remove the plaque in time, it turns into a tough, hard deposit. This will sit on your teeth and cause discoloration, sensitivity, and gum disease. 

Tartar is a big reason why you need to visit the dentist twice a year! Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to remove tartar at home, it has to be removed by a dental hygienist. As long as you make it to your 6-month cleanings, tartar buildup won’t cause too big of a problem.

Come See Us Every Six Months!

We don’t just say it because we love seeing your face (even though we do!). Making it to your dental appointments twice a year will keep tartar in check, which will reduce your chances of developing gum disease and help your teeth stay white. 

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