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What Is Dental Plaque and Calculus?

What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque, a soft, sticky film of bacteria, forms on your teeth every day. It consists of food particles, saliva, and bacteria. If you don’t remove plaque regularly, it can harden into calculus.

What is dental calculus?

Dental calculus, also known as tartar, is a hard, mineralized deposit that forms on your teeth. It is formed when plaque is not removed regularly and combines with minerals in your saliva. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. It must be removed by a professional dental hygienist or dentist.

How do dental plaque and calculus affect my oral health?

Dental plaque and calculus are harmful to your oral health, causing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Therefore, it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Cavities: The acids produced by plaque attack tooth enamel, causing cavities. Furthermore, if cavities are not treated, they can become larger and more painful, and may eventually lead to tooth loss.

Gum disease: Plaque and calculus can irritate the gums, leading to gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that damages the gums, bone, and ligaments supporting teeth. Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss.

Tooth loss: Plaque and calculus can also damage the gums and bone supporting teeth, leading to tooth loss. In addition, tooth loss can make it difficult to eat and speak, and can also have a negative impact on your appearance and self-esteem.

Therefore, it is important to take steps to prevent dental plaque and calculus from forming. You can do this by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and by flossing your teeth once a day. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

How can I prevent dental plaque and calculus?

Dental plaque and calculus harm your oral health, causing cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.

To prevent plaque and calculus, practice good oral hygiene habits:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss your teeth once a day.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary foods and drinks.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

What should I do if I have dental plaque or calculus?

If you have dental plaque or calculus, see your dentist for a professional cleaning. Calculus can only be removed by a professional dental hygienist or dentist using a procedure called scaling and root planing. Scaling removes calculus from above and below the gum line, while root planing smooths out rough surfaces to make plaque adhesion more difficult.

How often should I see my dentist for checkups and cleanings?

Sbenati Dentistry recommends that most people see their dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. However, some people may need to see their dentist more often, based on their individual risk factors for dental plaque and calculus.

Is there anything else I can do to keep my teeth and gums healthy?

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, in addition to practicing good oral hygiene habits and seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, you can also:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to wash away food particles and plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash with fluoride to strengthen your teeth and make them more resistant to decay.
  • Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to keep your gums healthy and reduce your risk of gum disease.
  • Manage any underlying medical conditions that can affect your oral health, such as diabetes and dry mouth.

By following these tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Contact us today at Sbenati Dentistry to schedule a consultation and let us help you with any of your dental needs. [https://calendly.com/sbenatidentistry/interview]

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