If you always wondered what plaque was when you heard it in the phrase, “Plaque and tartar,” you’re not alone. While it may seem like a given that you know what plaque is, it’s actually kind of a complicated part of your oral health. Consider this a plaque primer. We’ve got 6 plaque facts for anyone who who always wondered what exactly plaque was.
What Exactly Is Plaque?
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that coats your teeth. It’s made of millions of bacteria that interact with the sugar and starches you ingest.
What’s So Bad About Plaque?
Plaque in and of itself isn’t bad, just like the bacteria aren’t bad. If left alone for over 48 hours, however, plaque can harden into tartar.
What Is Tartar?
Tartar is hardened plaque. Only a dental professional can remove it, once it’s there. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of plaque yourself, while you still can.
What’s So Bad About Tartar?
Tartar can create places for plaque to hide and thrive. More hard-to-reach plaque then creates more hardy tartar. The cycle is one best stopped at the beginning.
How Can You Remove Plaque?
Removing plaque isn’t difficult. All you have to do is what your dentist has been telling you to do all this time: brush twice daily and floss. If you can remember to give your tongue a brush, too, that would be amazing. Your tongue is a secret plaque stash.
Can You Get It All?
There’s no way to get rid of all plaque, all the time. You’re going to end up with some tartar in your mouth, no matter how much dental floss you use. The best thing to do to keep your tartar in check is to keep all of your dental check-ups, that way a dental professional can get that tartar out of there.