You may be aware that plaque and tartar are the biggest and most consistent threats to your smile. If so, then you may also know that brushing and flossing away the oral bacteria that form plaque and tartar is the best way to prevent them from forming. However, being good at cleaning your teeth consistently can make it seem like more thorough professional cleanings are less necessary. Today, we explain why that’s false, and why you need dental cleanings to remove tartar and prevent conditions like tooth decay and gum disease from becoming serious concerns.
The Difference Between Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is the sticky biofilm that oral bacteria form every day. As they accumulate, the bacteria create plaque to protect themselves from saliva, which can naturally rinse them away. Because they’re constantly forming plaque, you have to brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss at least once to control oral bacteria. Yet, small spots of plaque that your toothbrush and floss miss can quickly calcify into tartar (or calculus). Unlike plaque, tartar is insoluble, so your toothpaste and water are not effective at removing it like they are with plaque.
Why Dental Cleanings Are Necessary
Once tartar forms on your teeth or gum line, the bacteria within it can go to work creating harmful substances that erode your teeth structure and infect your gums. By attending regular dental cleanings as often as your dentist recommends, you can effectively remove tartar before tooth decay or gum disease develops. During your visit, your dentist can also thoroughly check for signs that such concerns are already present and recommend appropriate treatment to stop them from growing worse.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning Today
Keeping your smile clean and safe from plaque and tartar requires regular dental cleanings as much as an excellent, consistent hygiene routine. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at 832-437-3849. We proudly welcome patients and families from Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, Cypress, Sealy, Columbus, and all surrounding communities.