While we all seem to know a thing or two about plaque, the overall population knows a lot less about tartar. Tartar is a hardened, yellow substance on your teeth. Tartar is formed when plaque is not removed from teeth and is left to harden.
Once plaque turns to tartar, it’s bad news for teeth. While plaque is relatively simple to brush off, tartar can make brushing and flossing difficult (and even a little painful). More than that, often tartar’s worst offense is causing harm to your gums. If any tartar hardens above the gum line, it can lead to irritation and even gum disease.
Luckily, tartar is easy to prevent with good oral health habits. Continue to brush twice a day and floss as usual, and if your dentist continues to find excess tartar buildup, they may be able to recommend a tartar control toothpaste.
Once you have tartar, only a dental professional will be able to remove it, so be sure to stay vigilant in order to spend less time in the dentist’s chair.