When multiple layers of plaque combine with minerals present in your saliva, it hardens into a white, chalky calcified substance called tartar.
It creates a breeding ground for the oral bacteria that feed on sugars from the food you eat. Plus, it forms acid during this process that breaks down the tooth enamel, leading to dental cavities. Bacteria also produce toxins causing various periodontal (gum) problems.
Several factors contribute to plaque buildups, such as improper oral hygiene, bad brushing technique, poor food choices, heredity and lack of professional care.
Maintaining dental hygiene is key to preventing plaque and tartar buildup. You should:
- Brush your teeth with a good toothpaste at least two times a day. Use a soft, nylon brush with rounded, polished bristles. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.
- Make sure you brush your tongue as well because it supports the growth of bacteria leading to plaque buildup.
- Use dental floss regularly to clean your teeth and gums.