Tartar buildup, also known as dental calculus, can lead to a variety of oral health problems, including gum disease and recession, tooth decay and sensitivity, bad breath, aesthetic concerns, and more.
Regular visits to Dr. Rouhani’s office can help prevent tartar buildup, but there are also things you can do at home to keep the buildup at bay.
One of the most basic—and most important—steps in a good oral hygiene routine is regular brushing. Remember these tips for effective brushing:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Brush for at least two minutes each time.
- Brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
- Use a gentle circular motion, and angle the bristles toward the gumline.
- Use an electric toothbrush if you can; these can be more effective at removing tartar.
The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day. Flossing helps remove food particles between the teeth and along the gumline, where your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps prevent plaque buildup in those hard-to-reach spaces. While traditional dental floss is always highly recommended, water flossers can be effective at cleaning between teeth as well, when used correctly.
Rinse with mouthwash.
Antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help reduce plaque formation and lower bacteria in the mouth. Mouthwash can also help freshen breath, keep gums healthy, and even whiten teeth.
Watch your diet.
Oral health is impacted drastically by what you eat. For a diet that benefits your oral health, follow these tips:
- Eat fewer sugary or starchy foods.
- Drink water instead of sugary sodas or fruit juices. (Tip: Drink a glass of water after every meal to help rinse away food particles that can cause buildup.)
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Crunchy fruits and vegetables (like apples, carrots, and celery) actually help clean your teeth as you chew.
Break bad habits.
Smoking or using other tobacco products can contribute to tartar buildup and other oral health issues.
Chew sugar-free gum.
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids and wash away food particles and bacteria.
Use a tartar-control toothpaste.
Certain toothpaste formulas target tartar to help control buildup. Talk to Dr. Rouhani about which option he recommends for you.
Try using dental tools at home.
While a professional cleaning is always the best way to remove tartar buildup, it is possible to use dental picks or scaling tools at home. That said, these tools should be used with extreme care and only with the recommendation (and instruction) of Smile Concepts. If used incorrectly, these tools could damage your teeth or gums.
Tartar buildup is a common oral health problem, but a potentially serious one. Letting tartar buildup go unchecked can lead to bigger complications. Be sure to keep tartar under control with these at-home methods, but even more importantly, visit Dr. Rouhani’s office at least twice a year to have your teeth professionally cleaned. This will be the best way to remove tartar and keep your teeth healthy and clean.