Our teeth are built to withstand plenty of punishment. We chew our food at meal times dozens of times per day at minimum, and when we’re not chewing, our teeth are busy helping us speak and smile. The ultra-tough enamel that protects our teeth is absolutely essential for helping them handle their heavy workload. But there are two unwanted guests that can break down our teeth: Plaque and tartar
Regular checkups and cleanings by our dentist at Dental Smiles of West Chicago is your best line of defense against plaque and tartar. We’ll make sure neither of these nasty invaders is taking up residency in your mouth, and provide all the preventive tips you need to maintain a good, long-lasting oral hygiene routine. It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how carefully and diligently you floss and brush your teeth, only a dental professional has the expertise and equipment to root out and remove decay-causing buildups like plaque and tartar.
So, what are plaque and tartar, and why are they so insidious? Plaque is a sticky film that covers our teeth, composed of bacteria from food particles containing acids that can erode the enamel. Eventually this buildup will cause the enamel to wear down, leading to tooth decay (cavities). And when this plaque is not removed despite brushing and cleaning, it hardens into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar can cause swollen and bleeding gums — the beginnings of gum disease, also called gingivitis. How fast this tartar buildup occurs depends on a number of factors, including the types of food and drinks in your diet, tobacco use, quality and quantity of your saliva, the type of toothpaste you use, and improper brushing and flossing techniques.
If you’re experiencing a buildup of plaque or tartar, it’s time to schedule a visit with the dentist at Dental Smiles of West Chicago. Together we’ll build a strong oral hygiene foundation that will keep your teeth strong and clean for years to come.
By North Avenue Dental Associates
March 28, 2022