A plaque is a sticky and colorless bacterial film formed continuously on the tooth surface. A combination of saliva, food, and moist creates a deposit on the part where the teeth and gums meet.
If the plaque builds up, it causes coloration and becomes a major cause of gum disease. Removing plaque is a lifelong practice in the healthy oral hygiene. The plaque also causes cavities that weaken the teeth.
The plaque begins to form on the tooth surface 4 to 12 hours after brushing, so brushing more than twice a day and using a dental floss every day is very important. Just brushing the teeth is not enough. To prevent plaque from forming, you need to take care of difficult-to-reach areas between teeth by using the dental floss every day.
Tartar is a hard deposit that causes coloration and discoloration of the tooth surface. Calcium and phosphate bind and form crystals on the tooth surface. This calcium phosphate crystals eventually become hard in the plaque and become the tartar. A certain chemical, called pyrophosphate, inhibits the formation of crystals on the tooth surface and the formation of new crystals, preventing the tartar formation. Tartar has strong adhesion, so it can only be removed by professional dental care. If the tartar develops, removing the new plaque bacteria can become tricky and this may cause problems.
Oral Hygiene for Prevention
Plaque and tartar do not have the identical effect on everyone. The degree of tartar formation depends on the individual. Tartar forms faster as people grow older, which means that the older you are, the more you need to check your oral hygiene habits. There are several ways you can change your oral hygiene habits to protect your teeth from plaque and tartar.
Receive professional dental care every six months or more often as recommended by your dentist or hygienist.
Brush with toothpaste containing pyrophosphate which attaches to the tooth surface and inhibits tartar formation.
Brush with toothpaste containing sodium hexametaphosphate, a specially formulated pyrophosphate. It not only suppresses tartar formation but also relieves tooth surface coloration and acts as a protective barrier to prevent future coloration.