UPTOWN/GALLERIA: 346-980-4770 | MIDTOWN: 281-397-3832
UPTOWN/GALLERIA: 346-980-4770
MIDTOWN: 281-397-3832

Plaque and calculus (tartar) control

Plaque and Tartar

Unfortunately, several of us will suffer from plaque and tartar on our teeth at some stage in our lives. Despite our best efforts, there will be some found on our teeth when we go for a check-up.

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Information on Plaque and Calculus (Tartar)

Unfortunately, several of us will suffer from plaque and tartar on our teeth at some stage in our lives. Despite our best efforts, there will be some found on our teeth when we go for a check-up. Sometimes it can build up because of our toothbrushes not reaching it and other times it is just because there is too much collecting for us to be able to remove it. Plaque is sticky and does not have a color; so, it can be hard to see. It is a combination of bacteria, food and saliva sticking to the teeth – usually overnight. It tends to form along the line where the teeth meet the gums.

If you do not manage to get rid of the plaque, then there is a bigger problem you could face. When it starts to harden, it becomes what we refer to as tartar and this will be a lot harder to get rid of. Some people will be lucky and find that they only ever end up with a small amount while others can end up with so much that they require a lot of intervention from a dentist.

 

Why do we get plaque and calculus (tartar) build up?

The main reason that teeth show signs of plaque is because the teeth are not being properly cleaned. It does not mean that no effort is being made, just that not all the food and bacteria that is stuck to the teeth can be removed. Too often it is in a position where it cannot be reached and once it becomes hard, it is so difficult to remove with a standard toothbrush.

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Who is affected by plaque and calculus (tartar)?

Anyone can be affected by plaque and tartar, although some will suffer more than others. If you do not clean your teeth well, it will start, and the lack of good cleaning will make it get worse. As a result, children will find they have it as they are not yet able to reach the parts of the teeth where it mostly occurs. It also seems that older people can suffer from it and this could be as they no longer take the same time, or maybe are not as aware of the change in color of their teeth due to failing eyesight. As teeth covered in plaque and tartar tend to range in color from yellow to brown, poorer eyes may not notice how bad it has become.

Although it is accepted that good oral hygiene will help prevent and fight against plaque and tartar, it is a dentist or dental hygienist who will have to remove it once it is in place. The reason for this is that untreated plaque will stick tightly to the enamel and require specialist instruments to remove it. As mentioned, it will take a dental professional to remove plaque as they will have the instruments and the knowledge of how to use them. If the plaque is removed, tartar will not be able to form, so the dentist will work to remove the plaque.

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Preventing this kind of build up from happening

Cleaning your teeth will go a long way towards keeping your teeth plaque and tartar free, but it will not be enough on its own. To keep them in a condition that is good enough to stop plaque starting to form, there needs to be at least two cleans carried out at the dentist each year. Sometimes your dentist will carry it out, but there is no reason why it should not be the hygienist.

The toothpaste you use can make a difference, and one that has pyrophosphate in it will help with the job. It should also contain sodium hexametaphosphate that has been created to slow down the development of calculus. When they are used, it will be easier to keep the teeth clean and work towards breaking down stains that have collected on the enamel. Once that has been done, a barrier will be set up and it will be harder for plaque and tartar to cling to the teeth in the future.

Flossing is another way to limit the spread of the two problems. A small thread will be able to reach between the teeth in a way that a brush will not be able to. By flossing after each meal, you will be limiting the risk and making it easier for the professional to remove the small amount that may still build up.

As it can take as little as four hours after brushing for plaque to begin to build up, it is important to try and brush after every meal. Most people will remember to do this morning and night, but not all will do it at lunchtime. By the time the night time clean comes around, it could be 12 hours since lunch, and there may have been a few snacks as well as an evening meal since.

 

Why is it important to stop this build up from happening?

As well as looking unsightly when the teeth begin to stain and turn yellow and brown, if you allow plaque and tartar to stay on the teeth there can be further problems. If not treated, they can lead to holes developing in the teeth and this will require fillings and possibly something such as a crown or cap. As the teeth will be weakened, it can be expensive to correct.

The ideal way to have strong, clean and white teeth is to clean your teeth as diligently as you can, as well as getting help from your dentist when needed. You only get two sets of teeth, and one set of gums, and if you don’t look after them, they will not be there for you. It may seem to be a simple problem – plaque does not seem to be the biggest problem in the world – but once it has taken hold, it is going to take more than a new toothbrush and toothpaste to get rid of it. Once tartar has set in, it will be even harder to get rid of it and get your teeth back to the way that you want them. Depending on your amount of build up and health of your gum and bone you may need a regular cleaning or possible a deep cleaning to help.

Michelle Campbell
Michelle Campbell
19:53 20 Jun 18
Excellent service. Great first impression! Best cleaning I've had in several years, my mouth feels amazing. They even took the time to show me how to brush more effectively. My teeth are back to being pearly white. They were very knowledgeable in regards to my insurance and I've had no issues. The service there is impeccable!
Nonna Beetge
Nonna Beetge
14:21 24 Apr 18
The staff is wonderful, very friendly and informative. I love how they not only take X-rays, but also photos of all your teeth and put them on the big screen. They spent as much time as I needed to go over each area and explain specifics of each tooth. I definitely have a greater understanding of what is going on in there and what I need to do. I also love their space, it has a calming vibe with all kinds of artwork on display. You almost feel like you’re not at the dentist! Thank you all so much, I look forward to seeing you all again! (Said no one to their dentist 😉 )
Allie Hackett
Allie Hackett
18:47 19 Jun 18
I am not the biggest fan of the dentist, however this was the BEST dentist experience I have ever had! Everyone was so kind and I got everything I needed done in one visit! They provided super helpful insight about what was going on with my teeth and took care of everything I needed quickly. I will absolutely be returning! 🙂
Andrew Nguyen
Andrew Nguyen
14:17 10 May 18
Beautiful location and office. Very friendly and welcoming staff! I had a great time conversing with them about movies and music. Dr. Nguyen and his staff were very knowledgeable and stressed the importance of making sure the patient knew what their game plan was. The office is very high tech as well so it was super cool to know that I was getting the latest tech being use on me.
Andrea Andrea
Andrea Andrea
17:15 20 May 18
Love the location, the dentist AND the staff. Everyone there is awesome. It's rare that I leave a dentist office feeling just as good as when I arrive. I was sad I didn't get to see Snickers, but all in all I had a great experience my first time here. Glad to finally have a new "home" dentist since moving to Texas.
Joshua Parra
Joshua Parra
02:17 14 Sep 18
From start to finish great experience. Impeccably clean office, high tech tools, & friendly staff. Went to get my top teeth contoured/shaped. They did a Hollywood star job! I now, have a flawless smile. I even went back the next day for a touch-up on one tooth & they took care of it, graciously. If you want quality cosmetic dentistry inside the loop; look no further. These folks are the best in class.
Bianca Anderson
Bianca Anderson
17:05 05 Sep 18
Very friendly staff. The hygienist's were so knowledgeable and really took the time to teach you about your teeth, they gave my husband and I "homework" to improve our oral health. Love it! Angela was great, great sense of humor (made me laugh a lot) and very professional. Awesome job Nicole, very friendly and took the time to answer all the questions we had (love she was recommending eateries for hubby to take me :). Julia was great at the front counter very lively and knowledgeable as well. They all really took the time and customized everything for us. Able to get free electric toothbrushes but didn't have any in stock.
Ji H Oh
Ji H Oh
15:19 22 Sep 18
I am usually scared of going to the dentist for my annual cleaning but I was completely blown away by the amazing customer service from the staff. Julia was extremely helpful and explained my dental coverage and out of pocket costs. Angela did an exceptional job explaining to me about the importance of dental hygiene and actually taught me how to floss properly. The office was extremely clean and upscale. Dr. Bridget was very sweet and great bedside manners. She explained everything about the treatment plan in a very thorough and concise manner. I was extremely impressed by everyone on the office and I cant wait to come back for my next appointment.
Death Morgulis
Death Morgulis
16:23 12 Sep 18
Great place for all your dental needs. Very inviting and friendly staff. They are very knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do. I've been looking for a good dentist for awhile while neglecting my oral health, but now I think I've found my place. 10/10 would come back for a follow-up appointment.
Trisha Hinojosa
Trisha Hinojosa
18:30 07 Oct 18
Very friendly staff who put up with my inane sense of humor. The entire team team spoke with me 1:1, including:Dental assistants, hygienist, dentist, and insurance admin (explained everything to me in detail including how my insurance works).They explained my x-rays to me, the effects of flossing correctly / incorrectly. I feel like they gave me the education I didn't get as a child on how to care for my mouth, and why it's important. I was doing good stuff for my oral health-- just not correctly or with a positive attitude.GREAT aftercare package.
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