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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?

You see, plaque is made up of bacteria containing food particles. Generally, it forms within four hours of consuming food. In fact, its texture is soft and sticky—and fortunately, easy to remove with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings will also help since a dentist can tell you about spots you could be missing.

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. Laura Miller, and our team can help you address this issue. To set up an appointment, just call Laura Miller DDS at 860-346-6872. We are eager to receive your call.