There are many misconceptions about oral health. One of the more common misconceptions is that plaque and tartar are the same things and that the terms can be used interchangeably. While this isn’t completely false, it is a bit misleading and something that your dentist in Belle Fourche wants to clear up. After all, understanding what’s going on inside of your mouth is a crucial part of keeping it healthy.
It makes sense for us to start by taking a look at plaque. Plaque is something that accumulates on everyone’s teeth each and every day. It’s unavoidable, it’s sticky, it’s packed full of bacteria, and it can cause a whole lot of trouble. You see, plaque forms as a result of foods we eat and latches on to the area around the gum line. The bacteria that make up this sticky substance then start to feed on food particles in the mouth. As a result, the bacteria release an acidic byproduct. This acid then attacks the tooth enamel, wearing away at this protective layer and leaving teeth at increased risk of cavities. If plaque is not removed every day, it will start to harden and turn into tartar.
Tartar is very similar to plaque but, essentially, is a more progressed version. Also known as calculus, tartar is a super hard substance that occurs when plaque is not properly removed. Additionally, while plaque is invisible, once it transforms into tartar it can appear as yellow or brown lumps. Another key difference between tartar and plaque is that while you can effectively remove plaque on your own, your dentist in Belle Fourche is the only one that can remove tartar once it forms. Like plaque, tartar can increase the risk of cavities as well as other problems, including tooth discoloration, sensitivity, and gum disease.
Since tartar occurs as a result of plaque buildup, it’s important to take a look at how we can prevent problems from plaque in the first place. The most effective way to remove plaque is to practice proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. Make sure to brush both morning and night to remove plaque that has built up overnight and throughout the day. Additionally, choosing what you eat can also help keep plaque away. Try to pick plaque-busting foods like cheese and crunchy vegetables and avoid sugary foods and drinks. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help wash away bacteria, neutralize acids, and further protect teeth.
Outside of brushing, flossing, and eating well, it’s also crucial that you see your dentist in Belle Fourche twice a year. These checkups give your dental team the opportunity to monitor your oral health, catch problems early, and remove any tartar buildup before it can create trouble.
If it’s time for you to see your dentist, we welcome you to call our Belle Fourche dental office to schedule an appointment.
It has been a long time and many visits to a dentist since I have received such thorough care and genuine concern while in the chair. I was so comfortable, I even had a short snooze…. The up-to-date equipment and knowledge of your staff is tops, and the lab you have in your office is wonderful that you can complete the work in one visit is tops. Thanks so much!- Carol
Always courteous always kind, Even when harried and In a time bind. Excellent work, with percision and care, Makes me appreciative, my Dental care’s there. If you’re looking for somewhere to go, It’s Jackson Dental, the best place I know. So do not delay, do not postpone, I’m Just send them an email a text or just phone.- Don
Jackson Dental is one outstanding group of true professionals that really care about their patients, and are focused on giving them the very best in dental care that can be found anywhere. I can’t say enough great things about them. Western South Dakota is blessed having them be such a great part of their community.- Robert
I am very pleased at the care and attention in have received at Jackson Dental. Everyone I have encountered has been friendly, professional, confident and knowledgeable. Inturn I feel informed and confident in the care I have received. I appreciate the entire staff. Thank you Dr. John Jackson. Thank you Dr. Christopher Jackson. Thank you Dr. John Krum, the care I have received this remarkable and I feel my general health improving. What great relief, thank you.- Paula