8 Secrets You Should Know about Tartar

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One of the most important parts of your professional cleaning is the removal of tartar from your teeth. But what do you really know about tartar? Here are some of the secrets about tartar that you should know.

8 Secrets You Should Know about Tartar

Tartar Is Hardened Plaque

The tartar that your dentist or hygienist has to scrape off your teeth wasn’t always this hard to remove. It starts out as dental plaque, which is soft and can easily be removed by brushing.

But if plaque doesn’t get removed, it hardens into tartar.

Tartar Shelters Oral Bacteria

Why do we want you to get regular cleanings to remove the tartar from your teeth? Part of the issue is appearance, of course–tartar can be unsightly.

But the more important issue is that tartar provides shelter from oral bacteria. When oral bacteria collect under tartar deposits, it’s harder for your saliva to kill them and for you to remove them with a toothbrush. This allows oral bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease.

You Can’t Safely Remove Tartar at Home

We have to remove tartar at your professional cleanings because there isn’t a good, safe way for you to remove tartar at home. The tools we use can also damage teeth if they’re not used properly. Other products that claim to control tartar–like toothpaste–are often dangerously abrasive and can damage your teeth as well as remove tartar.

It’s the Side Effect of Your Body’s Tooth Healing System

What causes plaque to harden in your mouth? Well, it’s all the minerals in your saliva. These basically fossilize the bacteria in your mouth, turning them into hardened versions of their former selves.

But why are those minerals there in the first place? To heal your teeth. Calcium, magnesium, fluoride, and other minerals are absorbed by your teeth to help restore what’s lost to acid in the mouth.

Tartar Grows Where You’re Not Cleaning

Because tartar starts as soft plaque, it wouldn’t grow at all if you brushed and flossed it away before it could mineralize. So when tartar grows on your teeth, it shows areas that are not getting cleaned as effectively as they should.

Not Everyone Grows Tartar at the Same Rate

However, there’s a caveat here: not everyone grows tartar at the same rate. If you have more minerals in your saliva, it will harden the plaque faster, causing it to grow more quickly. So some people will get more plaque if they don’t brush two or three times a day, but other people might get less plaque even if they just brush once. If you’re unhappy with the amount of tartar on your teeth, try brushing your teeth sooner. It will help.

Tartar Preserves Secrets of Ancient Diets

Since tartar is hardened plaque, it preserves everything that’s in the plaque. Mostly, this is oral bacteria and their protective biofilms. But it also includes traces of food.

Recent explorations of ancient plaque found on skulls has revealed much about ancient diets. It’s revealed that ancient people had gum disease, Neanderthals ate a plant-based diet, and showed that people domesticated plants even sooner than we previously thought.

Tartar Shelf Removal Videos Have Gone Viral

Did you know that there are people out there who love to watch people getting tartar removed from their teeth? Yeah, we know it sounds crazy, but it’s similar to the fascination with “pimple popper” videos. Many of these tartar shelf removal videos have millions of views.

Let Us Take Care of Your Tartar

Now that you know all about your tartar, there’s no better time to schedule an appointment to have it removed in Orange County, NY. Please call (845) 783-6466 today for an appointment with a dentist at Harriman Family Dental.