What Is The Difference Between Tartar And Plaque?

If you have ever heard dentists talk about tartar and plaque, you might have no idea what the difference is between these two things. While tartar and plaque have things in common, they are also very different. Here are several things you should understand about tartar and plaque.

The common characteristics they share

Both tartar and plaque are things dentists consider bad for your teeth, and that is the main thing they have in common. In addition, both tartar and plaque are substances that develop on the teeth and can harm the teeth if left there too long. Tartar and plaque are enemies of your teeth, and you should aim to keep them both away from your teeth.

The definition of plaque

In terms of harm, plaque generally is not as harmful as tartar, but it is still something you do not want to leave on your teeth. When you eat, your mouth will constantly be creating plaque. This is totally natural and there is nothing you can really do to stop this from happening. Plaque is a substance that is sticky in nature and is full of bacteria. If you rub your tongue on your teeth and feel something sticky or rough, it is probably plaque that you are feeling.

Each time you brush your teeth, you will remove any built-up plaque that is there, as long as you brush well. When you floss, you can remove the built-up plaque found between your teeth and on your gum lines. This is one of the reasons brushing and flossing are both good daily habits to have.

The definition of tartar

When you do not remove plaque from your teeth, it turns into tartar. Tartar is a much harder substance than plaque and is not something you can manually remove when brushing. When tartar forms, it can leave your teeth sensitive and discolored, and it can also lead to cavities. Because of this, it is vital to remove the plaque from your teeth daily. If it turns into tartar, you will need to have your dentist remove it for you, and even dentists can have trouble getting all the tartar off a person's teeth.

Now that you understand the similarities and differences in these two things, you should aim to keep both tartar and plaque away from your teeth. You can do this through good oral care habits and by scheduling a visit with a local dentist. For more information, you can contact a dentist like Mainwaring John D DDS today.