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What Is the Difference Between Tartar and Plaque?

Almost everyone has heard of plaque and tartar. From an early age we see commercials for toothpaste and packaging in drugstores and markets, which promise that their oral health products have tartar control and can destroy plaque. However, few people know the difference between plaque and tartar, and fewer people have heard of calculus as it refers to oral health. So, what are plaque, tartar and calculus? How are they similar and different? What do they mean for your teeth and oral health? You can discover the answer to these questions below.

tartar and plaque

Do you know the difference between tartar and plaque?

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a clear film made of bacteria that develops on teeth over the course of the day. Plaque is generally no threat to oral health, as long as one brushes, flosses, and maintains proper hygiene habits. The problem is when poor dental hygiene habits cause this daily plaque to build up and accumulate on teeth and below the gumline. This causes cavities and  a number of periodontal diseases. When plaque accumulation is left unchecked, calculus and tartar begin to form.

What Are Calculus and Tartar?

Calculus and tartar are different names for the same substance. This substance is the second stage of plaque build up in which the bacterial film starts to harden. This leads to rapid tooth decay and severe gum infections. The tartar will need to be removed in a special procedure, followed by special care which allows gums to heal and prevents the future buildup of harmful tartar.

How To Avoid The Accumulation of Tartar

Ultimately, calculus, tartar, and plaque are similar to an extent because they are a result of the same oral bacteria. However, their difference rests within the amount of bacteria that has accumulated over time and how much of a health threat it is. Plaque is a daily build up which causes little threat, and calculus and tartar are the next stage of this build up, which can damage your gums and teeth. This buildup can be avoided with daily flossing, brushing, and maintaining good oral hygiene habits to stop the build up. As long as you maintain healthy habits, you will never had to worry about plaque turning to tartar and calculus.

Get In Touch With Olney Dental Today

Interested in learning more about how cosmetic dentistry can make your smile happier? Call Olney Dental at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online for an appointment. And don’t forget to visit Facebook, Twitter,Google+,Pinterest, and YouTube to connect with us on social media.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.