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3 Ways to Detect Tartar Buildup on Your Teeth

Dental tartar, also known as dental calculus, is a common oral concern that can impact your overall dental health. Tartar should be cleaned because it causes gum diseases. When tooth stone is not cleaned, it can damage teeth, gums, and jawbone. The prolonged presence of tartar in the mouth leads to gum inflammation.

Detecting tartar buildup on teeth is essential to maintain good oral health. Here are three ways to detect tartar buildup:

  • Visual Inspection: Dentists and dental hygienists use specialized tools and mirrors to examine your teeth and gums for signs of tartar which appears as a yellow or brownish deposit on the teeth, typically near the gum line or between teeth.

  • Dental Probe: Dental professionals may use a dental probe during your check-up to gently feel along the gum line for rough or hard deposits. Tartar feels rough to the touch, unlike the smooth surface of healthy teeth.

  • Dental X-Rays: While tartar is visible on the tooth surface, it can also accumulate below the gum line and between teeth where it is not easily visible. Dental X-rays can help identify tartar buildup in areas that are not apparent during a visual inspection. X-rays provide a more comprehensive view of the teeth and the underlying structures, assisting dentists in detecting any hidden tartar or potential dental issues.

Tartar cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing. Once it forms on the teeth, it requires professional dental cleaning to be removed safely and effectively. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial to detect and address tartar buildup before it leads to more significant dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay. A professional dental cleaning will remove the surface build-up of plaque and tartar, as well as some fresh stains that are not yet deep.

Dental exams, dental x-rays, and self-examinations

Are you wondering how you can prevent tartar buildup? Your best bet is not to let tartar form on your teeth. Here’s how:

  • Brush and floss daily. Brushing and flossing are the most important things you can do to promote the overall health of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once daily. Getting in between your teeth when you floss helps you to get rid of the difficult-to-see plaque that tends to build up quickly if you aren’t flossing. Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.

  • Watch your diet. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods. When they’re exposed to those foods, they release harmful acids. Try to eat a healthy diet and limit the sugary foods you eat. Every time you eat, you also feed the bacteria in your mouth. You don’t have to give up sweets completely. Just be mindful of how often you indulge. Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and cucumbers naturally clean plaque off the teeth as you bite and chew. Choosing these healthy options as snacks provide good nutrition and promote good oral health.

  • Don’t smoke. Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products are more likely to have tartar.

  • Set regular dental appointments. The best thing you can do for your teeth is to see your dentist regularly. Even if your teeth are perfectly healthy, you should schedule appointments every six months so your dentist can catch any minor problems before they worsen. Professional dental cleaning is a significant factor in preventing tartar buildup.

The ideal frequency is to clean your teeth every six months with a dentist! Even with good tooth hygiene, with mouthwash and floss every day, our mouth accumulates plaque and tartar. So always take great care of your oral hygiene, and count on us to do your cleaning! Don't let dental tartar compromise your smile!


Stay committed to good oral hygiene practices and schedule your teeth cleaning at Advanced Dental Center today at (203) 945-0068 to keep your perfect smile!


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