Although it’s easy for tartar to form, it’s extremely hard to remove on your own. Nowadays, most Americans suffer from periodontal disease caused by hardened plaque and tartar. Stay healthy, safe and clean and remove tartar before it becomes a more serious issue for you down the line. 

What Is Tartar?

It’s no secret our mouths contain millions of microscopic bacteria. The combination of oral bacteria and food residue creates a gunky, sticky mixture in our mouths called plaque. Plaque can permanently damage your enamel and lead to cavities, gum disease, and other health concerns. 

After 48 hours, the plaque on your teeth can turn into hard tartar. Tartar, like plaque, can permanently damage your teeth and cause receding gums and dental decay. Tartar can grow both above and below your gum line. Since tartar is extremely hard to remove, it’s important to clean, brush, rinse and floss your teeth daily. 

How To Remove Tartar Build Up

The best way to remove tartar build-up is by visiting your dentist. Dentists have the proper tools to scrape tartar from your teeth and gum line that would otherwise be almost impossible to remove yourself. 

Even though tartar is best removed by a dental professional, there are still things you can do to prevent tartar build-up. Here are some preventative steps to take to avoid plaque and tartar:

  • Brush Regularly: This step is a bit obvious, but it’s still incredibly important. Remember to brush your teeth two times a day for at least two minutes. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and gently brush at a 45-degree angle. You should be hitting each surface of every tooth, even in the hard to reach areas of your mouth. 
  • Don’t Forget To Floss: You may forget to floss, or you may be avoiding it on purpose. According to US Health News, only 30% of Americans floss daily. Since plaque and tartar form from food remnants, one of the best ways to avoid tartar is to floss daily. 
  • Target Tartar With Toothpaste: Fight tartar with a tartar-control toothpaste. This toothpaste fights off oral bacteria while also repairing damaged enamel. 
  • Stop Smoking: Smoking cigarettes alters the saliva flow in your mouth which makes it easier for tartar and plaque to stick to your teeth. Smokers are also six times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
  • Brush With Baking Soda: Baking soda is an effective and safe way to remove tartar and plaque build-up without damaging your enamel. It is not recommended to brush with baking soda every day, but rather 1-2 times a week if need be. 
  • Limit Your Carbohydrate Intake: It’s true — carbs can drastically lower the pH levels in your mouth, creating an environment more susceptible to plaque build-up.