Scale & Clean:
Plaque is the term dentists use to describe the soft white bacterial deposits that collect around and between your teeth. If left unchecked, plaque eventually turns hard into tartar or calculus, a hard but porous layer that surrounds the teeth. Tartar allows even more plaque to collect by sheltering it away from your toothbrush, allowing the bacteria to continue to grow in a vicious cycle. Plaque and tartar is most visible on the back of the lower front teeth, but can be present anywhere in the mouth, including underneath your gums. It is these bacteria from plaque and tartar that cause both tooth decay and gum disease, the two most common reasons teeth are lost.
Dentists recommend brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to prevent plaque from building up enough to form tartar or calculus. Unfortunately, no matter how well we keep our teeth clean, there will always be hard to reach areas that collect plaque. Tartar will inevitably form in these areas, making it easy for the bacteria to start the tooth decay or gum disease process. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing – only your dentist has the necessary tools.
This is why we recommend all our patients to visit every six months. At this appointment, your dentist will check all your teeth thoroughly, occasionally including X-rays, to make sure no issues have come up in the last six months. Your teeth will be cleaned to remove all traces of plaque and tartar, including the removal of any stains.