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When it comes to dentistry, there are a few terms and phrases that can be confusing. For instance, you’ve probably heard of plaque and tartar—but do you know what the differences actually are?

Plaque itself is soft and sticky and fairly easy to remove if you brush and floss regularly. It is mostly made up of previously eaten food and saliva mixed with bacteria. After eating, plaque will form in four to eight hours. As you may have guessed, this is the reason dentists recommend brushing twice a day and visiting our dentist for regular checkups.

Conversely, when plaque hardens, it becomes known as tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar is very hard and porous. Sadly, if you try to damage your teeth, you may actually damage your teeth. Furthermore, if tartar isn’t removed, it can lead to gum disease and gingivitis. Similarly, tartar will trap stains and cause discoloration in your smile.

Still, how do you avoid getting plaque and tartar? In reality, there is nothing you can do to avoid plaque. It is a daily occurrence, making brushing and flossing extremely important. Doing so will also prevent tartar from forming. Finally, please remember that gentle brushing is the best way to remove plaque. Conversely, brushing too hard may damage your teeth and gums.

If you’re worried about tartar, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If tartar is left untreated, it could be caused lead to a variety of issues. Our dentist, Dr. Ryan Wilson, and our team can help you address this issue. To set up an appointment, just call Canyon Dental Care at (505) 278.7007. We are eager to receive your call.