One of the remarkable things about your dental health is that while severe dental diseases like advanced tooth decay or gum disease can have serious consequences on your overall health, like increasing your risk of heart attacks, it's entirely possible to prevent damage before it ever starts. This guide will explain how you have an opportunity to stop tartar before it ever develops, and how long you have before it's too late.
What Tartar Really Is
While tartar is the most commonly used name for what plaque turns into after it's allowed to harden, its scientific name is calculus. Tartar is impossible to remove from your teeth without professional help from a dentist. While plaque is often sticky and difficult to remove in its entirety, you might have wondered what makes tartar so special.
Calculus is called calculus because plaque actually calcifies during its transformation into tartar. Calcium is absorbed from food, and horrifyingly, leeched from your teeth, and the plaque goes from malleable and removable to almost like a layer of rock on your teeth.
As you undoubtedly know, plaque can be removed with floss, tooth brushing, and water flossers. However, putting off your dental hygiene habits for even one day may turn this easily removeable plaque into tartar that you can't get rid of without seeing a dentist.
After plaque develops on your teeth, it begins to harden almost immediately. Within as little as 48 hours, that plaque will have turned into hardened tartar. Some dentists note that some people may develop tartar even more quickly than that if they have dry mouths or sticky plaque.
If you want to prevent your teeth from developing tartar, never put off brushing and flossing your teeth. It may seem like a hassle, but a few minutes of taking care of your teeth now can prevent costly and painful damage to your teeth.
Believe it or not, your teeth are not constantly covered with plaque. Your teeth are actually covered in a harmless substance called biofilm, which is bacteria-filled, but won't damage the surface of your teeth. When you eat foods that contain sugar or carbohydrates, it feeds the bacteria in the biofilm and that bacteria creates plaque.
Cutting back on sugar and carbs can help to slow or prevent plaque development, but the simple acts of regularly rinsing your mouth, drinking water, and using mouthwash can also help. Keeping your mouth moist and flushing away food particulates helps to slow the plaque development process, which gives you more time to clean your teeth before tartar develops.
Tartar can devastate your teeth and gums, causing tooth decay or even periodontitis, but you can stop it before it starts. The next time you think about skipping your regular tooth brushing or flossing, just remember that choosing to do it now instead of later may prevent severe, irreversible damage to your teeth. To find out more, speak with someone like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC.