How to Prevent Plaque & Tartar Build-Up
Plaque forms naturally in the mouth, however a bit of basic oral hygiene is usually enough to keep it from turning into tartar. According to Studio City dentist Dr. Chris Gazarian of Studio Dental Arts, patients should be brushing their teeth at least three times a day to prevent plaque and tartar build-up.
At its core, plaque is essentially a bacteria that grows in the mouth. Plaque will develop when foods, and specifically those foods containing high amounts of sugars and starches, are left on the teeth. This leads to bacteria growth and certain acidic reactions that can damage teeth over time.
Plaque is very soft at the beginning, and it is easily cleansable with basic brushing, flossing, and rinsing. However, the longer it sticks around un-cleansed, the harder it becomes to get off of the teeth. Plaque that is allowed to sit on the teeth and in between the teeth will get hard, and that is when tartar deposits are formed.
On average, Dr. Gazarian says it takes only eight hours for soft plaque to turn into hard tartar. With that in mind, the Studio City dentist says people have only about eight hours in which they can remove plaque while it is still in its soft form, before it turns into tartar. That is where brushing and flossing come into play. If a person does not brush and floss within eight hours of eating, then tartar will begin forming and it will be very difficult for the person to get off on his or her own.
The Studio City dentist goes on to explain that once tartar does form, then gum damage begins to occur. Tartar build-up can cause the gingival, also known as the gums, to become irritated and appear inflamed. Dr. Gazarian explains that tartar bonds to enamel in a very strong and secure way that makes it all but impossible to remove with brushing and flossing alone. Thus, it usually requires a professional cleaning by a hygienist or dentist in Studio City before the teeth can return to their naturally clean, tartar-free state.
Since people only have an eight-hour window to get rid of all the plaque buildup in their mouths, Dr. Gazarian says that means they should be brushing and flossing at least three times a day. Although this recommendation is higher than what some other dental experts say, Dr. Gazarian believes it is necessary if people want to keep their smiles as clean and healthy as possible.
Studio City, California 91607
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.