Tartar is a plaque which forms and then hardens on your teeth. Sometimes referred to as calculus, this plaque can build not only on your teeth above the gum line but also underneath your gums as well. Tartar build up can only be identified and removed properly by your dentist. Tartar left on the teeth contributes to gingivitis and, if left untreated, periodontitis. It can, however, be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly as well as by doing your own scaling. Scaling is a form of surface debridement, or removal of dead cells.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antiseptic mouthwash
- Tooth brush
- Dental floss
- Dental pick
Gargle with hydrogen peroxide or an antibacterial mouthwash for 1 minute in order to oxygenate and loosen tartar.
Brush your teeth and floss in between each tooth. Ensure that you do this thoroughly.
Use a dental pick to gently scale your teeth, removing tartar from your teeth, skimming along the very edges of your gums. Do not scale far beneath your gums on your own, this must be done by a dental professional. Scaling beneath your gums on your own can cause bleeding and serious infection.
Brush your teeth again and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to remove any bacteria you have loosened from along your gums.
Repeat once per month or when you feel that you have debris collecting on your teeth.
Schedule regular appointments with your dentist for a professional cleaning to have tartar removed from your teeth and under your gums.
Tips and warnings
- Do not rely on home-scaling alone to remove tartar build-up. See your dentist regularly and defer to her opinion regarding whether ultrasonic scaling is a more appropriate option for you. Do not scale beneath the gum line on your own as this can cause bleeding and lead to infection.
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