Dental plaque and tartar develop over time with each human. While you can still remove soft plaque yourself with a toothbrush and toothpaste, the hard calculus can only be removed by a dentist. Through careful oral and dental hygiene, you can effectively prevent plaque. With the help of staining tablets you can make the plaque visible and check how clean you are when brushing your teeth. Inform yourself here extensively about the topic plaque and tartar.
How does plaque develop?
Dental plaque forms if the teeth are not cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. The formation of plaque takes place in several steps: After the last brushing of the teeth, a fine biofilm (pellicle) first forms on the tooth surface. This consists of various proteins of saliva. It ensures that important minerals can be stored in the enamel and that the teeth are protected against aggressive acids.
Over time, bacteria accumulate in the originally bacteria-free pellicle. In addition, food residues (especially certain sugar building blocks) as well as tissue cells and salivary components remain on the tooth surface. Especially on the sugar building blocks can easily accumulate more bacteria, so that the formation of plaque is accelerated.
Over time, more and more bacteria accumulate on the teeth and a whitish-yellow coating develops. If you notice such discoloration on your teeth, it's time to brush your teeth thoroughly. Because in the first hours and days, the plaque is still water-soluble and can easily be removed by yourself. Plaque can form on the teeth, but also in the interdental spaces. Also on the tooth necks easily plaque arises. In addition, the bacteria can also nest in the periodontal pockets.
Because the bacteria in the dental plaque produce stinking compounds, they are responsible for the often caused by plaque halitosis. In addition, they can convert sugar into acid, which in turn attacks the enamel. Over time, the enamel becomes more porous, until it is so brittle that bacteria can penetrate the enamel and caries develops.
If the plaque is not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar within a few days. Calcium salts are salinated from the saliva and the plaque is hardened. How fast tartar develops from dental plaque is different. In sensitive individuals, tartar can form after just two days.
Tartar itself is not dangerous to the teeth or gums. However, it is a problem that other bacteria can settle more easily due to its rough surface and can form plaque again. In addition, due to various metabolic processes under the tartar, the pH value in this area may drop. As a result, the acids and bacteria that are under the tartar can damage the tooth.
Caries and periodontitis as consequences
If the plaque is not removed on a regular basis, it can lead to tooth decay, periodontitis and gingivitis. However, poor oral hygiene is not always the fault. In addition, the following factors may favor the development of plaque:
- Wrong diet
- Tight-fitting teeth
- Germ composition in the mouth
- Too little amount of saliva in the mouth
- Protruding edges of crowns or fillings
Even with a very careful oral hygiene, it is not always possible to keep the teeth completely free of plaque and tartar. For this reason, at least one visit should be mandatory for adults and at least two visits per year for children.
Plaque: what to do?
Unlike hard tartar, you can easily remove the soft plaque yourself. Just brush your teeth thoroughly and do not forget to use floss or an interdental brush to clean the interdental spaces. So you can get rid of plaque usually easily.
Ideally, brush your teeth for at least three minutes in the morning and in the evening. Apply best the so-called sweeping technique: Put the toothbrush at the transition of the tooth to the gum. Then sweep the plaque away from red to white with small swipes. However, do not press too hard, otherwise tooth enamel and gums can be damaged.
To remove plaque and tartar, various home remedies - such as baking powder - are discussed again and again. Before you resort to such a home remedy, you should consult with your dentist - some home remedies can namely damage the tooth enamel. That is why it is best to use toothpaste and brush to care for your teeth.
Make plaque visible with staining tablets
To make the plaque visible on the teeth, so-called staining tablets are used. These ensure that the plaque on the teeth and the oral mucosa colorfully discolored. This makes it easy to see where the teeth have not yet been cleaned with sufficient care.
Some staining tablets can also differentiate between old and new dental plaque so that particularly neglected areas are even more easily recognizable. They are often used by the dentist to check the cleaning behavior of children. The tablets can also be used privately - but not more often than once every two weeks. For small children, the tablets as well as for people with an iodine allergy are not suitable.
Only have calculus removed by the dentist
You can remove the plaque yourself - but with stubborn tartar a visit to the dentist is necessary. Because against tartar toothbrush, dental floss & Co. can no longer align. Tartar can be removed either by the dentist himself or as part of a professional tooth cleaning.
In general, it is recommended that such a cleaning be carried out once or twice a year. If calculus is not removed on a regular basis, the risk for various dental diseases such as tooth decay increases. Do not try to remove tartar by yourself. Otherwise, you can cause severe damage to your enamel.
Prevent dental plaque and tartar
With the following tips and tricks you can prevent the formation of plaque and tartar:
- Regularly brush your teeth and use dental floss for the interdental spaces.
- Use mouthwashes.
- Clean your tongue regularly with a tongue scraper.
- Eat healthy and avoid particularly sugary foods.
If you wear a brace or denture, be sure to clean it as carefully as your teeth. Dental prostheses can also form on dentures and braces and endanger adjacent teeth.